The 4th of July is upon us. A date which doesn’t really have that much significance in modern Britain, but is of the utmost importance in modern America. Our friends across the pond will be carving the ceremonial turkey as you read this, and we’re paying tribute by listing 10 truly great American cars from the Sports, Classic, Saloon and SUV categories. Which is your favourite slice of the states?
The Mustang embodies the United States perfectly. From the latest model right back to the very first examples back in 1965, it is undoubtedly American. First appearing in pop culture in Goldfinger, Steve McQueen’s Bullitt, also Diamonds Are Forever and countless other movies, music videos and television programmes. The Mustang only really became readily available on our shores in 2015 when Ford finally decided to create the car in both left and right-hand drive.
The second and, arguably, even more, famous American Sports car is the Chevrolet Corvette. These are even older than the Mustangs, with the first model being released way back in 1953. The Corvette never really stood on the toes of the Mustang though, as the Ford evolved to be more of a comfortable and powerful GT car while the Corvette evolved to become a monstrous supercar killer with more performance but slightly less comfort. The Corvette is actually on sale in the UK, which often surprises people, but the prices start from a heavy £64,135.
Designs like this one never really caught on over here, did they? The Buick Riviera was a ‘personal luxury’ car built from 1963 to 1999. An incredibly fashionable car which was available with endless amounts of lavish styling specifications to suit every buyer's needs, but perhaps the most American thing about the Riviera was the fact that all of the 8 models were all available with large V8 engines. The Americans do love their V8s...
The GTO is a muscle car that went toe-to-toe with the Mustang when it was released in 1964 right up to the end of production in 2004. The GTO had just 4 generations throughout its 40-year lifespan and it was available as both a coupe and a convertible.
Duesenberg Model J
The Model J from Duesenberg is one of the first luxury automobiles ever made. Released all the way back in 1928 but even by modern standards, the Model J is simply gorgeous. Every model was hand built for the wealthiest of customers however the biggest problem the Model J had was the timing of its release. One year after production began came the stock market crash which crippled America and lead to the Great Depression. The Model J was in production from 1928 until 1937.
Tesla Model S
Is this the most important car to come out of America since the Model T? The Model S is the most complete, desirable and impressive electric car on the market. Elon Musk and his merry men set the bar extremely high when they released the Model S to the public in 2015 and car manufacturers are still some way away from catching up. The Model S is now able to complete up to 335 miles on one charge while still having the performance necessary to go from 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds, which is faster than pretty much anything else on the road. Out of all the iconic cars in this list, the Model S might just be the one that takes the most space in the history books...
The CTS is a prestige ‘Sedan’ (saloon) car from Cadillac which would compete with the likes of the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 if it were sold over here. Cadillac is certainly toward the top of the hierarchy of American car manufacturers and you can see why. The Cadillac CTS is loaded with premium leather and wood finishes on the inside and the fit and finish of the car is exceptional.
In 2018 the Jeep Wrangler has entered its fourth generation and the new model still possesses the robust and aggressive characteristics which have helped the Wrangler become so popular. The latest version is now loaded with clever technology to keep up with the competition, but the Wrangler hasn’t lost it's ‘go anywhere’ attitude and ability.
The new Wrangler is also on sale now in the UK from £37,965.
The Ford Explorer is another car that Ford has never sold in the UK, which is quite annoying because we really like the bold and muscular appearance of this titan. It’s a luxurious 7-seater with an outstanding road presence but there’s a good reason why it is not on sale in the UK, and that’s the fuel economy. You can get 24 mpg from the Explorer on the highway or 17 mpg in the city, which just isn’t realistic with our fuel prices.
If you’ve never been to America then you won’t appreciate just how colossal these iconic pick-up trucks are. Tall, wide, long and very heavy, the Ram is another car that has never been put on sale in the UK despite being incredibly popular over in the states. There are a number of reasons for this but first and foremost it’s the economy. The Ram is available with an ‘Ecodiesel’ engine but it is a 3.0-litre unit and still only achieves 27 mpg on the highway which is appalling by European standards.