Top Jamaican domestic cars
The motor vehicle is not only a means of transportation for the average Jamaican, but also a status symbol. Whether it illustrates one's actual or perceived net worth is another story. Owning one, or several of these motor vehicles on our compiled list, showed that you had 'arrived'.
The people's car, The VW Bug was the popular choice among the motoring public in Jamaica. Most owners of the bug quickly modified its 1300cc H4 engine to produce more horsepower. Examples of these iconic motor vehicles are still present on our roads today.
It was once said, that owning the three Vs was a sure way to confirm one's status. These were the VCR (video cassette recorder), a United States visitor's visa, and a Volvo motor car. The Volvo 200 series was produced between 1974 and 1993. As for the 240 and 260 models, they took the island by storm. They were powered by a 2000cc, four-cylinder B21ET engine, and were available in several trim levels. If you were driving behind a 240GLE, you atomically knew that this driver had deep pockets.
The 1985 Honda Civic sedan quickly became a household name. Affordable and efficient for its day, the Civic was powered by a 1500cc, four-cylinder EW5 engine.
Higher up the ladder, was the 1985 Toyota Cressida. Equipped with powered windows, sunroof and a powerful 3000cc engine, this model quickly became the executive's choice of transport.
Entering the market in the early 1990s was the fourth-generation Honda Accord. Powered by a 2000cc, F20 engine, the Accord was known for its agility and styling. The top-of-the-line Accord EX-i came equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, fog lamps, powered windows and mirrors and a trunk spoiler.
The Suziki Swift was introduced to compliment a stagnant new-car market. With the dollar losing its value, and not many Jamaicans being able to afford new cars, the Swift solved these issues. Powered by a 1300cc, four-cylinder engine, the Swift was economical to operate and quickly became a favourite among Jamaicans.
Fiat Uno was available as a three or four-door hatchback. Solving the similar issues as the Swift, the Uno was a favourite among female drivers. Powered by a 1100cc, four-cylinder engine, which had a top speed of 90 miles per hour. Production of the Uno ceased in 1995, which resulted in the car's decline locally.
In 1995, a new Lancer was developed to meet the demands of a weak economy in Japan. The model started arriving in late 1996, as a 1997 model. The Lancer was offered in three trim levels, the GL, GLX and GLXi. Both the GLX and GLXi came standard with body kits and a trunk spoiler, which took its cue from the popular Mitsubishi Evolution franchise. The Lancer was powered by a 1500cc 4G15 engine.
As the new millennium dawned, the motoring public was redrawn to the 2001 Honda Civic. Powered by a 1600cc DA16 engine with variable valve timing, the car was popular among those with the need for speed. Notable design features of this Civic included a flat rear floor, which provided added comfort for rear-seat passengers.
The sixth-generation Mazda 626 gained popularity with the executive crowd. Powered by a 2000cc, four-cylinder engine, the car was not well received internationally. It had some reign locally, as it was priced competitively, and came with a host of standard features.