2001: Ford F-150 SuperCrew
Ford's F-150 was already deep into its long run as America's best selling new vehicle when it was decided to develop a true four-door crew cab version of the half-ton pickup. Sure, heavier duty crew cabs had been around for decades, but light duty half-ton pickups were virtually never sold with four conventional doors. But Ford's F-15- SuperCrew, was something of a revolution. Soon virtually all the F-150s sold at retail to consumers were SuperCrews and almost instantly Ford's competitors were building similar trucks. The four-door cab didn't just make the F-150 a better truck, but suddenly a pickup was a viable alternative to the family sedan.
Why it's uniquely American: Because for about half of us, the family car is now a truck.