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The best imported cars £10k can buy

PA Motoring logoPA Motoring 19/02/2019 Ryan Hirons
a car parked in a parking lot: Importing cars is no new trend, and that’s resulted in plenty of weird and wonderful machines arriving here. Here’s what £10k can get you in the classifieds… © PA Importing cars is no new trend, and that’s resulted in plenty of weird and wonderful machines arriving here. Here’s what £10k can get you in the classifieds…

When it comes to the wider world of motoring, there’s a bunch of forbidden fruits other countries around the world got that were sadly never destined for UK shores.

That hasn’t stopped them finding a way here though, with the import market ever growing in popularity — be that people looking for rare sports cars, Hollywood icons or even MPVs. The result is a used car market full of weird and wacky machine from across the world, and we’ve picked out the best £10,000 can get you…

Eunos Roadster

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

We know what you’re thinking, “that’s a Mazda MX-5”. You’re correct, and it was sold here in the UK — but good luck finding a domestically-sold example that’s both affordable and rust-free. Head to the market of imports, and you can get the JDM Eunos Roadster — the same car, just a different take Mazda had on marketing the dinky sports car in its home nation. Why a Eunos here, though? Well, rust — Japan doesn’t have as much of a problem with corrosive road salt as we in the UK do, so cars tend to be more structurally sound.

Nissan Skyline R33 GTS-T

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

You’ve heard of the Skyline GT-R, but did you know there was a full range of cars ranging from basic saloons to mildly-sporty versions as well? Unless you played Gran Turismo 4 in depth, probably not. The GTS-T is something of a middle between those two and the full-blown ‘Godzilla’, with single-turbo 2.5-litre engine sending around a claimed 230bhp to the rear wheels. Sure, it’s no GT-R — but the prices reflect that, with a GTS-T available at a reasonable cost.

Pontiac Firebird

a red car parked in front of a house: (Thomas Doefer) © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring) (Thomas Doefer)

If you want to sample life with Knight Rider’s KITT, or you found a spirit animal in The Office’s Dwight Schrute, then how about a Pontiac Trans Am? This muscle car may not be quite a globally-household name as Mustang is, but it’s just as worthy a muscle car as the popular pony. That might even win favour for those wanting to stand out — think about it, do you know anyone with a Pontiac? Just don’t expect it to talk.

Ford Mustang (Fifth-generation)

a car parked in a parking lot: (OSX II) © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring) (OSX II)

The Ford Mustang in its current generation was the first to be sold officially in the UK — and in right-hand drive too — which might go some way as to explaining why demand for imported examples of its predecessor seem to be low. So low, in fact, they can be had for a shade under £10,000, if you’re willing to settle for a V6 anyway…

Renault Twingo

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

If you’ve been on holiday to Europe at all in the last two decades, you will have seen a first-generation Twingo. The quirky, borderline weird city car was a hit on the continent — and perhaps would have been so in the UK had it been sold here. Sadly though, it never was officially — but there’s so many examples throughout Europe that they’re dead cheap and easy to source.

Cadillac Escalade

a white car in front of a building © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

Look back on any early 2000s R&B video and we can guarantee a big, American SUV makes an appearance all blinged-up. Further still, it was probably a Cadillac Escalade — and if for some ungodly reason you want to recapture that, there’s a decent pool of them to choose from here in the UK. Perhaps above all else, it’s an SUV that will stand out in a world full of them. Just leave the gold chains at home…

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Mitsubishi Evo I-IV

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was sold in the UK officially in its later forms, becoming a legend alongside the Subaru Impreza in the process, but it wasn’t originally destined for our shores. Thanks to its popularity today though, imported earlier versions of the Evo are now a dime-a-dozen on the classified market and tend to trade hands for very little compared to newer brethren. It’s hard to see why though — they still offer the turbo-heavy and big-winged goodness of the domestically-sold Evolutions.

Nissan Elgrand

a car parked in front of a building © Provided by The Press Association (PA Motoring)

Japan loves to make a wacky MPV, and fortunately for us there’s a massive following for them in the UK. These weird, yet appealing and functional machines come from a number of manufacturers — but perhaps the best-known is the Elgrand.

Yep, ‘The Big’ if you roughly translate its name from Spanish to English — even though by modern standards, it’s quite compact for a vehicle that can seat seven. Oh and did we mention it has the V6 engine you’ll find in a 350Z, too? Sporty.

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