When a foreign car is sold in the United States, the safety features on that car have to be in accordance with the U.S. safety standards; the European companies have to manufacture the car for a completely different set of safety regulations. Consequently, not all European cars are accepted in the U.S., but some are quite popular:
10. Volkswagen Beetle
Although they stopped making the original Beetle in 2003, Volkswagen came out with a new version in 1998. Although production ceased in 2011, we included it in the list since many people still drive it is still popular. The New Beetle has many design similarities with the original VW Beetle: large round tail lights, sloping headlamps, separate wings, and a high rounded roofline. How was it different and better than the original? Unlike the original Beetle, the New Beetle has its engine in the front with luggage storage in the back. Many special editions have been released, such as the Malibu Barbie New Beetle, that have been a huge hit in the U.S. United States models include: The Turbo S model had a 1.8 L turbo with 180 hp, sport suspension, six-speed manual transmission, aluminum interior trim, and bigger wheels and tires. All 1.8L Turbo and Turbo S inline-four models were equipped with a retractable rear spoiler which was not available on the 1.9 L TDI inline-4, 2.0 L inline-four and 2.5 L inline-five models. For the 2006 model, the exterior was slightly redesigned with more angular bumpers and wheel wells, and these models were fitted with the 2.5 L 5-cylinder engine with 150 hp.
9. Volkswagen Passat CC
VW Passat CC is a four-door sedan-fastback version of the Volkswagen Passat. It was revealed at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show January 2008. The North American market has the 2.0T I4 and 3.6 L VR6 engine as options. When it was introduced in 2008, Volkswagen expected to sell 300,000 cars over a period of seven years. The results have shown that 60 percent of the sales came from the U.S. market alone.
8. Volkswagen Golf
The original Golf Mk1 was a front-wheel drive, front-engined replacement for the air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Volkswagen Beetle. The Golf is Volkswagen’s best-selling model and the world’s second best-selling model, with more than 29 million built by 2012. Most Golfs came out in the 3-door hatchback style. The Golf has won many awards throughout its history, one of whihc was the World Car of the Year in 2009 (with the Mk6) and in 2013 (with the Mk7).
7. BMW 5-Series
The BMW 5-Series is an executive/mid-size luxury car manufactured by German automaker BMW since 1972. The car, now in its sixth generation, is sold in sedan and touring body styles. It is BMW’s second best-selling model after the 3-Series and in 2010 it produced about 50 percent of the BMW’s profits. In January of 2008, the 5 millionth 5-Series was manufactured. The E39 5-Series was on Car and Driver magazine’s annual Ten Best list for six years straight, from its introduction in 1997 until 2002. It was also Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year for 1997 and What Car? Executive Car of the Year-1997 through 2002. The BMW’s Active Seat technology was recognized as one of the best inventions by Popular Science magazine. Consumer Reports found the E39 5-series their best car tested in 2001–2002. The JB car pages have rated it 4 1/2 stars and awarded the BMW 5-Series a ‘best-in-class’. The BMW 5-series is one of the top choices around the world and the United States.
6. Audi A4
The Audi A4 is a line of compact executive cars produced since late 1994 by the German car manufacturer Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group. The Audi A4 is a small sedan known to many people in the U.S. as a car that is sporty, stylish, and reliable. It has a plush interior, offers the latest connectivity and safety technologies, and has well-tuned steering. Audi recently made the A4 available with the latest version of its MMI infotainment interface and Audi Connect, which makes the car a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and also includes access to Google Maps with panoramic views and high-resolution 3D satellite. This car is a top choice for U.S. people who like the combination of luxury and sportiness.
5. Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper is a decent looking car, fun to drive. Now it offers a four-door model with a larger back seat and more cargo space. Mini Cooper’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the S model delivers energetic acceleration, but even standard turbocharged three-cylinder engine turned out to be good enough. The base Mini Cooper Hardtop gets up to an EPA-estimated gas mileage of 29/40 mpg city/highway, which is really good for the class. Critics in the U.S. are happy with Mini Cooper’s responsive handling, sharp steering and strong brakes.
4. Volvo S80
In 1998, Volvo came out with the S80 model, designed as a more professional-looking and sleeker, gas-saving vehicle that didn’t compromise on safety and reliablity. It soon became as popular as the Volvos that preceded it. Many people, from CEOs to homemakers, claim it’s the best car they have ever had. So what does S80 offer? First, new levels of protection: IntelliSafe is standard and features many new systems. For one, it helps notify the driver of a cyclist approaching the vehicle and even a car that suddenly stops in front of it. It even helps park the car in a tight space and keeps it in lanes while driving. Americans love Volvos and have always appreciated it as a very safe vehicle.
3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a German line of compact luxury cars that was introduced in 1993. Although originally sold as sedan and station wagon, the W203 series in 2000 debuted a hatchback coupe version that, when facelifted, became the Mercedes-Benz CLC-Class. The CLC-Class remained in production until 2011 when it was replaced by a new W204-based C-Class coupe for the 2012 model year. It ranks the best in its class: The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranks 1 out of 14 in the upscale small cars category. This ranking is based on many reputable reviews and test drives, as well as safety data and reliability. When it comes to small luxury cars in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz C-Class is one of the most popular.
2. BMW 3-Series
Successor to the BMW New Class, it has been produced in six different generations and in five different body styles. It is BMW’s best-selling model, accounting for around 30 percent of the BMW brand’s annual total sales. The BMW 3 Series has won numerous awards throughout its history: The 3 Series has been on Car and Driver magazine’s annual Ten Best list 22 times, from 1992 until 2014, making it the longest running entry in the list. In their December 2009 issue, Grassroots Motorsports magazine named the BMW 3 Series the second-most important performance car built during the previous 25 years. The E90 was named “Best New Sports Sedan” in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards. Also, it was awarded the World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show in 2006.
1. Volkswagen Jetta
In 1979, German manufacturer Volkswagen produced another great family car: Jetta. It was made to replace the Golf sedan. As of 2005, almost 7 million cars have been sold worldwide, over one-third of sales have been in the United States. Since the original version in 1980, the car has continued to improve with better safety features and making use of new technology. In 2011, nearly 10 million have been produced and sold all over the world. As of April 2014, over 14 million have been sold, which made this model Europe’s and Volkswagen’s top-selling model.