Which Foreign-Market Car From the Stellantis Merger Should Come to America?
14 car brands. One giant merger between Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot. Many, many models we don't get.
We always want what we can't have, but the recently finalized 14-brand Stellantis mega-merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA added many non-U.S.-market brands and cars into a company that sells cars here. Some of us have even had weird dreams about Lancia Ypsilons ever since, baffling anyone who is remotely familiar with that car.
Yet there's plenty of cool stuff in the wider Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot-verse that fills a hole within the U.S. market. For one, there's the Citroën Ë-Spacetourer, an electric van for up to eight passengers that's geared less towards delivery services and more towards you, the normal consumer who will get stuck back on softball team transit duty as soon as this garbage pandemic ends. Most electric vans announced for the U.S. market so far have been leaning hard into the commercial market, and the furthest into electrification that the dad-van specialists at Chrysler have gone is a hybrid.
We named a few models that would make sense a couple years ago when the FCA-PSA merger was announced that included the Spacetourer/Jumpy van lineup, and I still maintain that the Peugeot 308 GTI hot hatch would be a decent competitor to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R and GTI. Times have changed since then, so I would nominate an even weirder hatchback to the wish list: the Citroën C3.
The C3 is subcompact hatchback, the likes of which have become extremely rare on new car lots. Most of the enthusiast favorites in that segment—the Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit—have been discontinued here in recent years. Sure, subcompacts simply don't sell as well here, but anything else that enters that segment now will have a lot less competition, both in terms of numbers as well as quality.
It might also add something back into the U.S. market for people like me, and by that, I mean complete weirdos. The Smart ForTwo was the last truly bizarre mass-market car sold in the U.S., and Smart withdrew from our market in 2019. The C3 isn't just kooky for being French. It has one of my favorite weird design features that was originally from the C4 Cactus: Airbumps.
Airbumps are exactly what they sound like: plastic bubbles on the side of the car that hold little pockets of air and are meant to simply bounce away anything that might dent your door. You can get a C3 without them, but look, if I'm scratching the weird small car itch, I'm going all out. Citroën sadly toned down the bumpy looks of the C4 since the original Cactus, but the C3 can still fly its freak flag in the form of a nice thick stripe of Airbumps down each side.
That being said, I realize that an Airbump-bedazzled C3 might hit a blazing three-digits in sales here, so that's why I'm putting this question out to smarter heads instead of going off on a lengthy rant about why they should bring back the too-cute Opel Adam. Which foreign-market vehicles from Stellantis' lineup would you bring to the U.S.?
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