Tesla Tops Cars.com's 2023 List of the Most American Vehicles

Tesla sweeps the podium, while Honda claims five of the remaining top 10 spots.

Tesla's Gigafactory in TexasTesla

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Every year, Cars.com comes out with its American-Made Index, telling consumers which vehicles contribute most to the United States economy. It’s a difficult thing to determine, given how automotive manufacturing is a global endeavor, but the website known for vehicle classifieds has come up with a formula that takes into account several factors, including a vehicle’s final assembly location, its percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts, the automaker’s domestic manufacturing workforce, and the origins of its engine and transmission. As it happens, if you’re looking to truly buy a car manufactured in the U.S., you’ll find more options in Honda’s showroom than in General Motors'.

These Vehicles Made the Top 10

The following models head the 2023 list:

2023 Tesla Model Y Silver front three-quarterTesla

1. Tesla Model Y

2023 Tesla Model 3 Red side viewTesla

2. Tesla Model 3

2023 Tesla Model X Gray front quarterTesla

3. Tesla Model X

 2023 Tesla Model S Red side viewTesla

4. Tesla Model S

2023 Honda Passport Gray front three-quarterHonda

5. Honda Passport

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Blue side viewVolkswagen

6. Volkswagen ID.4

2023 Honda Odyssey Gray side viewHonda

7. Honda Odyssey

2023 Acura MDX Type S Gray front three-quarterAcura

8. Acura MDX

2023 Honda Ridgeline Gray side viewHonda

9. Honda Ridgeline

2023 Acura RDX Blue front quarterAcura

10. Acura RDX

Given how Cars.com places heavy emphasis on a vehicle’s final assembly location, it should come as no surprise that Tesla takes the lead by building all of its U.S.-market vehicles in California and Texas, with additional factories in Nevada and abroad. Honda, by contrast, attributes 73.1% of its U.S. sales to domestic assembly, which puts it a little behind Ford (with 77.5%) but well above GM (with 54%).

How Does This Compare With 2022’s List?

There wasn’t too much movement in the top 10, which, in 2022, was as follows:

  1. Tesla Model Y

  2. Tesla Model 3

  3. Lincoln Corsair

  4. Honda Passport

  5. Tesla Model X

  6. Tesla Model S

  7. Jeep Cherokee

  8. Honda Ridgeline

  9. Honda Odyssey

  10. Honda Pilot

The Model Y and 3 defended their positions, while the other two Teslas rose in the ranks.

The recently refreshed Lincoln Corsair — previously in third — now sits at 16th, possibly due to the fact that Cars.com disqualified the plug-in hybrid version for 2023. The Jeep Cherokee fell off the list entirely, as production recently ended without a clear successor in the works.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is new to the ranks this year, as VW moved the electric crossover’s assembly location from Germany to Chattanooga, Tennessee. And two Acuras received promotions, with the MDX and RDX previously sitting at 14th and 15th place, respectively.

U.S. Jobs Are a Factor in Many Car-Buying Decisions

Each of the ranked 100 models contributes to the U.S. economy in some way, which is an important consideration to many consumers. In a Cars.com survey of more than 1,000 in-market shoppers, 32% of respondents said that a vehicle’s Americanness could sway their decision to buy one vehicle over another, and 48% said they’re willing to pay more for a vehicle if it creates U.S. jobs.

This list serves to clear up the misconception that a domestic marque is the only way to go, as more than a third of respondents indicated. Many foreign brands contribute just as much if not more to the U.S. economy than the Big Three.

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Beth Nichols
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Beth Nichols stumbled into automotive journalism and found her footing, jumping between a few car magazines before going freelance. Her head, once full of useless facts about literature and art history, now holds useless facts about vehicles. She edits, checks, and occasionally creates content for Capital One, and though she understands it’s customary to write a bio in the third person, I don’t like it.