We Brits are spoilt for choice when it comes to what we can drive. In the UK, there are more than 50 different car brands, offering literally hundreds of different models collectively.
Of course, the most popular cars are offered by Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, BMW, Citroen, Toyota and Audi among others, but there are also many models built by some of these mainstream manufacturers that aren’t offered on the UK market that are instead enjoyed by our European and US counterparts.
We’ve listed the standouts here…
History will tell you that Brits aren’t very keen on big cars if they carry a French badge. Poor performers over years gone by include the Renault 25, Peugeot 605, Renault Vel Satis, Peugeot 607 and Citroen C6, which famously failed to reach double-digit sales figures one year.
The failure of these cars to make an impression on the British car buying public means you’ll never find a Talisman in a Renault showroom in the UK. It may not be worth Renault’s time bringing it across the Channel, but we still wouldn’t mind having a spin in this stylish saloon/estate.
Once upon a time, you could walk into a Vauxhall showroom and test drive an Ampera. But not any more.
This four-seater petrol-electric hybrid fell short in every area when competing with Toyota’s Prius Plug-In Hybrid and anyone keen to exploit the eco-cred and fuel-saving capabilities of a plug-in knew that.
After the original Ampera’s run came to an end, General Motors replaced it with the all-electric Ampera-e in the States, but decided against offering the successor in the UK under the Vauxhall marque.
What do you get when you merge a three-door with a five-door? Something resembling the Veloster perhaps, which has two passenger doors on the off-side and one on the driver side. Ker-ay-zee.
It’s a kooky idea and the Turbo had a fair bit of wallop, hitting 62mph in under eight seconds, but not enough to make it worthwhile for Hyundai to sell the model in the UK.
Before the Focus, the Corolla was the world’s biggest-selling car and it still seems remarkable that a car with 40 million sales over 50 years is being kept from British motorists.
The film famously claims ‘there can be only one’, but in the UK, there can’t be any.
This ‘sophisticated’ seven-seat SUV is built in Indiana and only available in the US and oddly enough, in Moldova and Ukraine.
Volvo S60 Polestar
The S60 is one of Volvo’s less popular models so the idea of a performance version coming here is a non-starter. Brits much prefer wagons to saloons, which is why we have the raspy and potent V60 Polestar instead.
Skoda Rapid Spaceback Scoutline
Like the Volvo we just mentioned, the Rapid and its fat-bottomed Spaceback variant is another poor seller. Consequently, there would be few takers for a version that has delusions of off-road capability.
Renault Clio Estate
We love the Clio in the UK.
The current fourth-gen Clio is great, thanks to having the wispiest handling in the supermini segment, attractive running costs and it’s well styled too.
But an estate version? Not for the British, even if its rivals such as the Skoda Fabia and Seat Ibiza are available in load-lugger mode.
There are tons more examples we could’ve gone at but we’ve picked out our personal favourites here. Which car would you like to drive that is still being kept from UK motorists? Tell us down there in the comments.