American Cars vs. German Cars


Some American vehicle brands have a good reputation in Germany and Europe. They differ significantly from their European competitors and offer a genuine alternative due to their distinctive qualities.

German Cars vs. American Cars

The Distinctive Features of American Cars

Boldly styled, large, and equipped with big, powerful engines - that's how US cars are universally known. The development of the automobile in the USA and Canada took a completely different direction than in Europe. There might have been attempts here and there to follow the American way, but these were mostly met with a shake of the head from European customers.

American Excess vs. European Sensibility?

From a European perspective, this could certainly be described this way. But is it really that simple? What exactly defines a classic American car? And what about the typical European counterpart? Tastes, as we know, are different. They have often developed over the course of history and are as deeply ingrained in the population as the national dish. It sounds like a cliché, but it's easily traceable across generations of car history.

Americans tend to prefer cars that are:

asian SUV

  • Spacious
  • Visually striking
  • Powerfully motorized
  • Luxurious


However, they place less value on material quality and details in the manufacturing process.


European vehicles are primarily known for their:

american SUV

  • Compact size
  • Relatively spartan/practical equipment
  • Lovingly detailed workmanship
  • More economical engines

Some vehicle classes were only created through American development. For instance, the Chrysler Voyager can be considered the "original van" or "first minivan". Through it, small transporters were transformed into modern, well-equipped MPVs suitable for families. Today, it's known as the Chrysler Pacifica and has many imitators worldwide.

SUVs are also a distinctly American type of vehicle. Off-road vehicles have of course been available worldwide for a long time. However, it was the Americans who recognized the potential and transformed them into lifestyle vehicles. One of the first vehicles of this kind was the Cadillac Escalade. It impressed a wide range of customers from bankers to gangster rappers. Besides offering a glamorous appearance, these lifestyle trucks provide sheer size and powerful V8 engines.

Naturally, the latter require much more gasoline than a small four-cylinder Passat. The reason is different pricing structures. In the past, gasoline in the USA was relatively cheap. Consumption often played a minor role. However, things have changed significantly in recent years. Just like in Europe, gas prices have increased, and a rethink has begun. New and stricter environmental regulations from American authorities also contribute to the strategy change in American car manufacturers. The result: the typical V8 engine is becoming increasingly rare, even on the American market.

Did Europe Miss the Train? American-Made Electric Cars

For a long time, Europe stuck to combustion engines. Only a few of the well-known manufacturers seriously pushed the development of alternative drives. Timid attempts with manageable ranges and rather narrow performance were offered as revolutions at high prices. China and America show that it can be done differently. Some start-ups like Lucid and Rivian offer interesting alternatives to the electric Europeans. Particularly in the luxury class, real competitors can be found. Lucid already offers ranges of almost 900 kilometers.

electric vehicle - Tesla


But also, traditional manufacturers have recognized the signs of the times. For example, Ford offers the F-150 Lightning, a highly innovative pick-up. Depending on the battery pack, it offers ranges of over 380 to over 510 kilometers, making it a vehicle that is anything but shy. Coupled with the usual luxurious equipment and high power of the drives. In typical American fashion, it is not trimmed for economy, but mainly for performance. Even the resurrected Hummer after 10 years is a trailblazer in the luxury off-road vehicle class. The brute power of over 1,000 HP and yet a range of over 500 kilometers must first be surpassed.

European or American Sports Cars?

Opinions differ here. On paper, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, and Mustang are barely distinguishable. Yet an American car offers a completely different driving experience than the European competition. While European sports car manufacturers develop sophisticated technology, design extremely light vehicles, and install technically elaborate chassis technology, sheer power seems to be the focus on the American continent.

Both have their own unique charm, both find their fans and drivers in their own way, and both record their successes in the relevant sports competitions. The difference is not only found in the technology and performance. The design is often very distinctive, almost typically American.

German Cars in America?

Yes, German car manufacturers enjoy a good reputation in America. They have often adapted to the local market and offer models there that are not available here. For example, a larger version of the Passat was offered until 2021. The VW Atlas is completely unknown in Europe and is sold overseas in the full-size SUV class with 7 seats.

Many of these vehicles are relatively inexpensive. Even after adding import costs, the buyer often gets a very affordable vehicle. A good comparison here is the VW Taos. Also only available on the American market, it is actually a more modern, stronger, and better-equipped VW Tiguan. Currently, importing a Taos can save you about 10,000 euros.

US Imports for Everyone?

Admittedly, importing a US car is not for everyone. However, it is an alternative for many people who have not thought of it before. Whether it's a large road cruiser with a V8 engine, a high-powered muscle car, a full-size pickup, a van, or a sensible electric car, the American market has a lot to offer. Often, comparable European vehicles are much more expensive than the American dream car, even when including shipping and conversion costs as well as customs duties and taxes.

Just take a look at our database! There you will find Europe's largest selection of new and used cars as well as classic cars in North America and Canada. Of course, we also take care of safely bringing your new treasure across the big pond. We are also happy to take care of the conversion for registration here for you.