If you’ve ever been to the States you’ll have noticed a number of things: there are a lot of people who may have had a few too many slices of American Pie; your British accent really does sound as cute as you’d hoped; and one American meal size equates to around three over here.
These are of course sweeping generalisations, but you may well have noticed something else that it would be fair to say isn’t a generalisation – Americans like their cars big. This isn’t just true in the east, or on the boulevards of California, or in the deep south – it’s the same the whole country over. Be it a saloon, a Jeep or an estate that comfortably fits a surfboard, American cars are very American.
But this isn’t how every American wants it: there are many European cars that Americans would love to get their hands on, and some may surprise you…
Ford Focus Wagon To me, and I’d guess to you as well, the Ford Focus is a pretty bog standard car. Reliable, practical and affordable, yes – but it’s certainly not one you’d expect Americans to be crying out for. Americans do actually have the chance to buy a Ford Focus, but their moans seem to be around not being able to get the high-powered models – the 300-horsepower turbocharged 5 cylinder version, is one example, and the Focus Wagon is another. The Wagon adds extra space and is good looking alright, but we’d wager there are other cars that are higher up Uncle Sam’s wish list.
Renault Clio My first car was a Renault Clio. It did its job, it got me up and down the M1 to university and it lasted longer than I hoped it would. But would I want it to swim across the channel to me? No. But that’s what Americans want – a Renault Clio, with its “French beauty” and optional cup chassis. Maybe it’s because it was the first European Car of the Year, who knows? With the current Renault warranty offer of 4 years of warranty with first two years unlimited mileage, the car is expected to do very well outside its European comfort zone.
VW Polo GTI This one we’ll give them – not literally (we don’t want it taken away), but we can understand frustration at not being able to have this classic example of German reliability combined with GTI. We understand it all comes down to lower profit margins on compact cars, which, when combined with very pricey import costs, make the VW Polo GTI little more than a Stateside dream.
Mini One D The Mini is available in the States, but the One D is not – despite the moans of many environmentally-friendly yanks who claim it’s the car Americans need. The car isn’t special – but that’s the point. It’s stripped down, has a huge focus on fuel economy and not much focus on anything else. It takes a very lengthy 11 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph, but if you want to help save the planet, you don’t care about that.
Lada Niva 4×4 I’m not even kidding, here. After four cars that Europeans would consider good, sensible and reliable cars, we thought we’d take this article a little bit up market. I bet there are many of us who didn’t even realise the Lada Niva still existed in any form – but it does, and the Americans want it. It’s a useful classic, and I for one can see it looking great cruising down Route 101 in Californ aye ay.
What do you think? Are there any cars you hate so much you’d love the US to take it off our hands? Or how about any cars available in the US that you want to see this side of the pond? Let us know below!