Friday, January 9, 2009

Cars I want in the United States... NOW!

We all know that in the United States we are not graced by some models or manufacturers. We can be happy we don't get some of them, such as the Perodua Kelisa, or anything from China (except for maybe the Ssangyong Chairman). The following list is several cars that I would seriously consider purchasing if they were sold in the United State. The list consist of several Fords, making me wonder why we have to put up with the crap they try to pass off here. Others are European models where the manufactures do not currently sell here. Finally, we also have the one Japanese model to be politically correct.

Alfa Romeo 159: I first saw this car studying abroad in Australia. With an Italian tuned 3.2 v6, awd, and stunning looks, the 159 makes all other entry-level luxury cars (except for maybe an A4) look dull and uninspired. I keep my fingers crossed for Alfa's return to the United States in hopes that I could purchase this car. We need alternatives to the stoic German offerings when it comes to entry level luxury cars in the United States.

Ford Kuga: Like all Ford's we don't get in the United States, the Kuga looks awesome. I have always though the European "Kinetic" design language looks on par with Jaguars, maybe even Aston Martin. Ok, thats a stretch, but they still look great. With 2 or 4 wheel drive, a diesel engine capable of over 4o mpg, and a manual transmission the Kuga would be a perfect competitor to the comparatively dull Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Honda Odyssey: I'm not talking about the family version we get here but rather the Japanese version. This car is a minivan/wagon that looks cool. It a better adaptation of the of the Ford Freestyle. Its got a three rows of seats, a four cylinder engine, and urban good looks. I had to include one Asian offering that I thought we should also have the opportunity to purchase.

Fiat 500: With Smart Cars and Minis basically running off dealer lots, bringing the Fiat 500 to the United States with yet another sensible urban car. While the retro looks tag-team on the success of the Mini, the 500 eschews the Mini's overwrought interior with simple yet elegant controls. With a wide variety of engines available, the 500 would appeal to many consumers looking for a fuel efficient city car.

Fiat Panda: Like the Fiat 500 with which the Panda shares its platform, the Panda is a well sized city car. The Panda combines hatchback convenience with cute-ute versatility. Fiat claims that the Panda can hang with true off roaders (like a Range Rover). I appreciate its size, functionality, and features. The Panda proves that economy cars don't have to skimp.

Ford Mondeo: Most American got there first glimpse of the new Mondeo when it had a cameo as James Bond's new whip in Casino Royale. Like other European Fords, the Mondeo features "Kinetic" design language. Having sat in a Mondeo, I feel as though the quality of the interior is on par with modern Volkswagens. It's a shame Ford continues to push its "bold-American" design here.

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