Please PSA, give us a taste of French style.
After talks with the Renault Nissan Alliance fell through, it looked like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would struggle to find another partner. But after rumors emerged just last week, FCA has announced a merger with French automaker PSA Groupe. PSA currently owns the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Vauxhall, and Opel brands, the latter two acquired a few years ago from General Motors.
This is huge news in the automotive industry because FCA and PSA are now the fourth-largest automaker in the world. It also means PSA can finally act on its plans to start selling cars in the United States. So which models would we like to see come stateside? Since Opel and Vauxhall were recent acquisitions and are essentially rebadged GM cars, we'll focus on French cars from Peugeot, Citroen, and DS.
Europe is known for its small hatchbacks and wagons but we are going to start this list off with the most likely PSA model to come to the US, the DS7 Crossback. This handsome SUV is the flagship model in the DS range and is available with a US emissions-friendly plug-in hybrid E-Tense variant. The engine produces 200 horsepower while two electric motors kick in and additional 109 hp for a total of 300 combined hp. Not only does the DS7 look great on the outside, but the interior is unlike any vehicle we currently have in the US and makes the perfect case for why we need French cars.
If we had to pick just one vehicle on this list to come to America, it would probably be the Peugeot 508. It is highly unlikely PSA would choose to sell a wagon in the US, given how poorly they sell here, but we'd even settle for the 508 sedan because it is just so handsome. Just like the DS7, the 508 is available as part of Peugeot's plug-in hybrid range with a combined 300 hp and an electric driving range of 30 miles. It also features one of the coolest cabins we have ever seen, with unique design elements unlike any other vehicle on sale in the US market.
If we are going to dream, why not dream big with the Peugeot 308 GTI? Peugeot has been building sporty hot hatchbacks for decades but they have always been forbidden fruit in the US. Our European counterparts have told us how good these hot hatches can be, so we desperately hope PSA decides to bring the 308 GTI to the US as a rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Hyundai Veloster N. The current model packs a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 260 hp, meaning it should be competitive amongst the US-market hot hatches.
With the Ford Fiesta now dead and the Fiat 500 facing an uncertain future, there are very few fun, sub-compact hatchbacks left in the US. Peugeot could solve this issue with its all-new 208. Bringing the 208 stateside would be a great idea because it would face little competition and could even be rebadged as the next Fiat 500 now that PSA is partnered with Fiat. There will likely be a GTI version later down the line, which could also make a great rebadged replacement for the 500 Abarth.
As much as we like to dream of Peugeot bringing its stunning wagons and hot hatchbacks to the US, the most likely scenario involves some kind of SUV. This certainly isn't as fun, but at least Peugeot has some nice looking SUV models like the 3008. Just like some of the other cars on this list, the 3008 has a gorgeous cabin and a pretty handsome exterior. Peugeot already sells the 3008 in the Mexican market, so it might not take much to certify it to US standards.
We aren't as enamored with the Citroen lineup compared to Peugeot or DS but the French brand does have one model we absolutely adore, the C4 Cactus. The Cactus looks like a quirky crossover in the same vein as the Nissan Juke, but with one key difference. Citroen created a special rubber styling element on the lower parts of the doors, which are meant to prevent the car from getting dinged in a parking lot. They also make it look a bit like a cactus. Citroen offers this feature on the smaller C3, but without the Cactus name.