The Best Car We Can't Get In Canada – Peter's Pick


This is a tough one for me. It’s tougher yet because Janaki made it look so easy yesterday. For me, it’s between the new 300 hp Ford Focus RS and the diminutive Toyota iQ. Oh, and the VW Scirocco. And the Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse. Clearly, I’m not as decisive as my co-writer.

After the jump, I’ll tick them off one at a time.


First, the Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse. Brilliant little car that it is, it might just be a little too small and too compromised for my Canadian lifestyle. Just the other day, the IIHS showed us how poorly smaller cars can fare in impacts with larger ones. So even if the little retro-Fiat has a 5 star EuroNCAP rating, there is still room for concern with all of the large cars Canadians drive. The Abarth is certainly a fun little car that can be driven on its door handles without having to go 150 kph, but can you fit golf clubs in it? This is a genuine concern for 5 months of the year. And where am I going to drive the door handles off of it? I live in the prairies, which are about and cornerless as anywhere on Earth. Also, Fiats aren’t known for their reliability, even if strides have been made in the last couple of years. So despite my previous yearnings for the Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse, it isn’t the overseas car that I want the most.



The next victim of my mighty sword pen is the VW Scirocco. It was named the 2008 Top Gear Magazine Car of the Year, so cutting it was no easy task. Not familiar with the New Scirocco? Take one 2-door MkV Golf GTI, lower it, widen it, give it 3-stage adaptive suspension, and add $200 to the cost. Talk about a deal. The Scirocco isn’t bad to look at either and therefore represents an incredible value in a package that many people can afford. It’s easy to talk about the Nissan GT-R as a great value, but it is still out of the reach of 90% of people. The New Scirocco really is a car for the people from the People’s Car company.



The Toyota iQ is a revolutionary little car. It is properly small, surprisingly practical (seating for 4 in a vehicle the size of the smart!) and fuel-efficient to boot. Toyota has now demonstrated that they can think outside of the box without slapping a battery onto a car. The hang-ups? Not the most involving to drive, not particularly good-looking, and not the cheapest to buy. Those are criticisms of most every current Toyota product though, so I suppose there’s no surprise in that statement. Still, while the little iQ is a complete package, it’s not the whole package.



Which leaves me with the Ford Focus RS. 300 hp, hot hatch, European Ford, aggressive bodykit, painted in Lamborghini Ithica Verde. Sounds like a recipe for success to me! Except it’s FWD. That kind of power NEEDS to go to all the wheels, or at least the rear ones. So you’d expect it to torque-steer into a ditch. But somehow, someway, it doesn’t. That’d be the RevoKnuckle saving your ass. Amazingly, this little FWD hottest of hot hatches can hunt down Evo Xes and even a Ford GT. The icing on the cake for the Focus RS is just how different it is from the Focus we get here in Canada. Two cars with the same badge could not be more different. Knowing that the Focus RS exists almost makes me hate our Focus a little less. Almost. The Ford Focus RS is the best car we can’t get in Canada.

13 thoughts on “The Best Car We Can't Get In Canada – Peter's Pick

  1. Adnan says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to rub it in your face and say “Unlucky”!!! But I’m not that mean ;)

    I’ve driven the Scirocco and it was quite an experience – really is a great car, and I can’t wait to see how it measures up compared to the GTI coming soon.

    The Fiat Abarth and the iQ are small, but then I can’t really talk (a shameless Yaris-owner over here!). What I am excited about is the arrival of the Focus RS – let’s hope that we become popular enough to be able to get a review car!

  2. Adnan says:

    Haha – I’ll see what I can do!

  3. Janaki says:

    You’re right, Peter, there are so many options that it’s a really tough question to answer. To be honest, if the FCX Clarity didn’t exist, I probably would still not have gotten my answer properly written up.

    Between what you’ve listed here, I wouldn’t have been able to make a determination because they’re ALL really appealing in different ways. Personally you know I’d go for the 500 Abarth SS…probably. Probably. And then have nightmares in which the iQ ran me down…

  4. bart says:

    Thats the only ford that i would buy.I drove the 09 RS in Germany.i fallen in love with it.It is a perfect car.Even for Canada with the ridiculous speed limit 100km/h.But if you are out of the city on nice curvy country roads.You will see and feel what i try to explain.

  5. Jerry says:

    According to this website:

    The UK price of a Focus RS is £25,740 – on the road. This converts to 46,756.59 CAD using I love my old beater Focus and would love to buy an RS but if it were to sell for the converted price above, who would pay that much?

  6. Guy boudreau says:

    I have to say 300hp fwd would make my dreams come to life

  7. Brent says:

    Why do they make cars like the RS and not let us buy them here in Canada. I do not understand why? It;s called FORD, but they make 2 types of cars. One for the UK and one for North America. We get stuck with the crape cars and the UK get the good ones. That's why I don't like FORD. The UK and North America FORD should get together and make the same type of cars and pool their know how. In today age……..Get with the times

  8. Marr says:

    ok i know that it reallllllly sucks we dont get the RS here in canada but i will say after looking at the regular new CANADIAN ford focus sedan isnt that bad of a car with luxury at every fingertip. Features sub for sounds led lights rims leather heated seats all under 30 grand on the top end models i say not bad but yea i want an RS OHHH PSSS I DRIVE BEATER 01 FOCUS BBOOOOOOO

  9. Mike says:

    And your missing the endless SLEW of cars GM makes in Australia and wont bring to North America.
    Cruze SS

  10. Mike says:

    Looks like someone watches Top Gear

  11. Lora says:

    ^ Mike lol, just finished watching the series… So true Yay content farming!!

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