Citroen, Seat, Peugeot, Opel. These are names we don’t associate with the Canadian or North American car market. These are European brands that have been around in Europe in some cases for over a century. The driving experience in Europe is very different than in North America. We are used to, for the most part to long straightaways and no round a bouts. It’s quite a different driving experience for sure in Europe. Due to the population size and the age of Europe, roads were originally designed for horses and walking and not so much for Lambos. However, some of the best driving experiences can be found in the old world. What’s great about European driving is that you have choices between modern motorways that generally have higher speed limits than in North America, plus the fact that most cars are manual transmission really puts more control in the driver’s hands.
It’s generally assumed that North Americans are less connected with driving due to driving larger vehicles with automatic transmission and suspensions for this side of the ocean. Boring could be used to describe the North American driving experience but things are changing, due to higher fuel prices more European like choices are coming, traditional gas only companies or those that only offer diesels in Europe and elsewhere are offering them in North America, Ford and Mazda for example. I’ve seen a lot of Fiat 500′s in Toronto lately so for urban driving the European trend seems to be catching. I still like large cars but my pocketbook sure doesn’t.