American world cars

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Buick Allure

Buick Allure
American cars you can't buy in America Buick Allure. Image © General Motors

American cars you can't buy in America

Travel outside the US and you'll find plenty of cars bearing American brand names that aren't sold in America. Though they wear American nameplates, many of these vehicles are designed in their native markets and are specifically tailored to the needs of local buyers. Click the thumbnails for more information about each car.

If the Canadian Buick Allure looks familiar, that's because it is identical to the US-market Buick LaCrosse in virtually every way -- except, of course, for the name.

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Buick Excelle

Buick Excelle
American cars you can't buy in America Buick Excelle. Image © General Motors

Like the Chevrolet Optra, the Buick Excelle -- sold exclusively in China -- is based on a Daewoo design. Buick also offers Chinese buyers a hatchback version called the Excelle HRV.

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Buick Park Avenue

Buick Park Avenue
American cars you can't buy in America Buick Park Avenue. Image © General Motors

Though the Park Avenue is no longer sold in the States, in 2008 it took over from the Royaum as Buick's top-of-the-line car in China. The Chinese-market Park Avenue has nothing in common with the front-wheel-drive Park Avenue sold in the US; it's based on the Australian-designed rear-wheel-drive Holden Statesman.

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Cadillac BLS sedan

Cadillac BLS sedan
American cars you can't buy in America Cadillac BLS sedan. Image © General Motors

Designed exclusively for Europe, the Cadillac BLS uses the same front-wheel-drive Epsilon platform as the Opel Vectra, Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura and Saab 9-3.

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Cadillac BLS wagon

Cadillac BLS wagon
American cars you can't buy in America Cadillac BLS wagon. Image © General Motors

European buyers can also get a wagon version of the Cadillac BLS. Like the sedan, the BLS wagon offers a choice of diesel or gasoline engines.

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Cadillac SLS

Cadillac SLS
American cars you can't buy in America Cadillac SLS. Image © General Motors

The Cadillac SLS (Seville Luxury Sedan) is unique to the Chinese market; it is essentially a longer-wheelbase version of the Cadillac STS.

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Chevrolet Astra (new)

Chevrolet New Astra
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet New Astra. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Astra is a rebadged version of the European-market Opel Astra sold in Mexico and Russia. The same car was sold in the US in the guise of the Saturn Astra.

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Chevrolet Astra (old)

Chevrolet Old Astra
America cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Old Astra. Image © General Motors

While Mexico gets the latest version of the Astra, other Latin American markets make do with the previous version, also based on the European-market Opel of the same name.

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Chevrolet Caprice

Chevrolet Caprice
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Caprice. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Caprice is the Middle Eastern version of the Australian-designed Holden Statesmen, a large rear-wheel-drive luxury car.

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Chevrolet Captiva

Chevrolet Captiva
Chevrolet Captiva. Image © General Motors

The Captiva is based on the same platform as other small General Motors CUVs such as the Pontiac Torrent, Chevrolet Equinox and Suzuki XL7, but while the Stateside versions use GM's 3.6 liter V6, the Captiva is powered by a 4-cylinder diesel or a smaller Australian-sourced gasoline V6. The Captiva can be found in Europe, Latin America, and Asia; it's sold in Australia and New Zealand as the Holden Captiva.

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Chevrolet Celta/Prisma

Chevrolet Celta/Prisma
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Celta/Prisma. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Celta is a mini-hatchback built in Brazil for the Latin American market. The recently-introduced sedan version is known as the Prisma.

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Chevrolet Corsa/Chevy

Chevrolet Corsa/Chevy
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Corsa/Chevy. Image © General Motors

This subcompact hatchback is based on the European-market Opel Corsa. It's sold in most markets as the Chevrolet Corsa; in Mexico it's known simply as the Chevy.

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Chevrolet Epica

Chevrolet Epica
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Epica. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Epica was designed by Daewoo, GM's Korean subsidiary. The Epica is sold in Europe and the Middle East; GM markets the car in South Korea as the Daewoo Tosca. The previous version of the Epica, also known as the Daewoo Magnus was sold in the US as the Suzuki Verona.

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Chevrolet Lumina Coupe

Chevrolet Lumina Coupe
American cars we can't buy in America Chevrolet Lumina Coupe. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Lumina name is alive and well in the Middle East; it's a rebadged version of the V8-powered rear-drive Holden Monaro, which was sold in the US and Canada as the Pontiac GTO. GM also offers a sedan version, a rebadged Holden Commodore.

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Chevrolet Meriva

Chevrolet Meriva
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Meriva. Image © General Motors

The Latin American-market Chevrolet Meriva is a rebadged version of a European-market Opel vehicle by the same name. Though designed in Europe, Merivas -- both Opel and Chevrolet versions -- are built in Brazil.

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Chevrolet Montana/Tornado

Chevrolet Montana/Tornado
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Montana/Tornado. Image © General Motors

This small front-wheel-drive pickup truck, sold as the Tornado in Mexico and the Montana in other Latin American countries, is based on the subcompact Corsa. It's also sold in South Africa as the Opel Corsa Utility.

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Chevrolet Omega

Chevrolet Omega
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Omega. Image © General Motors

The Brazilian market Omega was originally based on a European Opel car by the same name; it later became a rebadged version of the Commodore from Holden, General Motors' Australian division, but retained the Omega name. The Chevrolet Omega has a V6 engine and rear-wheel-drive.

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Chevrolet Optra Hatchback

Chevrolet Optra Hatchback
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Optra Hatchback. Image © General Motors

The Daewoo designed Chevrolet Optra can be found in markets around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, India and South Africa. Though known as the Optra in most markets, it's also known as the Chevrolet Nubira, Chevrolet Lacetti, and Daewoo Lacetti. China sells it as the Buick Excelle; here in the US it's sold as the Suzuki Reno.

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Chevrolet Rezzo/Tacuma/Vivant

Chevrolet Tacuma/Rezzo/Vivant
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Tacuma/Rezzo/Vivant. Image © General Motors

This tiny Chevy is a subcompact family car with a tall roof. Like many other world-market Chevrolets, this car was designed in South Korea by Daewoo and is sold under that name in some markets. It's called the Chevrolet Rezzo or Tacuma in Europe and the Chevrolet Vivant in South Africa and Latin America.

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Chevrolet Sail

Chevrolet Sail
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Sail. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Sail, available as both a sedan and wagon, is sold in China; before 2005 it was sold there as the Buick Sail. The Chinese-assembled Sail is also exported to Chile, where it's sold as the Chevrolet Corsa Plus.

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Chevrolet Spark

Chevrolet Spark
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Spark. Image © General Motors

The Chevrolet Spark mini-car is based on the Korean-designed Daewoo Matiz; you'll find it in such far-flung places as South Africa, the Middle East, India, and Latin America. In China it's sold under the Wuling brand, a GM division that makes trucks and vans with names like Xingwang, Yangguang, Sunshine, and Little Tornado.

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Chevrolet Vectra

Chevrolet Vectra
American cars you can't buy in America Chevrolet Vectra. Image © General Motors

Essentially a European-market Opel Vectra sedan with Chevrolet badges, the Chevrolet Vectra is related, but not identical, to the Saturn Aura. The Vectra as seen here is sold in Mexico and Chile; Brazil also has a Vectra sedan but it's a unique car based on the Astra.

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Ford C-MAX

Ford C-MAX
American cars you can't buy in America Ford C-MAX. Image © Ford

The C-MAX is the smallest of Ford of Europe's MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle, a.k.a. minivan) lineup, the others being the Galaxy and the S-MAX. Based on the Ford Focus, the C-MAX was originally called the Focus C-MAX when introduced in 2003; Ford shortened the name for 2007. (The C-MAX has since come to the United States, but it hasn't sold very well.)

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Ford Everest/Endeavour

Ford Everest
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Everest. Image © Ford

This Asian-market SUV -- sold as the Endeavour in India and as the Everest everywhere else -- is based on the Ford Ranger pickup. No, not the Ranger sold in the US, but a Mazda-derived version also sold in Asia as well as Europe. The Everest/Endeavour has seven seats and offers a choice of gasoline or diesel four-cylinder engines.

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Ford Fairlane

Ford Fairlane
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Fairlane. Image © Ford

The Fairlane nameplate is a blast from the past for American drivers, but it's been a regular part of Ford's lineup in Australia and New Zealand since the 1960s. As with the old American Fairlane, the version from Down Under features rear-wheel-drive and six- or eight-cylinder power.

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Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Fiesta. Image © Ford

Sold briefly in America during the late 70s, the subcompact Fiesta has been part of Ford's lineup in Europe and other parts of the world for over 30 years.

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Ford Falcon

Ford Falcon
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Falcon. Image © Ford

Ford began importing right-hand-drive versions of the American Falcon to Australia and New Zealand in 1960, but Ford of Australia began modifying the car to suit home-market needs in 1964. The Falcon has been part of Ford of Australia's lineup ever since. Today's Falcon is a rear-drive car with optional V8 power.

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Ford Focus

Ford Euro Focus
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Euro Focus. Image © Ford

Yes, Americans can buy a Ford Focus -- but not the version shown here, introduced in Europe, Australia, and several other markets in 2005. Note the sharper slope of the rear window and the heavily sculpted fenders. The most recent version of the Focus is nearly identical to the one sold in America.

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Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet

Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet. Image © Ford

Along with the hatchback, wagon and sedan, the European-market Focus is sold as a retractable-hardtop convertible, along the lines of the Volkswagen Eos.

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Ford Fusion

Ford Euro Fusion
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Euro Fusion. Image © Ford

While Americans know the Fusion as a mid-size sedan, Ford of Europe puts the Fusion badge on this handsome crossover utility vehicle.

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Ford Galaxy

Ford Galaxy
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Galaxy. Image © Ford

Minivans with forward-hinged (as opposed to sliding) rear doors have never done well in the US, but in Europe, where Ford sells the Galaxy, it's a different story. The previous version of the Galaxy, designed in conjunction with Volkswagen (who marketed it as the Sharan), is currently sold in Latin America.

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Ford Ikon

Ford Ikon
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Ikon. Image © Ford

The Ikon sedan is based on the European-designed Fiesta and is sold in several markets, including India, South Africa, China and Latin America.

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Ford Ka

Ford Ka
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Ka. Image © Ford

First introduced in Europe in 1996, the Ka was notable for its styling, radical even by European standards. The Ka continues to be sold in Europe and is also available in some parts of Latin America.

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Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Mondeo. Image © Ford

The Mondeo was been Ford of Europe's mid-size sedan since the mid-90s, with the latest version introduced in 2007. (Ford tried selling the first-generation Mondeo in the US as the Contour, with limited success.) Though similar in size to the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6, the Mondeo did not share the CD3 platform that underpins those two cars. Today's Mondeo is nearly identical to the Fusion we get here.

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Ford S-MAX

Ford S-MAX
American cars you can't buy in America Ford S-MAX. Image © Ford

Based on the Mondeo, the Ford S-MAX is a mini-minivan in the same vein as the Mazda 5. Ford sells it in Europe and China.

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Ford Territory

Ford Territory
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Territory. Image © Ford

The Territory is a 5- or 7-seat crossover utility vehicle sold in Australia and New Zealand. Though similar in size and appearance to the US-market Freestyle, the Territory is a unique vehicle based on the Australian-market Ford Falcon.

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Ford Tourneo Connect

Ford Tourneo Connect
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Tourneo Connect. Image © Ford

The Tourneo Connect is basically a passenger-carrying version of the Transit Connect. It is sold in Europe and competes against similar vehicles from Citroen, Peugeot, Renault and Fiat.

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Ford Transit

Ford Transit
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Transit. Image © Ford

The Transit is as familiar to Europeans as the Econoline/E-Series is to Americans. This European-designed working class hero comes as a van as well as a chassis cutaway which can be adapted to anything from an ambulance to a dump truck. The version shown here is the one sold in Continental Europe; the United Kingdom gets its own version with more conservative styling. The latest version of the Transit is now wold in the US.

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Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect
American cars you can't buy in America Ford Transit Connect. Image © Ford

Small panel trucks are popular in Europe and other parts of the world; Ford's version is called the Transit Connect. For now sells the Transit Connect in America, and other automakers will be introducing their own small van.

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Pontiac G3/Wave

Pontiac G3/Wave
American cars you can't buy in America Pontiac G3/Wave. Image © General Motors

Essentially a Pontiac-badged Chevrolet Aveo, this car is sold in Mexico as the Pontiac G3 and in Canada as the Pontiac Wave.

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Pontiac G5 Pursuit

Pontiac G5 Pursuit
American cars you can't buy in America Pontiac G5 Pursuit. Image © General Motors

While Americans get the 2-door coupe version of the Pontiac G5, Canadians can buy a 4-door version called the G5 Pursuit, a near-twin of the Chevrolet Cobalt sedan.

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Pontiac Matiz G2

Pontiac Matiz G2
American cars you can't buy in America Pontiac Matiz G2. Image © General Motors

While the Daewoo Matiz is sold in several world markets as the Chevrolet Spark, only Mexico gets this Pontiac-badged version, called the Matiz G2.