234 years in, how has it worked out? We plucked a couple vehicles currently in the Autoblog Garage that represent the opposing sides of the argument and make a case for each. Hit the jump, vote for your favorite, and then tell us what you think in the comments.
2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport - Click above for high-res image
Make the argument? Frankly, I don't know how I could possibly lose the argument. Not this weekend. Not with this car. America has delivered more memorable and important cars than one can count offhand, along with its fair share of outright icons (it's a dreadfully-abused term, I know). The Corvette is one of the icons - maybe the icon. And having one over 4th of July weekend is something genuinely special. Seriously, on a regular day, you feel like the national anthem should play every time you crack open the garage door to reveal a Vette. On Independence Day? Man, who needs fireworks? Just toss me the key (fob). Pressing that start button summons thunder on demand.
The Chevrolet Corvette embodies America: Freedom. Power. Prosperity. It's not understated. It's not perfect, either, but it feels no need to apologize. America's sports car is very comfortable with itself, and it's proud of what it is. Like the country it represents in this poll, the Corvette comes off as gauche to some. Offensive, even. Those people will roll their eyes and reflexively vote for the "classier" Jaguar XF below. To hell with those haters. After spending time behind the wheel of this Corvette Grand Sport, one thing becomes readily and quickly apparent: haters hate 'cause they can't hang. I love this car. God bless America. - Alex Nunez
2010 Jaguar XF - Click above for high-res image
All that whining about taxation, representation, blah, blah, blah - that doesn't seem to have worked out. Do you honestly think the plutocrats in DC represent you, Joe Sixpack? That other tired old saw about hard work being rewarded (it just puts you in a higher tax bracket where they take more) might give you the spending money to purchase some nice wheels. You may swell with jingoistic pride to purchase the latest domestic nameplate; no doubt built in Canada or Mexico; but a better modus operandi is to buy the best and cry once.
"The best" infers old-world craftsmanship, and for cars you stand a shred of hope purchasing without hitting the MegaLotto, Jaguar is tops for tradition-steeped sedans. Let's skip over the fact that another of her former colonies now owns England's Growler and consider this import before tossing it into the harbor. With the XF, Jaguar finally broke its 1968 mold and came up with styling that's all new. It's sharp, and despite the break with fusty tradition, passerby still know it's a Jag. The 5.0-liter V8 sings rowdy songs as well as the Rolling Stones interpreted American Blues and when it carries a supercharger, it's nearly as quick as a Corvette. Trumping the sports-car-with-a-sailing-vessel-name, the XF's interior is a luxurious leather-lined cockpit for dogfighting. Tradition be damned, this global Jaguar sedan is the one you want when it's time to summon full-speed-ahead. - Dan Roth
And now, it's time to vote!