• 10 cool cars we don't get in Canada

    Amidst all the global cars revealed at the 2016 Paris Auto Show - we showcase 10 cool cars that aren't for Canadian consumption.
    • renault rs

    Sure, we get European brands in Canada. VW, Mercedes, BMW, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi—it’s a pretty long list. Thing is, with the exception of VW and Fiat, these are all luxury brands that actually aren’t that representative of the real bread-and-butter of European manufacturers, and that’s affordable fast hatches, station wagons and microcars. There’s even a pickup or two that we’d love to see.

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    • dacia sandero

    Dacia Sandero

    James May likes them. That is all.
    • koleos

    Renault Koleos

    Yes, that’s right: another crossover from a European brand; but didn’t I just say how much I loved Euro wagons? I did, but knowing how cynical North America has become when it comes to those, I’d say this has a better shot. Measuring in at about the size of a Kia Sorento, it once again looks the part. Especially in the “Initiale” (don’t ask) spec seen here, which means pizza-sized wheels, Skookum LED DRLs and seats fit for a Land Rover Discovery Sport as opposed to a Nissan Rogue, with which it shares its chassis geometry. Throw in a pair of torque-rich diesels and ground clearance enough for some actual off- roading, and you’ve got a good-looking winner.
    • suzuki s cross

    Suzuki S Cross

    I know what you’re going to say: Suzuki automotive had their chance here, and they blew it. Maybe so. I’ll argue, however, that’s because they simply weren’t building the right cars at the time. Take the S-Cross, for example. Looking something like a cross between a Jeep Renegade and Buick Encore, it’s a nice mix of ruggedness and sportiness that manages to be as such without looking like a Tonka truck, like the Renegade does. It’s not hugely powerful, but it still gets a fuel-efficient turbocharged motor and would work perfectly as a city runabout regardless of weather, because it has AWD, too. Anyone who’s ever experienced the North American-spec SX4 (or, indeed, the Samurai Jeep) will attest to just how well Suzuki does its AWD systems.
    • renault clio

    Renault Sport Clio RS16

    This side of the various go-fast Golfs and Ford Fiestas and Focuci we’re seeing here (took them long enough, especially in the case of the Focus RS), we just don’t really have that many cool fast-hatches in North America. That’s not so in the case of the Europeans; they’ve been doing this for years, and doing it well. Look no further than Renault’s latest entry into the genre for just how good these can be; its turbocharged 271 hp and 265 lb-ft. makes it the most powerful showroom-spec Renault ever. Racing seats (with optional racing harnesses) in-yer-face styling, great wheels wrapped in supercar-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber and a proper six-speed manual transmission. It’s just a concept for now, but you know they’re going to do it, and you know it’s going to rock it.
    • mitsubishi l200

    Mitsubishis that are actually kind of cool

    No, we’re not actually talking about the Lancer EVO – it’s as dead there as it is here – but more the beleaguered Japanese brand’s bread-and-butter for the rest of the world: light trucks. The Pajero is perfect for those who just can’t get the feeling of driving their old Isuzu Trooper, while the L200 pickup is a compelling mix of ruggedness and lifestyle-ness that you won’t find this side of a Toyota Tacoma in Canada.
    • opel adam

    Opel Adam

    Looking like an Audi A1 from the side (right down to the optional brushed-aluminum roof and pillars) but costing a whole lot less, the Adam from GM’s German subsidiary is once again another example of a car perfect for our cities, where folks are downsizing – both in the vehicular sense and otherwise – all the time. There are three engine choices in Europe, but all we’d need is this one: a three-cylinder turbo unit, good for 85 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque – that latter figure is equal to what’s made by the bananas Fiat 500 Abarth. Call it a Chevrolet Spark, for all we care. Just get it here.
    • renault twizy

    Renault Twizy

    Oh, it’s tiny all-right; seating for one, an EV motor good for 80 km/h but like the car itself, the charge time is also tiny: 3.5 hours gets you a full charge and about 100 km of range. Could you imagine threading this through the city, though? Of course, for many in Canada it would likely be a second fair-weather car, but there’s a lot more on offer here -- you know, like a roof, a windshield, headrest and even a pair of gullwing doors – than there is in a scooter. And there are plenty of those around our fair country.
    • peugeot 508

    Renault Laguna and Peugeot 508 wagons

    The existence of the 5008 and its meagre power figures does go to show why Europeans are so good at building vehicles like these. For starters, just look at them; the Renault gets a spectacular front end, while the 508’s profile portrays an air of luxury that I’ll bet would even make wagon haters forget it’s a wagon. Inside, you’ll find as much luxury in the upper trims as you would in any mainstream crossover here, and you’ve got lower lift-over height and more room inside, too boot. What’s not to like?
    • peugeot 5008

    Peugeot 5008

    The 5008’s inclusion on this list of for-Europe-only love is a little ironic in that for 2017, it ditches its very European people-mover digs for a much more American SUV profile. Thing is, it looks so much cooler than most of the full-size SUVs available here today. With the exception, perhaps, of the Volvo XC90. Which, of course, is also European. It’s practical, too, what with a folding front passenger seat and removable third-row seating. The problem, of course, is that like so many European models, the most powerful engine you’re going to be able to get is a 2.0 litre diesel that makes – wait for it – a stratospheric 118 hp.
  • Citoren C4 Cactus

    The good news here is that reports have the C4 Cactus’ C3 cousin coming to North America in its latest iteration. So maybe there is a chance that we’ll get to see the Cactus, with all its plastic body cladding (called “Airbump”, it’s on the doors and it can be easily switched out to add some cool contrasting colours), ultra-modern looks and funky hatchback profile. It doesn’t make huge power, but with the Cactus, it’s all about efficiency and ease-of-use around town.

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