10 Detroit Motor Show cars we wish we had in the UK

13 Jan, 2014 10:11pm Luke Madden

From muscly SUVs to monster pick-ups, there are some uniquely American cars on show in Detroit that would look pretty good on UK roads

The great thing about going to US motor shows like the one held in Detroit every year is that we get to have a look around some of the models that never make it to the UK.

It’s a different world as manufacturers clamber to advertise their best-in-class 25mpg fuel economy and 13,500kg towing capability, while the V8 remains king and diesel engines are still struggling to gain a foothold.

Then there’s the sheer size of a lot of these cars. Some of the biggest pick-ups are so wide that they measure in at about a metre fatter than a VW Polo – imagine trying to squeeze that through the narrow lanes of a sleepy village in Hertfordshire. If you want an idea of how big American cars are then all you need to know is that the Audi Q7 is considered a mid-size vehicle.

Detroit Motor Show 2014 

Just as mad as the pick-ups and SUVs are the muscle cars, still out in force in Detroit with outlandish styling and huge engines. They’re terrible for fuel economy and most have relatively shoddy interiors but they’re just effortlessly cool. A Mercedes E63 AMG is undoubtedly the better car but that doesn’t stop a small part of us still pining for a Dodge Challenger SRT8.

So take a look at ten of the vehicles from the Detroit Motor Show that we wish we could get our hands on in the UK – even if in our heart of hearts we know they don’t make any sense for us at all.

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The cars are designed for the American roads and their way of life, people over there are perfectly happy doing a 200 mile round trip to work and back driving through the middle of a desert - Imagine doing that daily in a 1.2 Corsa or would you rather do it in a big comfortable, smooth V8 SUV? Plus when they pay half the price that we do for petrol why do they need to buy more economical cars?

Our government has made driving just plain boring, the fact its got to the point where a BMW 320d is considered a 5 star great to drive car just shows what this country has come to. I'd much rather be driving around in a 6.4 Charger SRT8 regardless of its build quality and sophistication, at least it'd be fun and interesting.

A quick few comments from across the border in Canada.
The Audi Q7 is definitely not a "midsize" SUV, even though it is not as gargantuan as Chevrolet Suburban. In Canada, fuel prices are typically 50% or more higher than in the US. While we don't favour the truly smaller cars of the UK and Europe, on average, we drive cars that are one size class down compared to the US. Diesels are popular here, but availability is limited because of the still-ignorant typical American "no diesel!" consumer and their marketplace, on which Canadian vehicle choice is typically based (Canada is about 10% of the size of the US market). With our higher-than-the-US fuel prices, while we historically love big V8s, we more often buy the V6s that come in those big cars and trucks that Americans love. We also typically buy the four-cylinder versions of smaller cars that Americans buy with the optional V6s.

My two sons and I are all over six feet tall. I've looked at a Dodge Charger SRT8 to replace my current "midsize" sports sedan that goes to autocross event and track lapping days, partly because just once in my life I want to own a larger RWD V8 sedan that can be comfortable and somewhat sporty - but also affordable. C$54,000 (list price, which virtually nobody here actually pays, including taxes; or about £30,000 at current exchange rates) is something I could do. Something similar in size and performance from Audi, BMW or Merc (I have driven them and would love one) is going to be double the price. Yes, that much more money does buy you better build quality. As much as I love a truly good car, I can think of a lot of things that I can do with tens of thousands of my hard-earned after-tax dollars.

Smug Canadian!