If you are a car enthusiast, you undoubtedly share my passion for vehicles, regardless of whether they are domestic or foreign car brands. American-made vehicles, such as Ford, Chrysler, and Buick hold a special place in our hearts. But they can get a bit old.
Although we’re perfectly happy with what we have at home, sometimes we feel the need for a little something on the side, if you know what I mean. And anything that comes from across the ocean holds a certain allure. So I decided to take some of the most desirable foreign car brands out for a spin.
What I did is pick out only the best of the bunch. Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, and Britain have a reputation for producing killer wheels. I gave cars from each of these countries a test drive, and quite a few of them left a lasting impression. So whether you are looking to get a new ride, choosing a Ford van, or are just passionate about anything car related, you will enjoy this read. Here are my favorite foreign car brands available in America.
One of the most popular car manufacturers in the world, Toyota has been around since the 1920s. Interestingly, although Toyota is a Japanese brand, much of its production is done right here in the U.S. Its line-up has been voted as top-selling every year in the last decade, and for a good reason.
Unlike most other car companies, Toyota doesn’t have numerous brands under its wing to satisfy a wide range of markets. Instead, it owes its popularity to the fact that it focuses on producing only top-quality vehicles for its consumers. Apart from its affordable Daihatsu vehicles and Lexus luxury cars, Toyota has remained a single-brand name.
Toyota’s luxury offspring, Lexus, offers stunning cars for a price tag not many of us could afford. But those who can say that owning a Lexus is like indulging in a guilty pleasure. Whether it’s a sports vehicle, a sedan, an SUV, or a hybrid, this premium Japanese brand is beloved all over America.
Mazda vehicles offer both mass appeal and affordability. The eye-catching models produced by this brand are not only fuel-efficient but also durable. Some of the most popular Mazda models in the U.S. are Mazda RX, MazdaSpeed3, and Mazda MX5. Let’s not forget the Mazda Miata, which was the top-selling roadster in the world in the last couple of years.
This Japanese brand is beloved worldwide because it flawlessly marries affordability and reliability. The brand is massively selling its most popular models in the U.S., and it shows no signs of slowing down, even in this economy. Some of the best known Honda vehicles are Odyssey, Civic, Acura, and Accord. They have proven time and time again to stand the test of time, securing this brand more and more loyal customers every year.
Nissan is another Japanese car manufacturer that American consumers adore for its reliable, low-cost vehicles. The company started out in 1914 as Kaishinasha Motor Car Works and was the first automaker to appear in Japan. However, it only became available in the U.S. in 1958. A decade later, Nissan became the world’s biggest automobile exporter, which testifies to the quality of their cars.
After experiencing some financial difficulties in the 1990s, Nissan joined forces with Renault. Mitsubishi became part of the alliance in 2016 as well. That resulted in sharing some of the key components among the brands, most notably, the engines. Together, these giants are the most serious competitors of Toyota and Volkswagen today.
Some of the iconic Nissan nameplates are Skyline, Maxima, Frontier, Titan, Fairlady, and Patrol.
As I already mentioned, Infiniti is the brainchild of Nissan Motors. It is also one of the most coveted foreign car brands in the U.S. This luxury car brand offers a variety of vehicle types, from SUVs to crossovers. Some of the most frequently bought ones on the American market are Infiniti Q60 and Infiniti QX80.
South Korean Vehicles
Hyundai is the leading automobile manufacturer in South Korea. It even owns a part of the Kia Motors company. Naturally, Hyundai has made quite an impact on the American market as well. The chances are that you will come across one of their most popular export models whenever you leave the house. Some models that you can see on your streets most frequently are Elantra, Kona, Santa Fe, Accent, and Tucson.
#8. Kia Motors
Kia Motors is the second-largest car producer in South Korea. What makes this brand stand out is the youthful design of its models combined with exceptional functionality. Fun-loving and stylish individuals go wild for Kia automobiles.
It is, therefore, no surprise that Kia models, such as Sorento and Sportage, can be seen all over the U.S., too. They are often compact, low-maintenance, and beautiful to look at. What more can the youth of America wish for?
German Motor Vehicles
When you think of top-quality cars, the chances are Volkswagen will come to mind. Indeed, it is one of the most distinguishable vehicle brands in the world. VW may have been founded by the Nazi labor union in 1937, but it has grown to be a top-seller in the automobile industry.
Volkswagen cars have a long-standing tradition of excelling at performance tests. They are also lauded for their appealing design and overall quality. The company’s famous “people’s car,” aka The Beetle, is recognized worldwide. It has practically become synonymous with the brand itself as well as its quality, and it has turned into a collectible, too.
Audi is a member of the Volkswagen group. But many people are unaware of that fact, as the brands couldn’t be more unlike each other. In fact, Audi is usually compared to Mercedes Benz and BMW.
This brand has a reputation for having the perfect combination of sportiness, elegance, and comfort. The most desired Audi models are Q5, A3 Convertible, A6, and Q3 35 TDI Quattro, to name but a few.
BMW is a world-famous luxury car manufacturer that came out with the likes of Z4 Roadster and M3 Coupe. It is currently partially owned and operated by Rolls Royce.
The saying goes that once you step foot inside a BMW, you never want to get out of it. That’s why the brand has a dedicated fan base that is growing by the day. What BMW drivers love about it is the sheer variety of features that come with it. Some of the most talked about are adaptive headlights, a head-up display, comfort access system, and dynamic stability control.
If you would like to bring excitement back in your life with a fast car, Porsche may be the brand for you. The Volkswagen-owned company offers a range of luxury and sports cars, such as Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, and Carrera GT. But it also has a decent line of SUVs and sedans that you may consider. Their cars comply with the top-notch quality standards but also come with a hefty price tag.
A fun fact — most of the Porsche models have engines at the rear of the car instead of the front. That is in part the reason for their unique appearance and appeal.
#13. Mercedes Benz
This German automaker company boasts high rankings in build quality and overall performance. The Mercedes Benz cars are super reliable, classy, and equipped with the latest technologies. That amounts to an exceptional driving experience that keeps this brand in the world’s top car producer positions.
Mercedes Benz separate their cars in classes, such as A Class, B Class, C Class, etc. These rankings tell us about the size and the type of vehicle. For instance, A Class is a subcompact luxury sedan or hatchback, while C Class is a compact coupe or convertible.
#14. Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo is not nearly as popular in the U.S. as it is in Europe. However, it has carved a niche in the racing industry as one of the reliable, powerful foreign car brands. Their vehicles are fast and agile, and the best-selling models are Giulia and C4 Spider.
Lamborghini is the trophy wife of luxury cars and is driven selectively among the wealthiest members of society. They are also a staple in car aficionados’ collections. Their prices may be sky-high, but are totally justified — they show superb performance and reliability test scores.
Ferrari is yet another Italian brand on the list. They produce beautiful, expensive sports cars, but they have also got the engine to show for it. They have perfect performance, functionality, and design scores.
Aesthetic design is what most users fall for in a Ferrari. Once they see its low floor, big wheels, and unique red shade, it’s hard to get their eyes off of it!
#17. Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce is probably the most evocative name on my list. It epitomizes quality, comfort, elegance, tradition, and luxury. But it will make your head spin when you hear the cost of their vehicles.
These cars may be reserved for the most affluent, but they have the engine to back it up. This brand also produces aircraft engines, so that expertise is undoubtedly present in their road vehicle motors, too.
#18. Aston Martin
Although this brand is a subsidiary of Ford, it was founded and manufactured in The United Kingdom. Aston Martin cars are pure luxury vehicles, eternalized in the James Bond movies. They are prestigious, fast, and a pleasure to drive.
Some of the models I particularly like are DB5, V8 Vantage, One-77, Rapide, and Vulcan. If you have a taste and the means for a premium car like one of those, do give Aston Martin a go.
American brands will forever hold a special place in our hearts, but some of the foreign car brands discussed above have really blown our minds. Hopefully, you’ve been intrigued by their characteristics too. And who knows? Maybe you’ll give one of those foreign car brands a run. If you do, make sure to let me know what you thought about it in the comment section below! Remember to like and share the article, and don’t forget to drive safely!