10 Most Underrated European Cars You Can Buy In America

The taste varies from person to person. Where one prefers to eat sweet treats, another prefers salty muffins. Where one loves romantic comedy movies, another is all for action and fantasy. This kind of difference in taste is apparent within the automotive industry as well as when it comes to cars from different territories – like Europe.



European cars are considered slightly more premium than cars from the rest of the world – as manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have proven. This is mainly due to the reputation the companies have built up over the many years they have all been in business. That being said, with the massive influx of models from all over the world, some European models – like the Jaguar XF – are being overlooked due to the large number of other options available in the same segment. Because of this, these models can become unappreciated and relatively rare, leading to potential discounts or better options.

So, in this automotive climate of niches and oversaturation of certain types of vehicles, there are still European models that go unnoticed. With that, here are 10 of the most underrated European cars available in the US market.

ten VW Arteon

The VW Arteon debuted in 2017 and replaced the Passat CC – a sleeker version with swooping lines and only the best engines. The Arteon is the most beautiful car in the VW range. In Europe, it is even available as a hunting brake.

The Arteon is available with the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 in three different versions for the US market, with the top-of-the-line R-Line producing 280 hp and coming with all-wheel drive. All Arteon versions are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Related: Why We Love the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon

9 Jaguar XF

The Jaguar XF has been around since the S-Type was discontinued in 2007. The first-generation XF was a magnificent car, and Jaguar has built on that success with the current XF, which uses aluminum body panels instead of aluminum. ‘steel.

The XF is a fantastic option as it comes with relatively powerful 4-cylinder engines producing 250 or 300 bhp. The XF has been recently updated and now incorporates the latest technology from the Jaguar Land Rover vehicle range. Definitely a great European option in the US.

8 BMW 230i

The new BMW 2 Series Coupé is a fantastic compact sports car. While the M240i is the most sought after, the entry-level 230i is just as good. Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-4 engine producing 255bhp, the 230i is a nippy little rocket ship.

The 230i is rear-wheel drive as standard – unlike the 2 Series Active Tourer – and can only be purchased with an 8-speed automatic. The current generation 2 Series is only available as a coupe, as BMW discontinued the convertible with the previous generation.

Related: The best features of the 2022 BMW 230i

seven Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 might be the smallest crossover/SUV in the Scandinavian automaker’s lineup, but it’s one of the coolest models they’ve ever made. The XC40 is available as a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric.

The mild hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged i4 and a 48V electric starter, while the plug-in hybrid is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged i3 and one or two electric motors. Finally, the all-electric XC40 is available with one or two electric motors, the latter developing 400 hp.


6 BMW X2

The BMW X2 was introduced in 2017 and is the coupe style version of the X1. Although it shares the X1’s platform and most of the interior, the exterior is quite different. The body is sleeker and the car sits lower on the road, giving a sportier look, like a lifted 1 Series instead of a lowered X1.

The X2 is front-wheel drive as standard, however, xDrive is available on higher level models such as the xDrive28i – which is sold in the US. The best part of the BMW X2 is the BMW roundels on the C-pillars near the tailgate, reminiscent of the legendary E9 cut.

Related: Why We Love the 2022 BMW X2


5 Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar is the mid-range offering from the British off-road luxury brand. The Velar is larger than the Evoque but still smaller than the Range Rover Sport. For many years the Velar was the best looking of all Range Rover models and sub-models, but most have now adopted the same design language.

The Velar is available with a few engine choices, from a 2.0-liter turbocharged i4 to a mighty supercharged V8 in the bite-sized Velar SV Autobiography Dynamic Edition. The Velar is a sleeker alternative to the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan.


4 Jaguar I Pace

The Jaguar I-Pace is the British marque’s first all-electric model and isn’t a bad attempt. Equipped with two electric motors – one at each axle – the I-Pace has standard all-wheel drive and the combined output is 400 hp and 513 lb-ft of torque.

The I-Pace has a 90kWh battery that translates to almost 300 miles of claimed range, although that’s slightly less than in the real world. The I-Pace is a great choice and doesn’t just look like a normal SUV with a big battery. Jaguar even created a racing car called eTrophy to compete in electric races.

Related: 2022 Jaguar I-Pace: Costs, Facts & Figures

3 VW Jetta

The VW Jetta is the German equivalent of the Toyota Corolla and is essentially the sedan version of the excellent Golf. The Jetta features the same engines as the Golf, meaning the top-end Jetta GLI produces the same 228bhp as the Golf GTI.

The Jetta is currently in its seventh generation and is better than ever. In the United States, the Jetta is primarily powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission powering the front wheels only. The Jetta is a practical, family-friendly large European sedan.

2 Mercedes-Benz GLB

The Mercedes-Benz GLB is one of the smallest SUVs in the range. Besides the big utilitarian styling, the party piece of the GLB is the fact that it’s a seven-seater. The GLB shares its platform with the GLA, meaning the same drivers apply.

The US model lineup is limited to the GLB250 but offers the car in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive formats. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine produces 221 hp, through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GLB is a large and elegant people carrier from Europe.

1 BMW M550i

The BMW M5 is the ultimate version of the 5 Series and is one of the best sports sedans on the market. While the M5 is usually the most sought-after model, BMW offers a toned down version – or a scaled-up version of the regular 5-Series – called the M550i.

The M550i features the non-M version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the M5, but it only produces 523 hp. The M550i comes standard with xDrive and is a more comfortable alternative to the hardcore M5 – which is why the M550i was the chosen starting point for the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo. The M550i is an underdog in the sports sedan segment and thanks to its excellent performance, it is an underrated European car available in America.

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