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How Much Does The Average Car Weight?

Average Car Weight

Knowing the weight of your car is important for many different reasons, including automotive safety, fuel efficiency, and more. However, it’s not easy to find this information, which is why we have done our research for you.

Over the recent years, the average car weight is generally around 3,00 to a little over 4,000 lbs, which, for many car owners, means a lighter car with better fuel economy and higher horsepower. However, this number can greatly vary depending on various factors, such as the materials the vehicle is made with and the size of the engine.

If you want to find out more about the average weight of cars, different types of car weight measurements, how car weight affects fuel efficiency, whether light or heavy car is better, how to find out your car’s weight, and more, read on further.

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What is the average weight of a car?

What is the average weight of a car?For most average sized cars nowadays, you can expect the average weight to be around 3,280 (lbs) pounds. But, it’s a little more complicated than that.

The answer to the question of how much a car weighs largely depends on the car type and model. Generally speaking, however, a small car such as a Nissan Micra weighs at around 2,600 pounds, while a larger Audi A8 averages at 4,400 pounds, and an SUV typically goes around 4,800 pounds.

Actually, for many car types, an increase in weight has been seen over the last several years, while for some others, the opposite is true. What you can expect, however, is that sedans can range from 3,100 to 4,000 pounds, and the larger the car, the heavier it is- such as minivans and trucks. Moreover, American cars typically weigh heavier than their European counterparts.

Weight by car type

Weight by car typeHere’s a simple chart to show you the differences of average curb car weights based on the vehicle type and size:

Car typeWeight (pounds)Weight (kilograms)
Small sized cars26001200
Mid-sized cars35001600
Large sized cars44002000
Small trucks and SUVs33001500
Mid-sized trucks and SUVs53002400
Large trucks and SUVs66003000

As you can see, small trucks and SUVs generally weigh the same as mid-sized and large cars. This is because an SUV is typically heavy, and a truck, even though it’s physically bigger, normally has an empty interior.

Weight by car model

To be even more specific, here’s a list of the average weight of some of the most common car models on the market:

Car modelYearWeight (pounds)Weight (kilograms)
Cadillac Escalade2002-200658002600
Chevrolet Malibu2015-201833661526
Chevrolet Silverado2014-201848002200
Chevrolet Tahoe1992-200045002000
Dodge Charger2006-201041601887
Ford Explorer2018-present49002215
Ford Fusion2013-201834271554
Ford Mustang2015-201937001700
Honda Accord1994-199728541295
Honda Civic1996-200025191143
Honda CR-V2018-present33581523
Jeep Cherokee1987-200233571523
Jeep Grand Cherokee1993-201551002300
Jeep Wrangler2017-201839001770
Mercedes Benz C-class2015-201834171550
Mercedes Benz E-class2016-201838001723
Mercedes Benz GLC-class2015-201839501790
Nissan Altima2012-201831531430
Subaru Outback2018-present36421650
Toyota Camry1990-199427701260
Toyota Corolla 20192019-present28701301
Toyota Highlander2013-201845082045
Toyota Tacoma1995-200432001451
Toyota Tundra2000-200639401900

Types of car weight measurements

The lists you’ve seen above for the average car weights by type and model are actually referring to the curb weight, which basically means the weight of the car itself without the driver, passengers, and cargo.

Aside from the curb weight, there are other car weight measurements that you should also be aware of:

  • Curb weight refers to the car weight without any person or load
  • Gross weight refers to the total car weight loaded with the maximum allowable passengers and cargo
  • Gross weight rating is the maximum allowable weight of the car including cargo weight, driver, and number of passengers
  • Gross combined weight is a measurement used for cars with attached trailers and counts the trailer weight as part of the total weight
  • Maximum load trailer weight is the gross combined rate that includes the weight of the cargo inside the trailer
  • Payload is similar to the gross combined weight in that it accounts for the gross weight and anything that is towed behind the car
  • Gross axle weight refers to the weight load on each of the car’s axles
  • Gross axle weight rating means the maximum weight that each of the axles can handle

Does car weight affect fuel efficiency?

Does car weight affect fuel efficiency?Car weight is usually associated with fuel efficiency, but it’s not clear how these two affect each other. Technically speaking, a heavier weight would translate to lower fuel efficiency. For example, if you have two identical engines on cars with different weights, the engine on the lighter car will burn fuel more efficiently.

However, cars aren’t made equal, and despite the increase in car weight that we have seen over the years, fuel efficiency has somehow also increased. Take the Subaru Legacy, for example. While it’s one of the heaviest cars on the market, it also boasts of the best fuel efficiency rating.

So, rather than looking at the car weight, inspect the car engine, how it’s made, how it works, and so on, if you really want to get the most fuel-efficient vehicle.

Are heavy cars better?

Are heavy cars better?For some reason, Americans prefer heavier cars, and this is why American made vehicles are generally heavier than European and Asian cars. To be fair, a heavier car often offers a smoother ride, and just generally feels safer.

That said, there’s really nothing else that can be said to make a heavier car better than a lighter one, since these days, fuel economy isn’t really dependent on the car weight. Besides, lighter cars can typically accelerate faster and reach higher speeds on the road.

No matter what the weight of your car is, this is just one of the many factors that affect how the car drives and how fuel-efficient it is.

What’s more important than the weight of the car is how it performs on the road, how reliable it is to drive, how long it can last, and its overall quality and performance. So, instead of purchasing a car based on weight, make sure to prioritize the more important considerations.

What is the lightest car sold in the US?

Lightweight cars aren’t really popular in the United States, especially as compared to SUVs, trucks, and other heavier vehicles.

Although, there are quite a few light cars on the market, such as Honda Fit, which weighs at around 2,500 lbs, or the Chevy Spark at 2,246 lbs, the Nissan Versa at 2,400 lbs, the Toyota Yaris at 2,315 lbs, or the Mazda MX-5 at 2,332 lbs.

Surprisingly, if you compare these with vehicles from other countries, they aren’t the lightest cars in the world. And, these are still considerably heavier than some of the older cars such as the 1988 Civic that goes for less than 2,000 lbs.

What is the heaviest car sold in the US?

On the contrary, the US market is densely populated with some of the heaviest vehicles in the world, including, of course, SUVs. This is compounded by the use of heavier materials, larger V8 rather than V6 engines, using a 4-wheel drive, and adding various luxury trims, each of which can easily add around 500 lbs to the car’s weight.

Some vehicles even total at over 6,000 lbs, such as the Lincoln Navigator, which is a luxury vehicle with a 4-wheel drive. There’s also the Mercedes Benz which can go from 5,300 to 5,700 lbs depending on the engine.

Other heavy vehicles include the Mercedes-Maybach sedan at 5,000 lbs, the Toyota Sequioa SUV at 5,730 lbs, the Infinity QX80 SUV at 5,676 lbs, the Cadillac Escalade SUC at 5,881 lbs, and the Rolls Royce Phantom luxury sedan at 5,643 lbs.

Even the Ford Expedition is notoriously known for being heavy, although nowadays it’s made with a smaller engine and lighter aluminum panels.

How to know your car’s weight

How to know your car’s weightIf you don’t see your car’s make, model, and year throughout this article, and would really like to know your car’s actual weight, here are a few effective methods you can go about it, which are all more guaranteed to give you accurate numbers than a generic list that’s based on standard-issue models.

Check the manual

If you bought your car new, then you should have a car manual in hand that lists down all the important information you need to know about your vehicle, including the weight of the car model you own. For second-hand vehicles, however, the manual may have been lost along the way, so your best bet is to purchase a copy online, since having your car manual is important.

Check the driver’s side door

Aside from the manual, the car itself often offers ready information that you may need to know, such as the chassis number of the vehicle, along with other specifications. One of the places you should check is the body of your car, right behind the door on the driver’s side. There should be a label or sticker near the central locking bracket.

Ask the manufacturer

You can also just call and ask the car manufacturer directly, and they will be more than happy to answer any question you may have about your vehicle. Just be prepared with the car’s license plate number, or even better, the VIN-number, so they can properly assist you.

Use a car scale

The most foolproof and accurate method, however, is by simply using a car scale, which is especially beneficial if you don’t have a standard-issue or have made some modifications and repair work on your vehicle over the years. You’ll find plenty of car scales in mechanic shops, vehicle inspection sites, and junkyards.

Final Tips

heavy car vs light carUnderstanding your car weight is important when it comes to knowing the limits of your vehicle, understanding whether it’s safe to drive on local and national roadways, and even getting a bit of insight on its fuel economy.

Remember, when researching car weights, you’ll most often come across the car’s curb weight, which is the weight of the car alone, without any passenger or luggage. Interestingly enough, a lighter car will be significantly more affected by added weights (person and cargo load) as compared to an already heavy vehicle.

The general rule when it comes to car weights is that the larger the vehicle, the heavier the weight is, but there are many exceptions to this rule. For example, while modern mid-size sedans typically weigh at 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, an SUV can go for much higher. This is especially true for hybrid cars that make use of big and heavy batteries.

No matter how much your car weighs, what’s important at the end of the day is you don’t overload it with passengers and cargo, nor tow more than the allowable gross vehicle weight rating, so you can drive, control, and stop the car safely, as well as keep it from getting damaged.

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