By now you’re aware that Americans miss out on the opportunity to buy some really cool, interesting cars that are available in other parts of the world. Maybe the manufacturer believes that it may not sell well here or perhaps the vehicle doesn’t stand a chance at meeting U.S. regulations. Regardless of the reasons, we miss out on some cool cars. What’s your favorite?
Japan is an easy place to start. The Honda Beat is still the most fun I’ve ever had behind the wheel and the Suzuki Every is a pint-sized party van. These little cars are full of quirks and offer tons of excitement in a diminutive package. Thankfully, many older Japanese cars can enter through our borders.
Then of course, there are the utes of Australia. There was a minute when it looked possible that we’d see some wonderful hoonaminos stateside, but they were cruelly snatched away from us.
I’d personally say that the third-generation Renault Twingo is one of the most interesting cars not sold here. We sort of got this car in the form of the third-generation Smart Fortwo. They are rear engine, rear-wheel-drive and have an optional manual transmission.
The Smart and the Renault share the same underpinnings and most of their mechanical parts. The third-generation Smart Fortwo is pretty fun for what it is. However, where the Smart is stuck with only two seats and 89 HP, the Twingo seats four and has up to 109 HP.
Plus, just look at the thing and tell me that it isn’t cute. Sadly, we don’t even get the Smart anymore.
So, what about you? Is there a car you look longingly at? Do you have any 25th birthdays marked on your calendar? What is the most interesting car not sold in America to you?