These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.

These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Photo: Volkswagen

Living on the U.S. - Mexico border I grew up seeing many foreign cars, and I can’t in good conscience keep them all to myself anymore.

I started thinking of Mexico’s cars after seeing the announcement that the base Volkswagen Golf will no longer be produced for the U.S. market. I wondered whether it would remain in production at all, which got me thinking about the Volkswagen Polo, the smaller VW hatch. And finally I thought of all the wonderful cars I see around Mexico or in the Rio Grande Valley.

So here’s a slideshow of some of my favorites:

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

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Mexico Car Production Plants

Mexico Car Production Plants

But first, I wanted to show this map to give an idea of the relationship between our neighbors to the South and the industry we love. The map shows where Mexico’s plants are and which cars they produce. I knew about the more prominent ones, such as Volkswagen’s Puebla plant, but had no idea production was so spread throughout the country.

Neither did I know that the auto industry is Mexico’s biggest manufacturing sector. Many carmakers produce in the country from Ford, to General Motors, to Volkswagen, to Nissan and on and on.

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2021 Volkswagen Polo

2021 Volkswagen Polo

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Screenshot: Volkswagen

This little car is a supermini hatchback that’s been around since 1975. It’s something of a little brother to the Golf and while it has grown a bit — like all modern cars — it’s still a compact hatch. VW Mexico has three hatchbacks in their lineup and the Polo is the middle model.

The Gol is the entry level hatch, followed by the Polo and then the Golf GTI. The Polo comes in two variants, the base Startline and the Special Edition seen here.

The Special has a few upgrades, like blacked out wheels, mirrors and roof. It has better tech inside but it carries no performance upgrades. Both models get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 103 horsepower and about 113 lb-ft of torque. The Polo starts at $259,990 MXN, which is just over $13,000 USD.

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Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Screenshot: Volkswagen

This is one of the coolest pickups available anywhere. I first saw the VW Amarok years ago, after I bought a Mk.IV Jetta TDI and became obsessed with VW’s diesel engines. I saw it roll past and fixed my eyes to the diesel badge on the back of a mid-size pickup.

The latest Amarok comes with a four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel (BiTDI) or a V6 TDI. The four-cylinder produces 177 HP and 295 ft-lb of torque. The six-cylinder produces 221 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. The truck starts at $729,000 MXN or almost $37,000 USD.

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2021 SEAT Ibiza

2021 SEAT Ibiza

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Screenshot: SEAT / Volkswagen AG

This hatchback is closely related to the Polo, sharing the MQB platform that Volkswagen developed. But I see so many Ibizas around that it would feel like a betrayal not to include one.

Car folks love to argue which is better, with the SEAT Ibiza usually designated as the sportier of the two and the Polo more refined. If I had to pick, I’d go with the Ibiza because it reads more modern than the Polo.

It comes with a four-cylinder engine that produces about 108 HP and 114 lb-ft of torque. It’s slightly cheaper than its VW cousin, and starts at $258,900 MXN or just under $13,000 USD.

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Renault Oroch

Renault Oroch

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Screenshot: Renault

This handsome truck is a Dacia Duster in pickup form. It’s got all the charm of the VW Amarok, though it lacks the turbodiesel accolades of the German pickup. Maybe that’s why it undercuts the Amarok by half the cost. But the two are not direct competitors and their use-cases vary.

As an example, the Renault Oroch’s payload tops out at 1,400 pounds to the Amarok’s 1,900. Or compare it to the Amarok V6, which can carry up to 2,300 pounds. Either way, the Amarok is more trucky than the Oroch.

The Oroch’s engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder block that produces 138 HP and 144 lb-ft of torque. It starts at $305,800 MXN or about $15,300 USD.

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BMW 128ti

BMW 128ti

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Screenshot: BMW

This new BMW will proudly wear the ti badge! The 128ti is not yet for sale in Mexico but will likely hit dealers this year as an upscale BMW 1 Series.

This hatchback’s motor will be a four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo — not exactly a bi-turbo — that will reportedly produce 261 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. It will have a limited slip differential and a suspension tuned by the M Division.

It’s like deja vu, but better. Pricing is still unannounced but should not exceed the price of the top 1 Series, the M135i, which starts at $1,030,000 MXN or $51,600 USD.

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2021 Toyota Hiace

2021 Toyota Hiace

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Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

This is one of those vehicles I see everywhere, doing a lot of different jobs. It’s one of the most versatile machines on this list and is a great example of the utility vans provide. Whether it’s to haul cargo, or ferry people, or whatever else.

Not only that, but the Toyota Hiace is the perfect size. It’s low to the ground and narrow and still manages to haul up to 12 passengers. In 12-passenger spec it’s powered by a six-cylinder engine that produces 273 HP and 259 lb-ft of torque. In that same spec it’s priced at $626,300 MXN or just under $31,380 USD.

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Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008

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Photo: Peugeot

This is one of those cars that struck me as odd at first. I don’t love what Peugeot is doing with the front end and it’s headlights are offset in a strange way by the vertical LEDs, but it grew on me and I think it’s a good design once you see it moving.

The Peugeot 2008 is powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged engine that can produce up to 152 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. It’s also available with a slightly less powerful engine that brings down the SUV’s price. It starts at $393,900 MXN or just over $19,700 USD.

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2021 Suzuki Swift

2021 Suzuki Swift

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Image: Suzuki

This is one cool hatch from a carmaker that has left us, but stuck around in Mexico. The Suzuki Swift is available in standard four-cylinder configuration but there is a much more interesting version called the Boosterjet.

Like the Peugeot before, it has a turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 108 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual Swift Boosterjet costs $309,990 MXN, or about $15,500 USD.

I wonder what would have been of Suzuki if they had released cars as interesting as the Swift Boosterjet in the U.S. It looks like a practical car and it’s cooler than the econoboxes available to those who want cheap transportation in our market.

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Honda City

Honda City

Illustration for article titled These Are The Coolest Cars From Mexico That Are Not Available In The U.S.
Screenshot: Honda

There’s something about an unassuming compact sedan that I can’t help but admire. This is the kind of car that went out of style in the U.S. some time ago, but is still in use elsewhere because it’s just doing its job and needs no fanfare.

It reminds me of the Nissan Tsuru, only it’s safer. The Honda City took over the role of the Civic sedan for me after the Civic started to get larger and crazy with its design.

The City’s four-cylinder engine produces 116 HP and 107 lb-ft of torque. All three City trims have the same engine and the car starts at $274,900 MXN or just over $13,700 USD.

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Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

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