Thanks for wanting to buy American. That's very cool. Basically, we're talking all brands owned by GM and Ford -- including the ones they import (I'm OK with that as the profits stay in the United States).
Since you need a 4-door, here are a few thoughts:
Buick Lucerne: Solid offering. Not a sports sedan, but competent in all areas. Drive one and you will be impressed.
Cadillac STS: Good car -- but pricey in my book.
Cadillac SRX: Don't throw this option out thinking it's an SUV. It has SUV utility -- but is built off a car chassis. The 6 is OK -- the Northstar 8 is fantastic.
Chevrolet Impala: Naaaaaaah. Not even the SS. Too hard to look at.
Saab 9-3: Not a bad product. Get the optional 17" BBS wheels and you'll have a pretty cool ride. And their lease deals are awesome.
Ford Five Hundred: Incredible car -- except for the hokey pokey 6 under the hood. Drive one with the CVT transmission. If your wife thinks it's fast enough -- get one because Ford is dealing on these.
Ford Freestar: Same drivetrain as the Five Hundred -- but weighs a few hundred pounds more because of the mini-van like design. Get the Five Hundred instead of this.
Mercury Milan: Same as the Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr. Nicer styling than the Fusion -- not as pricey as the Zephyr -- which charges a lot more for some doo-dads. Decent drivetrain. Good price. Check it out.
Mazda 6: Very good car. Try it. You might want to look at the Mazda 5, too. It's a small van like vehicle -- but looks pretty cool.
Volvo: The S40 is cool, but small. The S60 is outstanding. If you can get the 2.4T or T-5, get it. I know they've got a new S80 coming up -- but don't think it's in dealerships yet. Good looking car, though.
Jaguar X-Type: A little small in back -- but a good, solid car, especially with the sport package.
Jaguar S-Type: Kind of a pig unless you get the supercharged S-Type R. Sells for $70K new. Resells for half that in 2 years. If you can find a used one with low miles (still under warranty), get one. If it's not under warranty, run.
Jaguar XJ: Great car. Can get them for $10K under sticker, easy. Dollar for dollar, every bit as good as comparable BMWs and Benzes. The XJ-R with the supercharged engine (my wife's ride) is a hoot.
Regarding the Dodge Magnum, the parent company is in Germany -- so the profits go overseas. They're all over the place out here -- and most are pimped up with 20-22" wheels. They just look too weird in my book. The Chargers are fright pigs. The Chrysler 300 is the best of the bunch to me -- but, again, you'll be exporting dollars to the Germans.
Hope that helps. Have fun!
Last edited by b_a_betterperson; 05-17-2006 at 11:23 PM.