Best American Cars Available in the UK
There are some incredible, famous American cars out there – whether you're a serious car enthusiast or enjoy the occasional Hollywood movie, you're sure to recognise a few of the most iconic ones. Not all of them have made it across the pond, but simply read on to find out more about the best American cars now available on the UK market.
1. Ford Mustang
You’ve probably seen this show-stopping and sporty muscle car in movies like Goldfinger – muscular and with an iconic roar the Ford Mustang is one of the best-known American cars out there. While models of this flagship Ford have been available in the UK as imports for a while, a right-hand-drive version first landed here in 2015. It’s surprisingly good value for a sports car, with even the EcoBoost versions packing in a lot of power for the price.
All models of the Mustang have a gloriously fast and punchy drive, and the UK version has independent rear suspension to keep it nimble on twisty backroads, giving better ride comfort at lower speeds. Black alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry are standard on all UK Mustangs, so you’ve got all the gadgets to feel like James Bond, too.
2. Chevrolet Corvette
Everything you’d want from a true American beast, this brash-looking sports car has a gritty exhaust roar and is serious fun on the racetrack. Built by Chevrolet since 1953, the Corvette is a pleasure to drive – smooth over bumps and potholes, and capable of pulling a controlled tail slide. It’s surprisingly quiet too, with very little road noise even at high speeds, in spite of its mid-engine and removable roof. Inside, it feels like a fighter jet, with a dashboard full of light-touch controls. The latest Corvette model, the C8, is available as either a coupe or a convertible, and comes as a right-hand-drive in the UK.
3. Pontiac Firebird
Although production of this iconic muscle car ended in 2002, there are still a few Pontiac Firebirds about in UK garages. Available as a convertible and a hardtop coupe, this robustly built cult classic offers lots of power, high speeds and great kerb weight, making it sporty and comfortable to drive. If power’s a priority, avoid models from the mid-1970s – earlier ones have larger engines, while later versions are turbocharged. Newer models tend to be safer, too, with features like antilock brakes, airbags and power steering. If you want a truly head-turning Firebird, go for the Trans Am model with its eye-catching golden eagle design across the bonnet.
4. Dodge Challenger
The Dodge Challenger is a true muscle car with a big footprint and an even bigger engine. Its size means it’s a little slow on the race circuit, but great fun nonetheless – even with the smallest engine options. The Challenger is available with a wide range of engines and trims, all of which have meticulous tyre and suspension tuning for maximum enjoyment. On top of the performance, every inch of the interior delivers the classic American car feel, with coloured accents and leather sports seats. There’s even space for four to be comfortable and room in the huge boot for a good amount of luggage, making the Challenger a great option for travelling in style.
5. Chevrolet Camaro
The fastest car on this list is by far the muscular yet sporty Chevrolet Camaro. It feels light and well-balanced, with direct steering and a nimble, responsive chassis. A drawback is the high beltline, which gives it a low, racer-style and restricts vision, creating a blindspot in the rear three-quarters. The Camaro makes up for this through its balance and composure, meaning it’s incredibly easy to handle in city traffic and just as capable at higher speeds on country roads. Newer models have active safety features like front collision warnings, as well as a reversing camera and touchscreen infotainment. Inside, it’s suave and sporty, with space for four and room for luggage, though backseat passengers might find the legroom slightly lacking.
6. Cadillac CTS
Sitting at the posher end of the spectrum, the Cadillac CTS offers driving refinement, premium features and unmistakable design. This luxury sedan feels classier than some iconic American cars, with a handsome appearance and an interior decked out in expensive-looking real wood and leather. Agile and fun to drive, the CTS has well-controlled suspension that makes for great handling and a comfortable ride for passengers. When it comes to features, no expenses are spared, with keyless entry, smartphone integration, a reversing camera and top-quality speakers as standard. Choose an upgraded trim for luxury additions including a heated steering wheel and a sporty exterior body kit.
7. Chrysler PT Cruiser
The Chrysler PT Cruiser is a mini-MPV that’s characterised by its 1950s-inspired retro looks. There’s plenty of used models available on UK roads – usually with manual transmission, but there are autos out there, too. Most Cruisers on this side of the Atlantic have a 2.0-litre engine and are reasonably efficient and reliable. Inside, the cabin is practical, spacious and well thought out, with an impressive 26 different interior combinations. The rear row of seats sits on rollers, making them easy to reposition, fold flat or remove entirely. To further add to the practicality factor, the Cruiser’s boot features a clever parcel shelf that can be used in six different ways – from acting as a security lid to functioning as a lower lid that your dog can sit on, as well as turning into sheltered picnic table.
8. Jeep Wrangler
This cornerstone of American automobiles features in iconic movies such as 2 Fast 2 Furious and Cars. Outside of the animation studio, the Jeep Wrangler is an all-wheel-drive SUV that’s more than capable off-road. Handling and ride quality are reasonable on tarmac as well, although the Wrangler isn’t especially economical to run for everyday use. It’s available as a four- or five-seater – both have loads of passenger space, but go for the five-seater if you want lots of room for luggage. The Wrangler doesn’t come with many standard features, so be sure to check that any model you’re considering has what you want. If more up-to-date safety and infotainment tech is essential for you, stick to the higher trims.
9. Hummer H3
Though it’s shorter than some estate cars, the Hummer H3 is just as capable off the road as many larger 4x4s. Point it at a sharp incline, up to 60cm of water or even a set of steps and it’ll get you there without a problem. On the road, though, the H3 is quite loud and gives a bouncy ride over potholes and speed bumps. For pure statement making, though, a Hummer’s hard to beat. It’s available as a manual or an automatic in the UK, and as a right-hand-drive. Despite being the smallest Hummer, the H3 has all the brash styling you’d expect from an American SUV.
10. Jeep Sahara
Jeep’s range-topping model, the Sahara, is a luxury SUV based on the Wrangler. The engine is swift off the mark and the eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and good in traffic, with finely balanced brakes adding to a relaxed driving experience. Four-wheel-drive models are very capable off-road – although you might worry about scraping its beautiful exterior on a wayward tree branch! Inside, the Sahara is just as gorgeous, with leather seats and a well-designed dashboard. The ride quality is good, and there’s plenty of space in all five seats. The boot’s impressively large too, and its capacity can be doubled by folding down the rear seats – there’s lots of easy-to-reach storage in the cabin too.
From muscle cars to luxury SUVs, you’ll find American cars of all shapes and sizes available in the UK. To learn more about individual models, have a read of our detailed reviews or browse our new and used listings today.