The grass is always greener... or so the saying goes.
It would seem that not only is the grass greener, but the cars are also cooler on the other side of the Atlantic ocean. For those in the know in the car world, Europe holds the cream of the crop, the cars we covet most, the rides we fantasize about and complain about not driving. Europe is our vehicular Narnia, but we still haven't found the right closet to climb through to get there without the exorbitant airfare and horrible exchange rates.
|Fiat Panda (Photo: Fiat)
Why are we so obsessed with European cars here in North America? Well, for starters, their emission laws are a bit different meaning they occasionally have higher-horsepower models in comparison to our conservative, fuel-sipping versions. Design-wise they often have “cooler” looks; it could be something in the water or the air. Diesel is also infinitely more popular in Europe, as are smaller vehicles (microminis anyone?) and EVs, as well (for the environmentally conscious). I could go on, and on.
Vauxhalls, Renaults, Alfa Romeos and Citroëns are all foreign to us, and therefore oh-so attractive. Europeans may think we're crazy for coveting some of these brands, but it's only because we want what we don't have. We're bored with what we've got, we're tired of it. Like a man looking to have an affair not because he's fallen out of love, but because he needs excitement, a change, a rush...
And I'm one of those rush-seekers.
I am forever jealous of my UK auto-journalist colleagues and the cars they get to drive home. From the Ford Focus RS to the Fiat Panda, I often wonder if I've chosen the wrong continent to live on. Then I wonder if my UK counterparts feel the same, or if they snigger into their Yorkshire teas at our pathetic lineup of vehicles against their uber-cool collections or if they're just as jealous of our array of big American muscle, pickups and man-eating SUVs.
The grass is always greener...