- Almost out of Mad Max (Dodge corporate photo https://www.dodge.com/charger/srt.html)

Top 5 cars I wish Australia Got

My top 5 cars that Australia never got

There are cars that we, as Australians, never even got a sniff at because the manufacturer didn't import them. Some of these are so expensive, for example, the Bugatti Veyron, that, even if they had been sold, I couldn't have bought them anyway . However, there are those that I would've liked to have bought -- if only the manufacturers sold them in Australia.

Here's my list of the top 5 cars I wish I could've bought in Australia from the manufacturer. This list includes the cars I may have looked at, and those which I might've bought.

A few may even surprise people, but onto the list.

The Pontiac Aztek - so ugly you have to love it

The Pontiac Aztek - so ugly you have to love it

5. The Pontiac Aztek

Before the series "Breaking Bad", I liked this car. Its proportions are wrong in the sense they are not quite right. This is to say, given a tweak of the proportions, the Aztek might even look "good". Case in point: the actual concept car wasn't all bad (see below).

For me, the production car was quirky enough to be likeable. Its looks grew on me in that same manner as the strange looking dog or cat you love, but no one else does. What I also liked about this car was its strange options.

Pontiac Aztek concept car - where the proportions are much better

Pontiac Aztek concept car - where the proportions are much better

For example, the vehicle had a tent accessory that you could use the Aztek to sleep in. Given the prices of motor homes and caravans, a car with an inbuilt tent becomes a good alternative.

As it was, no main dealer ever sold the Pontiac Aztek in Australia. Thus, my Great Grey Nomad adventures in the "Breaking Bad" car never eventuated.

The Fiat Multipla - the "ideal" family car (By Andrew Bone from Weymouth, England - Fiat Multipla (2002), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63598142)

The Fiat Multipla - the "ideal" family car (By Andrew Bone from Weymouth, England - Fiat Multipla (2002), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63598142)

4. The Fiat Multipla

Hear me out for this one. Yes, it's a car hit by not just one, but many ugly sticks... many times over. But, and this is the big-ticket, it had two rows of three seats. This utility meant, if I'd bought one, I could drive my family plus a friend. Whether that person would've remained friendly afterwards is anyone's guess, but an extra seat is always handy.

Of course, one could always go down the MPV list, but why do ordinary if the (ugly) extraordinary exists? To top it off, the Multipla was Top Gear's "Car of the Year" in 2000.

How could you possibly go wrong buying one? Of course, in Australia, we never got the chance to reject it.

Big, wide, fast and with four doors. What's not to like? (Dodge corporate photo https://www.dodge.com/charger/srt.html)

Big, wide, fast and with four doors. What's not to like? (Dodge corporate photo https://www.dodge.com/charger/srt.html)

3. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Last year there was a buzz that Dodge may import the cars to our shores, including the Dodge SRT Hellcats. To date, though, Dodge has shelved these plans. Pity.

I've got a fondness for the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. First, it has four doors (unlike its Challenger sibling), so it's family friendly. Well, family friendly in the sense you can scare your kids and spouse by launching off the lights. In fact, the thing's got so much power it should've shown up in the Thor movie and wretch mjΓΆlnir out of the ground.

Specs are 527kW of power with 881Nm of torque, which is suitable for 0-60mph (0-97km/h) in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 315km/h. Dodge is selling them for about USD 61,000, so double that for Australia (between AUD 125-135,000 at a guess). The only downside is its build quality is... uh...

... "Dodgey"; but I'd still have bought one from an Aussie Dodge dealer.

You can almost hear the Knight Rider music... da dada da .... whatever

You can almost hear the Knight Rider music... da dada da .... whatever

2. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am (1982)

Knight Rider came out in the year before I turned 20. The show had a car, called KITT, with artificial intelligence, and it was a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. As with many people who saw the Trans Am for the first time, I loved its looks. Since 1982 was the TIME BEFORE THE INTERNET, it meant I rang car dealers in 1983 to ask to buy one.

They laughed. Of course, I'd only started my first job, so their amusement may have been at my meagre salary. Either way, the FireBird Trans Am was never imported into Australia by Pontiac*.

* actually, was any* Pontiac imported into Australia?

Corvette C7 (By Sarah Larson from Ann Arbor, MI, USA - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30676288)

Corvette C7 (By Sarah Larson from Ann Arbor, MI, USA - 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30676288)

1. Corvette C7

I suspect Corvette will delay the import of the C8 into Australia due to CORVID-19. I've enquired about buying one, but that seems to be on the back burner. While I like the styling of the C8, the C7 has an elegant front-engine appearance. Of course, Corvette never sold the C7 in Australia. Worse, the prices of the C7 are going down with the new C8, so if Corvette had sold them in Australia, they'd now be at a discount.

Honourable Mentions

Porsche never sold the 959 in Australia. I remember reading about it back in 1988, but I was never rich enough to afford even a 911 turbo, let alone a 959. However, in an alternate reality where I won the lotto in 1987, I would've loved to have bought one. But that option wasn't open to well-heeled Australians back then.

Likewise, Jaguar didn't sell the XJ220 in Australia when it came out. When I lived in the UK during the 1990s, I once thought about buying one. In the end, I decided a brick and mortar roof over my family's head was a better idea. Mind you; if we'd ended up in living a caravan, we'd have had the best car in the caravan park.

Observations

A lot of the cars here are American, and this comes as no surprise. The European and Japanese cars manufacturers have a significant presence in Australia, whereas we tended to get GM and Ford as the leading US brands. There are European and Japanese cars not sold in Australia, such as the 2019 Nissan Maxima, but the ones I'm aware of are ones I'm not keen on buying -- unlike this list.

So what are your top 5 cars Australia never got, but should have?

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Comments (3)

  • We didnt need the Hellcat or the Vette before because we had HSV and FPV and Typhoon. Now they're gone.

      1 year ago
  • Still got plans to buy a trans am in black. There is a KITT replica for 60k currently.

      1 year ago
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