There is no shortage of cool cars that you can’t buy in the United States. Here’s a list of amazing ones you can buy.
In America, we love cool cars. We just don’t buy them. The list of fantastic cars that we Americans have available to us is decadent. The crazy part is that they are also ridiculously affordable. Do you want to have Ferrari fun on Fusion prices? You can. Would you like a new roadster that can smoke a ’70s supercar for about the price of a Corolla? There is one within 50 miles of your house for sale. Most likely in your choice of colors. Every car on this list is presently for sale in America and has a monthly sales volume with no more than three digits. Just for reference, the Corolla totals about 35,000 unit sales in an average month. These cars are going to be sunsetted if low demand continues. What do you say we give them a hand?
Mazda Miata / Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
There is simply no vehicle that is more fun on a twisty back road than a Mazda Miata. Except maybe its Italian-styled doppelganger the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. Between the two of them, they offer your choice of a turbocharged engine or what may be the best 2-liter non-turbo engine ever built. These cars do it all. They are quicker than the original Lamborghini Countach. They handle amazingly well, yet even a novice can learn to drift one with ease. They are rear-drive, so they can be steered with the throttle. You can choose a retractable hardtop or a wide color assortment of made-in-America Haartz soft-tops. No longer Spartan, options like premium leather, nav, Bose premium audio, and more can all be had for under $35K. These cars are amazing on an autocross circuit, on your favorite mountain road, or on the way to work. Mazda sold 782 last month. Fiat sold 329 Spiders. Try your local Fiat shop if you are looking for deals and then cross-shop the Mazda Miata. There is no wrong choice.
Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ
Maybe you need two mini-seats in the back of your sports car for the occasional kid-drop off. Maybe you just want more cargo space. Either way, the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are both amazing coupes. They handle well on back roads. Like Mazda and Fiat, Subaru and Toyota collaborated on these gems and they are just dying to have you come test drive one. Toyota sold 268 in April. Subaru sold 318. This, in the middle of spring! Be sure you get the manual.
Nissan 370Z Roadster
You’ve been warned. This fantastic roadster is being killed off in the 2020 model year because nobody is buying them. The 370Z roadster has a sweet manual six-speed with automatic rev-matching. It was the first car in American that offered that nifty trick. It’s power folding roof is just as attractive up as it is down. In April, Nissan sold 170 of its 370Z cars in total, including the coupes. Want to see a Nissan dealer’s jaw drop? Walk in and tell them you have come to buy a 370Z roadster and have cash in your pocket. If you don’t fit into the Miata and Spider and want a relatively affordable 2-door roadster, this is your car. Prices start at around $43K and it is impossible to configure one that touches $50K. By contrast, a RAV4 Limited now costs $40K.
Fiat 500 Abarth
The Fiat 500 Abarth may well have the most distinct personality of any car under $30K in America. Do you remember that cool kid in your town that was a little small on size, but was the MVP of three sports? This car embodies that persona perfectly. Fiat sold 273 500s last month. In America. This is one of the most ridiculously fun cars ever to grace our shores. And we can almost guarantee nobody on your block will have one. Budget $23K. Seriously. For a new one.
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
We wanted to throw in the $70K Alfa Romeo 4C spider because it is simply one of the most insane cars you can buy at any price. You can get two of the above cars for the cost of the 4C (and you should), but the 4C is special in a way the others are not. Want to make a person in a six-figure Maserati feel like he or she has the second coolest car in the valet line? Drive up in a 4C. We’ve done it and it is more delicious than tiramisu. Want to circle a racetrack convinced the car will at any moment leave the track and roll end over end? This is that car! It is so insane that when you are on a track and floor it, the nose comes up and it is hard to steer because the front wheels lose traction. You can learn to control it with a little help and dedication. Speaking of learning, it has an automated manual transmission that will take you six weeks to learn. The folding top is almost impossible to deploy when it rains. The radio is the worst audio system ever produced in the modern age. And you won’t care, because this thing is sex on wheels. Are you considering a Corvette or Porsche 911? For the love of all that is holy please drive a 4C before you do. Ask yourself what you really want in a car then drive the 4c and change your mind. In all of 2019, Fiat has sold 68 of these cars.
In the blink of an eye we are all going to rolling in automated electrics. Before that day arrives, please do yourself and your favorite automaker a favor and buy a car you will remember.