While it has impressed car buffs in Europe, the Renault Captur Hybrid will be a no-show in the United States. The same for the new Seat Leon hatchback and Dacia Dusters, and don't expect to see any Citroen C4 Cactus crossovers.

There are many reasons so many foreign cars never make it to our driveways.

First off, Americans are not starved for choices. As the second-largest automotive market in the world after China, the United States already has dozens of brands to browse.

"As attractive as the U.S. market is, it's saturated," said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst for IHS Markit. "In the States, consumers are confused with all of the choices; it can be overwhelming."

In the past 25 years or so, Suzuki, Daewoo and Daihatsu have left our shores. Scion, Geo, Saab, Eagle, Plymouth, Mercury, Saturn, Pontiac and Oldsmobile have joined Studebaker on that great off-ramp.

For some European brands, coming to the United States means new dealerships and parts distribution. That's expensive. Vehicles must pass our government's emissions and safety requirements. That's very expensive. And how does a company market an expensive product to consumers who are loyal to existing brands? That's bottomless-money-pit expensive.

Even with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' existing network of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep franchisees, it has struggled to get Americans to fully embrace the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands. A newcomer to the U.S. market would need a Caddy full of euros to introduce a brand. And by Caddy, we mean the Volkswagen Caddy, which is a small van used for deliveries and family hauling. And no, we don't get that here, either.

Uses vary

People of each continent use their vehicles differently. "Americans like large vehicles and SUVs that do 100% of everything," Brinley said. "We plan for the most extreme-use case, while Europeans are more comfortable squeezing things into a small space."

Size matters to both continents, just not in the same way. No one needs to point out that America likes its trucks. Ford's F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle (not just pickup truck) in America for over 30 years, but it is not officially sold in Europe.

"We have a lot more room to spread out," said Ray Telang, U.S. automotive leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers. "The U.S. market is filled with buyers who value size; they want SUVs. The footprint of the U.S. has more rural areas. We are not as constrained by space.

"The European buyer drives narrower roads and has to find a place to store the car in more crowded cities. Smaller works better there."

Plus, many European countries tax vehicles on size, weight, engine size and fuel consumption at a far higher rate than our states. Fuel prices also play a role. Europeans pay as much as triple the price for gasoline. That's why you're more likely to see Bigfoot sipping espresso there than a thirsty Chevrolet Tahoe.

But Telang also said the tastes were merging a bit. "As crossovers become more fuel-efficient, the demand is accelerating in Western Europe, just not to the same level as in the U.S."

Generally, European SUVs are smaller than three-row models such as the Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander that we buy in droves. Ford is a popular brand in Europe, but there are few Explorers there. And you will see far more Jeep Renegades overseas than Wranglers.