Every country will have different needs when it comes to their cars. That is just how the world works. In the USA, thanks to long-distances between some places etc, bigger cars seem to rule the roost, as do pickup trucks. But what about in the United Kingdom? What are cars like over there?
A lot are more compact. Some not so much. But they are all designed to suit the roads, towns, and cities of the country they are intended for. For that reason, we won’t see some of them in the United States but that doesn’t mean we don’t want them over there.
So what we have put here are 15 British cars that we wish we had in the USA, as they are very desirable or might have served a very good purpose for us. Some of these cars are also gorgeous, which is reason enough to want to own one.
15 – Vauxhall Viva
This might be a slightly strange car to put here at the start of the list. But don’t be fooled. The Viva is a pretty damn good little car. It was Vauxhall’s answer to Morris and Ford, and it was a good looking saloon car that was very easy to drive. It became a very popular little car.
14 – Lotus Elan MK2
Lotus is a name that is synonymous with innovation, and racing, thanks to the late Colin Chapman. And the Elan MK2 was a car that really epitomized the spirit of the company. It is lightweight, which meant it was a joy to drive and something that was brilliant in the corners. The handling of the Elan is still a benchmark to this very day.
13 – Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the greatest grand tourers that there has ever been. But we all know the real reason that this car is so famous. And that is all thanks to its starring roles in the James Bond franchise. Even now, as the newest film is set to come out, the DB5 is still set to star once again. It’s timeless.
12 – Austin Mini
The Austin Mini is THE original Mini. The name might still adorn a car now, but it is a far cry from the car that revolutionized the world of small, front-wheel-drive machines. It was small, affordable and rugged and was the car of choice for many people. And it became a legendary racer in rallying and touring cars.
11 – Morris Minor
The Morris Minor might not look that exciting. Nor does it really sound that exciting. But it is a great little car. It was spacious on the inside, and the perfect car for the average Brit after the second world war. It’s a gem of a car be it in two-door, four-door or even van form.
10 – Ford Cortina
The Ford Cortina has become legendary for one reason. It was one of the most significant cars when it came to British police TV drama. As recently as the 2010s, it took a starring role in the BBC’s ‘Life on Mars’ series. Not only that, it was a great performer and one hell of a good looking machine.
9 – Ford Escort MK1
We also love the Ford Escort MK1. Looking at it, it’s not difficult to see why. Designed as the successor to the Anglia, the Ford Escort MK1 was a shrunken Cortina, that had modern, American styling that appealed hugely to the British public when it launched in 1967. It was sensible, and stylish family transport, but also it was affordable family transport and that’s how it sold so well.
8 – Jensen Interceptor
The Jensen Interceptor is very cool. I mean, what a name for a car! The Interceptor went through a bit of a revival a few years ago, as a firm in Oxfordshire took authentic Interceptors and simply put modern features into them to bring them up to standard. And they’ve become brilliant cars.
7 – Jaguar XJ220
The Jaguar XJ220 has been a bit hit and miss with some people. Because it never had the engine intended for it. It was intended to have a V12 engine but instead took a turbocharged V6 engine. But, it was still incredibly fast and had stunning looks to match the performance as well.
6 – Land Rover Series 1 Defender
Designed with the military expertise Rover had gained from the Second World War, the original Land Rover Series, or Defender is one of Britain’s most well-loved cars.
When the final production model rolled out of the factory in 2017, it made national news headlines throughout the UK. Designed for on and off-road, and used by the army as well, it helped launch the Land Rover brand that we all know and love today.
5 – Austin Healey 3000
The Austin Healey 3000 had an interesting birth. When launched in the 1950s, it was a raw, savage beast but over time, the 3000 become much more refined and an incredibly fun car to drive. Plus it was a gorgeous machine, with simple yet elegant lines that really helped to raise its appeal. It’s a beautiful machine.
4 – Jaguar MK2
It would be wrong to not feature a Jaguar or two on this list. And the Jaguar MK2 was not a bad car at all. A 200 hp, 3.8-liter straight-six gave it a top speed of 155 mph which is nothing to cry about at all. Plus, it’s elegant and classy, everything that you would expect from a Jaguar.
3 – Morgan 3 Wheeler
This is just something that is a lot of fun. The 3 Wheeler is not a new concept. Far from it. Various three-wheeled cars have come and gone over the years. But there is something pretty quirky and cool about Morgan’s fairly recent effort. Plus it does look good with RAF roundels plastered on it.
2 – Triumph Herald
Why is the Triumph Herald on this list? What is so special about this car? Well, it is a car in which many people will have learned to drive in and that’s why it holds a place in the hearts of many. It was also cheap to run, reliable and easy to maintain family car. Plus it didn’t look bad either.
1 – Jaguar XJ6 MK1
The Jaguar XJ line is one that is still going to this day. And the XJ6 MK1 was one of the very best to emerge from that range. This particular XJ6 is regarded often as the finest of Jaguar’s saloons before the quality suffered when the MK2 was produced by British Leyland. 140 mph of performance from the V12 is pretty good too.