By on August 16, 2016

2016 Chevrolet SS blue

Michael Phelps has won more gold medals in the pool at the last four Summer Olympics than the whole Team Canada claimed, across all events, in the last seven.

Despite currently producing more total medals per capita than the American team in Rio, we Canadians can be found suffering from an inferiority complex. And yes, per capita medal counts are the kinds of statistics you can expect from the citizens of a nation that suffer from an inferiority complex.

It doesn’t help that Canada’s new vehicle market, one-ninth the size of the U.S. market, is deemed too small to benefit from one of the planet’s best sports sedan values, the Chevrolet SS.

Yet the Chevrolet SS is by no means the only new vehicle on sale in the United States that doesn’t cross the border.

We’re not talking about specific powertrain variants or trim packages. (Toyota sells an Avalon Hybrid in the U.S., for instance. American Honda will market a front-wheel-drive Ridgeline that won’t be sold in Canada.) No, these are seven distinct members of an automaker’s portfolio, which for one reason or another, are not in keeping with modified brand strategies in two markets which otherwise share so much.

(Meanwhile, here are eight cars Canadians can buy that Americans can’t.)

2016 Buick Cascada

BUICK CASCADA
Let’s face it: weather matters. Canadians do buy convertibles, but in much of the country, there are only a few months in which a convertible can be routinely driven roof-down.

Therefore, attempting to sell a low-volume car through Buick outlets — Buick earned half as much Canadian market share as U.S. share in July — would perhaps be a waste of time.

CHEVROLET SS
As already mentioned, the Australian-sourced Chevrolet SS doesn’t make its way any farther north in North America than it already has. Those who know the history of GM’s most recent Aussie imports won’t be surprised.

The 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO didn’t find its way to Canada. Sales of the Pontiac G8 in the United States easily outperformed the Canadian results even though the Pontiac brand as a whole was consistently an over performer in Canada.

2016 Hyundai Azera

HYUNDAI AZERA
There were Hyundai Azeras and Azera predecessors sold in Canada. But with the dawn of the current Azera, Hyundai Canada decided to place their luxury eggs in a single Genesis-shaped basket.

Hyundai’s U.S. product planners now seem to agree, and the Azera is nearing the end of its U.S. run. Hyundai Canada hasn’t sold an Azera since 2010.

2014 Nissan Rogue Select

NISSAN ROGUE SELECT
It’s not that automakers operating in Canada are entirely unwilling to offer current model year examples of previous-generation vehicles. After Volkswagen replaced the Mk4 Volkswagen Golf with the temporarily-renamed Rabbit, Volkswagen Canada continued to market the Mk4 Golf, albeit facelifted and renamed City Golf.

The first Nissan Rogue, however, was introduced in 2007, and it was no class leader then. Canadians have, however, made the current Rogue the country’s fourth-best-selling utility vehicle.

2016 Nissan Versa Sedan

NISSAN VERSA SEDAN
Combined, the Nissan Versa sedan and Nissan Versa Note hatchback are overwhelmingly America’s favourite subcompact car. In Canada, Nissan’s strategy is different.

The Versa sedan, which appeals to Nissan’s most budget-minded consumer in the United States, was supplanted north of the border by the Nissan Micra and its sub-$10K advertised Canadian base price.

2016 Scion iA

SCION iA*
Technically, the Scion iA is not a part of Toyota Canada’s Scion lineup. (Scion didn’t begin selling cars in Canada until 2010, seven years after the brand was launched in the U.S.) The Scion iA is nevertheless in Toyota’s lineup in Canada, only it’s marketed as a Yaris sedan.

In neither case is this humble but fun sedan labelled with complete accuracy. This is a Mexican-built Mazda2, which Mazda sells in Mexico and Puerto Rico as a Mazda2. With Scion folding, the Scion iA will become the Toyota Yaris iA.

2016 Lotus Evora 400

HONORABLE MENTION: LOTUS EVORA 400
You may have heard, TTAC’s own Bark M. is a fan of the Lotus Evora 400. Apparently even the press event was a pleasure.

U.S. deliveries of the new Evora 400 will begin in a couple of weeks. Canadians can’t even begin ordering Evora 400s until next April, Bark says.

[Images: General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Lotus]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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42 Comments on “7 Cars Americans Can Buy That Canadians Can’t...”


  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Ain’t missin’ much while we can’t get the Rondo.

    Advantage: Canada.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Unless the Candian in question has a tattoo of Calvin peeing on anything non-GM, I don’t see what they’re missing.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Pretty soon the SS Sedan won’t be for sale *anywhere*. :(

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I think Canada will persevere.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    I can understand some choices, such as the lack of 4×2 on higher level trims. Due to the length and severity of the winters, more Canadians feel that 4×4 is a requirement. So much so that there is not enough demand for 4×2, at least not at higher trim levels. It seems most of the 4×2 choices around here in the ever popular CUV market are just kept around to allow a lower price to be advertised.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      TDIGuy,
      I was thinking the same when I saw the lack of a 2WD/FWD Ridgeline in Canada.

      Here the popularity of 2WD/FWD CUVs isn’t huge either, and we don’t have much snow, only in the mountains.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    We can’t get the BMW 1 Series up here either. Strange considering how Canadians in general buy smaller cars than Americans.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Canada doesn’t get the current 1 Series (F20/F21), but neither does the USA. The current 1 Series is only offered in 3-door or 5-door hatchback form.

      Both markets did get the previous generation 1 Series coupe (E82) and convertible (E88) up until a about 2013.

      The previous generation 1 Series coupe and convertible were essentially replaced with the current 2 Series (F22/F23), which is for sale in the USA and Canada. This follows BMW’s current model naming scheme where “standard” models start with odd numbers and the coupes, gran coupes and convertibles have even numbers. So, the 1 Series coupes and convertibles have now become the 2 Series.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I would have been interested in both an SS and a Cascada.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    The list of cars us Norwegians can’t buy (from a brand dealer) that are available in the US would be too long for just one post.
    On the other hand, the list of brown diesel manual stationwagons available here would knock most American hipsters out of their socks…
    Like a 1st. gen Acura TSX I once tried out, or the brand new Civics and CR-Vs (if you count beige as brown, and I do)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I liked the X-Trail you all got that we didn’t. That was a good small SUV for cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      My first experience in an X-Trail, strangely, was very recent. It was not a positive experience, but admittedly, it was an older vehicle. My biggest problem with it had nothing to do with age, however. It was just terribly uncomfortable with awful seats and a dreadful driving position.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      You beat me to it. I saw those quite often when I lived down in Texas as well. Seems the U.S. is the only place in N.America where you can’t get an XTrail.

  • avatar
    letanon

    A small correction. In Puerto Rico, Toyota has always sold the Mazda 2 sedan as the Yaris sedan even tough Scion also sells it cars here. The Mazda 2 hatchback is sold by Mazda here. So, you get the both the sedan and the hatchback here. The funny thing is that for Mazda selling the Mazda 2 hatchback here, and Puerto Rico being a USA territory, the cars have to be certified for USA emissions and safety standards so you could purchase a Mazda 2 hatchback here, take it to the States.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “Let’s face it: weather matters. Canadians do buy convertibles, but in much of the country, there are only a few months in which a convertible can be routinely driven roof-down”

    I’ve driven a convertible top-down in January in mild snow. Wear a hat, gloves, crank the heater and turn on the seat heaters if you’ve got’em.

    You may as well tell me I can’t barbeque in January, either.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      BBQ in January and roof-down motoring in January: two very different things.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      psarhjinian,
      It sounds as crazy as in Australia at Christmas.

      It’s traditional to have a huge baked Christmas dinner in the late afternoon at your parents (alternating of course, most of the time, when the wife allows, actually).

      It will be 41 degrees (well over 100 in US speak) and they want a huge baked dinner!

      Big BBQs are becoming the norm at Christmas here and the hams and turkeys are dying off.

      Looks of beer is a given, anytime, anywhere.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Do folks there attempt to deep-fry turkeys, when you can get them?

        That’s some good eating, but the trouble is that many folks don’t THAW the birds before dropping them, whole, into the fryer. At best, you have a real mess, and worst, as normally happens, a fire!

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Rogue is fully compensated by Xtrail.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Speaking of the Rogue, I would think that the Rogue Select would be a hot item in Quebec, considering it’s a relative bargain. Or perhaps I should say would have been, I don’t think Nissan is building any more of them and those that are left are 2015 models.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Nissan doesn’t sell the Quest in Canada either, not that they’re exactly “selling” in the USA either.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Lincoln Continental? I keep hearing that it isn’t coming to Canada


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