As car nuts, we often have a fascination with vehicles sold elsewhere that we can’t buy in our home country. While it’s certainly exciting to see something exotic or rare when traveling internationally, I also enjoy spotting everyday cars that just seem interesting, but are commonplace to the locals.
Recently, I took the family on vacation to Aruba. Since the island is off the coast of South America but also has a lot of Dutch influence, you will see a mixture of European and Latin American market vehicles. Luxury cars are super rare, likely due to high import taxes. I can count on one hand how many BMWs and Mercedes I spotted amongst the thousands of compacts and taxi vans. You also won’t find many large trucks either. There was a newer Chevy 1500 with a Duramax diesel near the hotel, which must have been a small fortune to get onto the island.
However, my favorite cars to see are the super common sub-compacts that seem to have so much more character than the ones we get in the States. Two, in particular, are the Suzuki Swift and Nissan March (or Micra). For the most part, you will find the early 2000’s generations of each.
Despite the fact that its 1.3-liter motor pumping out 92 horsepower is a bit of a letdown for a car named “Swift” it certainly has a look that makes you want to toss it into a corner hard.
My kids got a kick out of the Nissan Micra and my daughter said, “They have a lot of these mouse cars here.”
Often you will find the little Nissan in really cool colors like metallic pink or teal. Again these cars aren’t fast or particularly special, but they have character. Which is something that a lot of small cars lack in the American market.
What are your favorite “normal” cars to see when you visit other countries?