11 Cars We’re Glad Are Not Available Here
Here in the U.S., we often look across the pond and wish we could get a crack at some of their awesome cars. Models like the Civic Type R and Focus RS of yesteryear, and today’s Renault Megane all leave us drooling from afar. However, there is a whole other side to the overseas market that we often overlook, and that is the sea of ugly, underpowered, and unsafe cars that roam the streets of other countries.
We took a look at all the new overseas models and picked the 10 that we are happiest about not being available in the U.S.
As a whole, Skoda – one of the many smaller automakers owned by VW Auto Group – doesn’t produce anything that looks overly great. Some of its models are decent, but the Yeti, certainly lives up to the hideousness its name implies. Its stubby nose, skinny track, and high roofline give it awkward proportions. I am aware that this likely makes hauling people and cargo easier, but it is not easy on the eyes.
In addition to being ugly, the Yeti is also grossly underpowered in its base format, as its 1.2-liter engine musters up just 108 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque.
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroen, a company known for sleek hatchbacks, went the crossover route and released one of the funniest looking models ever. If the C4 Cactus’ slit-like headlights and oddly proportioned body aren’t enough, it’s AIRBUMP system, while a neat concept, just looks silly. These are small patches of rubber at points of the body that are most likely to get hit. Do they prevent damage? Sure, but I am not confident that these odd splotches of rubber look any better than a small dent.
On top of being weird looking, its base three cylinder engine produces just 74 horsepower and 87 pound-feet of torque. Sluggish doesn’t even begin to do this model justice.
With it threatening coming to the U.S., Geely has upped the styling of most of its vehicles. The GC2 (known as the Panda in some markets), however, is the exception to this rule. This tiny hatchback is about as weird-looking as they come, thanks to its face that is unsurprisingly Panda-like.
In addition to looking odd, its most-powerful engine produces just 84 horsepower and 81 pound-feet of torque. So, this odd-looking hatchback adds a new meaning to the word “slow.”
The Qubo’s proportions actually make the Skoda Yeti seem almost normal. Its super-short hood and high roofline are bad enough, but its protruding front bumper makes Jay Leno’s chin look normal. Terrible doesn’t begin to explain the design of this MPV. Like the Skoda, I am sure the Qubo’s high roofline is useful, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
With engines that range from 80 to 95 horsepower, the Qubo is more than just silly looking, it is super-slow too.
While cheap electric cars are great, automakers who build these cars always seem to make them too funky. In the U.S., our example of this is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Europe has its Renault Twizy. The Twizy looks like it just rolled of the floor of an auto show, and that is not always a good thing. What’s more, its electric motor produces just 17 horsepower and 42 pound-feet of torque, making it outrageously underpowered.
What can I say about the Tata Nano that hasn’t already been said a million times? I get it, it is a dirt-cheap Indian car that caters to an emerging market with severe income issues. Of course, some corners have to be cut when offering a car this cheap, but does it really have to be so ugly?
The Nano looks like rolling jelly bean, thanks to its rounded front end and high roofline, and its wheels look like they are no larger than 12 inches. One false move, and it looks as if the Nano will somersault down the road.
China has become infamous for its knock-offs, and the latest trend is to make lookalikes of high-end automobiles. The Landwind X7 is one of those. This model is almost a direct cut and paste of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, leaving buyers wondering if the Land Rover is really worth the extra money.
Well, Landwind is notorious for its low safety ratings, plus its powertrain is nothing compared to the Land Rover’s turbocharged four-cylinder. Are you willing to ride in a death trap that looks like a Range Rover to save around £26,000? I know I am not.
Nothing Mitsuoka makes is overly gorgeous, but the Viewt is especially cringe-worthy. Retro is a cool thing, but there comes a time when it’s just too much. The Viewt is an example of the latter. It looks like it was ripped straight from the 1960s, thanks to its oval grille, round headlights, chrome bumpers, and simple body lines.
Its powertrain does it no favors either, as its 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine produces just 78 horsepower and 78 pound-feet of torque.
Reva has never produced good-looking cars, but the E2O is right up there with the ugliest. It’s great that the company is trying to improve the state of the environment by creating a small EV, but does it really have to look like this?
At just 129 inches long, 59.6 inches wide, and 61.4 inches tall, its proportions are way out of balance. Add to that a 25-horsepower engine and unknown quality, and we have a car that we’re glad is not available in the U.S. I will give it credit for having a respectable 75-mile EV range on a five-hour charge, but it is still not something American buyers would want.
The Mitsuoka Ryugi is a notch above its sibling, the Viewt, but it is not much better. Like its simpler sibling, the Ryugi has a retro-meets-modern design that just doesn’t mesh well, as its bulky grille and circular headlights are not a good match for the rest of the body.
Like the Viewt, the Ryugi also gets no help from its powertrain, as its least-powerful engine is a 1.5-liter that cranks out just 102 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque. Slow and ugly definitely won’t satisfy buyers in the U.S.
Citroen Berlingo Multispace
Ah, the UK is chock-full with awkward MPVs, and the Citroen Berlingo Multispace is just another example of this. Its squished nose and high roofline leave a lot to be desired in terms of style, while its underpowered engines make it very sluggish.
I will give it credit for having a pretty innovative and useful interior, but that doesn’t make up for it ugliness and wheezy engines.
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