We’ve all heard that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and truer words have never been spoken if you love cars. While we get some great choices here in the U.S., other countries have some sharp-looking cars and trucks that will never make it to our driveways.
In some cases, it’s a marketing decision that’s based on consumer trends, but other times, the cars just don’t meet our safety or emissions standards. Regardless of what’s holding them back, these are some of the top cars that you can’t buy in the U.S.
European Sedan: Alfa Romeo 159
If you want a sedan with Italian style, you don’t have many choices in the U.S. To make matters worse, the ones we do have, like the Maserati Quattroporte, aren’t exactly affordable. In Europe, Alfa Romeo sells sedans like the 159 that stand out from the pack, offering Italian style in a small, upscale package. All hope isn’t lost, however. The 159 is set to be replaced in 2014 by a new model, the Alfa Romeo Guilia, which the automaker plans to sell in the U.S.
Compact Car: Audi A1
Compact cars like the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 offer a great deal of style, but their retro-inspired looks may not be for everyone. That’s where a car like the Audi A1 steps in, with its good fuel economy and modern looks. Audi originally thought that the A1 wouldn’t sell well in the U.S., but with gas prices on the rise, a car that slots in under the Audi A3 might not spend much time on dealer lots.
Compact Truck: Ford Ranger
While there may still be a few 2011 Rangers on dealer lots, Ford has stopped selling its compact pickup truck in the U.S. Additionally, Ford added insult to injury by redesigning the Ranger that we can’t have. Ford sells the new Ranger in 180 other markets, so while full-size Ford trucks continue to sell like hotcakes in the states, you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want a smaller truck like the Ranger.
Off-Road SUV: Land Rover Defender
Rugged, off-road SUVs seem like a dying breed, and the Land Rover Defender is nearly as iconic as four-wheelers like the original Jeep CJ and the early Ford Bronco. The Defender earned a cult following when it was sold here in the 1990s, but new regulations in 1998 required airbags for both front-seat passengers. Since Land Rover couldn’t fit airbags without major modifications, they stopped importing the Defender to the U.S.
Hot Hatchback: Volkswagen Scirocco
The Volkswagen Scirocco originally hit U.S. streets in 1975, but just like acid-washed jeans, the low-slung hatchback faded out in the late ‘80s. In 2008, Volkswagen reintroduced the Scirocco, but the new car is only available in Europe. On this side of the pond, VW feared that the Scirocco might cannibalize sales from the GTI, and that the Scirocco’s base price would be too expensive. That could change, however, as some industry analysts suspect that the Scirocco could return to the U.S. after it gets redesigned.
If your ride is as awesome as some of these cars, you’ll be cruising all over town. To find out the gas prices in your area, visit Allstate.com’s Gas Price Locator.