These machines are found elsewhere across the globe…but not here. Why would they be a good fit for Canadians? Read on.
(The other) Ford Ranger
Alfa Romeo MiTo Cloverleaf
Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion
Volvo S80 DRIVe
BMW 1-Series 5-door
(The other) Suzuki Swift
Jeep Wranger diesel
Honda Freed Spike
Peugeot Partner Tepee Outdoor
Toyota Corolla Verso
Volkswagen Multivan PanAmericana
Toyota Land Cruiser 70-Series
- (The other) Ford...
- Alfa Romeo MiTo...
- Ford Territory
- Skoda Yeti
- Citroen DS4
- Dacia Duster
- Volkswagen Polo...
- Volvo S80 DRIVe
- Honda Stream
- BMW 1-Series 5-door
- (The other)...
- Jeep Wranger diesel
- Audi A1
- Volvo V60
- Honda Freed Spike
- Renault Wind
- Holden Ute
- Opel Meriva
- Peugeot Partner...
- Fiat Panda
- Buick GL8
- Nissan Qashqai
- Honda Crossroad
- Toyota Corolla Verso
- Mitsubishi Triton
- Volkswagen Amarok
- Lada Niva
- Toyota Land...
What’s so special about it? Sold everywhere but North America, this is Ford’s latest small pickup truck.
Why is it perfect for Canada? We love trucks, and although the full-size F-150 sells like hotcakes, it’d be a good idea for Ford to sell a smaller truck capable of taking on the ever-popular Toyota Tacoma.
Key specs: Base diesel is a 2.2L 4-cylinder with a whopping 275 lb-ft of torque
What’s so special about it? It’s Alfa Romeo’s smallest hatchback, and (apparently) a hoot to drive.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Urbanites love their MINI Coopers. Scion isn’t selling many cars, so it seems that premium small hatchbacks are certainly on the radar of shoppers…plus, it’d give Fiat showrooms something to compete with Volkswagen’s (New) New Beetle.
Key specs: 170 horsepower and adaptive suspension
What’s so special about it? A proper, old-school rear-drive SUV with an optional turbocharged V6 engine (and diesels.)
Why is it perfect for Canada? The Ford Escape sells well enough, but we can’t wait for its replacement. The Territory is more like the old Ford Bronco than a cute ‘ute, something that would appeal to people who still do work with their SUVs.
Key specs: Available with a diesel from Land Rover, popular police vehicle in Australia
What’s so special about it? A small car-based crossover, the Yeti is like a miniature Subaru Outback.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Way cooler than any small SUV, the Yeti is a little more rugged and a little more utilitarian…think of it as a cross between a Honda Element and a Honda CR-V.
Key specs: Engines from the Volkswagen Golf, up to 1,750 litres of cargo space
What’s so special about it? Citroën’s latest hatchback blends a small size with premium performance, details…and awesome styling.
Why is it perfect for Canada? For most cities, the Volkswagen Golf is the perfect size. But not everyone wants to drive around in a drab-looking hatchback—hence why the MINI Cooper sells. But what if you combined the two, and sized it to compete with the MINI Countryman or Nissan Juke? A practical, urban-focused hatchback, aka the DS4.
Key specs: Panoramic windshield, five leather choices, massaging seats, super efficient
What’s so special about it? It’s a small, affordable, rugged, (optionally) diesel-powered SUV.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Think Honda Element, with real off-roading chops. The Jeep Patriot promised, but we think the Duster would deliver.
Key specs: Uses the Nissan Juke chassis, starts well under $20,000 Cdn for a version with four-wheel drive, six engine options
What’s so special about it? The world’s most efficient non-hybrid, achieving an incredible 3.9L/100km or 72 mpg. Diesel-powered, it’s as big as a Toyota Yaris.
Why is it perfect for Canada? We love diesels, we love saving money, and we like inexpensive small cars. What’s not to like?
Key specs: Better mileage than a Toyota Prius or smart fortwo
What’s so special about it? One of the world’s most efficient luxury cars, the DRIVe is powered by a 1.6L turbodiesel engine. Lame? Think again—it’ll still do 195 km/h, 0-100 in just over 10 seconds, and return 4.7L/100km (~60mpg.)
Why is it perfect for Canada? Our speeding laws mean we can’t go all that fast, so tons of power is wasted. Our country is huge, so we need something practical and comfortable over the long haul…something like the S80 DRIVe.
Key specs: More than 60mpg
What’s so special about it? A small minivan, the Stream is based on the Civic, has similar engines to the CR-V, and is available with all-wheel-drive.
Why is it perfect for Canada? The CR-V is perennially one of the best-selling vehicles in the country, as is the Dodge Grand Caravan—we can’t see why people wouldn’t go for a little of both!
Key specs: 7-passenger seating, available with all-wheel-drive, same size as a Mazda5
What’s so special about it? The smallest Mercedes-Benz, if you don’t count the smart fortwo.
Why is it perfect for Canada? More efficient than the smart fortwo, more practical, better-looking, and it wears the coveted Mercedes badge. Sell these in the low $20s and you’d give the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Ford Fiesta a fright.
Key specs: “Sandwich floor” pushes engine under car in a crash, adaptive suspension is standard, as big as a Toyota Yaris but taller.
What’s so special about it? A practical, small BMW hatchback…with rear drive.
Why is it perfect for Canada? BMW lacks a competitor to the Audi A3 and MINI Countryman, and while you can’t get the 1-Series with all-wheel-drive, we far prefer the looks of this version over the 1-Series Coupe sold in Canada.
Key specs: Good on fuel, 50:50 weight distribution, rear-wheel drive
What’s so special about it? One of the best-looking small cars, sporty, and priced competitively…think a MINI Cooper, from Japan, for the price of a Toyota Yaris.
Why is it perfect for Canada? While small cars don’t sell all that well here, the Swift would inject some much-needed love into the Suzuki brand.
Key specs: The “Swift Sport” makes 126 horsepower and is used as a rent-a-racer at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race track.
What’s so special about it? A Jeep with a diesel. If there’s another holy grail of off-roading, we’ve yet to see it.
Why is it perfect for Canada? See above.
Key specs: A diesel. In a Jeep. More than 300 lb-ft of torque and 6.5L/100km on the highway
What’s so special about it? Looks great, small, and way cooler than a smart fortwo…and nearly as efficient.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Great first car for rich kids, people tired of their MINI Cooper, and…uh…we just wanted to put it in this list?
Key specs: All models get direct injection and all-wheel-drive is optional
What’s so special about it? It’d remind us that Volvo still sells wagons.
Why is it perfect for Canada? We love the XC70 Cross Country, the XC60, and the XC90, but not selling a wagon version of the S60 seems like Volvo is forgetting their roots and denying Canadians the chance to buy a utility vehicle that isn’t jacked up unnecessarily.
Key specs: As low as 4.5L/100km (60 mpg) and as much as 692L of cargo space. Oh, it’ll tow 2,800 lbs with the base engine, too—or 4,000 lbs with the top motor.
What’s so special about it? It’s a slightly larger Honda Fit, with up to 8-passenger seating (!!) Did we mention it’s selling like hotcakes in Japan?
Why is it perfect for Canada? Honda keeps making their cars bigger, more complicated, and less practical. Canadians LOVE Honda because they always seemed to sell models that were inexpensive, good on gas, and practical…the Freed Spike is all three.
Key specs: Bi-level load floor, 8-passenger seating, super efficient
What’s so special about it? It’s a small, flip-top targa sports car.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Like a Mazda MX-5 Miata, but front-drive, with a weather-beating hardtop, and more trunk space. It’s an affordable sports car that you could drive year-round…if Renault has gotten their rust issues under control!
Key specs: Flip-folding top, same amount cargo space as a Toyota Yaris hatchback.
What’s so special about it? Drives like a car, hauls like a truck.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Small businesses have two choices: a big truck or a big van. It’s time they had a third: a truck that can be turned into a van—that drives like a car. Clear as mud?
Key specs: 650 kg payload (1,433 lbs), sports models get the Chevrolet Corvette’s motor…
What’s so special about it? Super practical, and looks like $1 million.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Chevrolet has the Cruze sedan and will be getting the Orlando small MPV. But while the Orlando should sell well, it looks like a block of wood. The Meriva is a family vehicle without the love handles, so to speak.
Key specs: Rear-hinged doors, “Flex-rail” cargo storage from dashboard to rear seats
What’s so special about it? Daft name aside, it’s practical, small, utilitarian, and good on gas.
Why is it perfect for Canada? I’ve been seeing the Ford Transit Connect everywhere; have you? The Partner Tepee is like the Connect, but also available in a hose-down family version. Think small SUV that looks a little off, but is way more practical than what we can buy now.
Key specs: Internal roof rack for plywood, extra storage, or whatever…
What’s so special about it? It’s a cute Italian car named after a cute bear.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Because it’s harder to mate a Nissan cube with a Fiat 500 than it is to make two real pandas shack up. And because we think Canadians would like to drive a car named “panda.”
Key specs: Super efficient, comes in all-wheel drive, the Italian Police use “Panda Climbing” versions in the mountains.
A panda once bit my sister…
What’s so special about it? A China-only luxury minivan sold by Buick.
Why is it perfect for Canada? It looks good, and because we think the Chrysler Town & Country needs some competition.
Key specs: It’s an updated Pontiac Montana/Chevrolet Venture
No, really! She was feeding the panda red grapes with a long, telescoping radio antenna given to her by Bootsy—her sister-in-law—a Texan long-haul trucker and amateur ham radio operator under the call signs: “Bootsy”, “Boots”, and “Boot”.
What’s so special about it? Far cooler than a Nissan Rogue, and the answer to the question, “Name a word with a Q in it that’s not followed by a U.” “Quashqai” does it twice…
Why is it perfect for Canada? Canadians already love the Rogue, and you can’t sell both at the same time, so we’re not sure Canada needs the Qashqai apart from it looking so much sexier than the Rogue.
Key specs: Safest small SUV in Europe, available with a diesel motor
We apologise for the fault in the captions. Those responsible have been sacked.
What’s so special about it? Like the old Civic Wagon, with the utilitarian aspects of the Element. We like its looks, too…
Why is it perfect for Canada? Again (not to put too fine a point on it) but Canadians buy lots of small SUVs that are practical and fuel-efficient. The Crossroad would serve those buyers well.
Key specs: Smaller than the CR-V, and discontinued after only two years (they don’t make ‘em any more.)
Mind you, panda bites can be pretty nasty…
What’s so special about it? It’s a Corolla wagon that’s not a Matrix.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Bring it in with a diesel, and Toyota has a bona-fide Volkswagen Golf TDI killer.
Key specs: Seven seats, 2.2L turbodiesel does 0-100 km/h in 9 seconds, a top speed of 205 km/h, and sips as little as 6.1L/100km of fuel—though not all at the same time!
We apologize again for the fault in the captions. Those responsible for sacking the people who were just been sacked have been sacked.
What’s so special about it? A small pickup truck, one that has won “best truck” in Australia two years running…
Why is it perfect for Canada? Like the Ford Ranger to start off this list (and the Volkswagen Amarok below), it’d fill a much-needed gap in the truck market. Our small truck options—Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma are getting rather stale…
Key specs: Have sold 2.8 million across the world in 140 countries since 1978.
What’s so special about it? A great-looking small truck—with a diesel—these are already selling well in Central/South America and Europe.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Again, we need more small trucks. Not everyone wants to drive an F-150!
Key specs: Amarok means “wolf” in Inuktitut, is the official Dakar Rally support vehicle, will do 7.6L/100km (37 mpg)
What’s so special about it? Like the Dacia Duster above, just more…Russian. Oh, and indestructible.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Laugh all you want, but the Niva punches far above its weight in utility and durability, and would sell well with out-of-doors enthusiasts who need rugged and reliable transportation.
Key specs: Sold since 1977, a restyled version is sold as the Chevrolet Niva, known as the “Russian Range Rover”
What’s so special about it? It’s a minivan that comes with a diesel and has all-wheel-drive.
Why is it perfect for Canada? Let’s just say that Canadians aren’t too taken with the Volkswagen Routan, and still have fond memories of the original Bus. We think the Multivan would appeal to our hearts as well as our minds.
Key specs: Multivans are available with high-tech options, like 4Motion all-wheel drive, dual-clutch transmission, blind spot monitoring and a Dynaudio stereo system
What’s so special about it? Do you have to ask? These Toyotas are the world’s most reliable vehicles, and over the decades they’ve been in production have literally put countries on the map. We could have added the Hilux light-duty truck to this gallery—but if we’re going to ask for a truck, why not go for its big brother?
Why is it perfect for Canada? Either truck or SUV versions are perfect for the more remote parts of Canada, where a broken down vehicle means certain death.
Key specs: Unstoppable
*It’s actually already sold in Canada, at a dealer in Saskatchewan, for mining/off-road use only