How Much Does A Car Weigh?

man lifting car

Do you know how much your car weighs? Most people don’t and that’s not a good thing.

What if I told you that knowing this seemingly trivial number improves your safety in the vehicle? Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s look at the average weight of a variety of vehicle types and why it’s important for you to know the weight of your vehicle.

The Average Weight Of A Car

From tiny little hatchbacks to half-ton pickup trucks, there are a lot of different automobile models out there with varying weights. And in 2018, the EPA calculated that the average weight of a car is just barely over 4,000 pounds.

This figure has been roughly the same since 2015. And it does include all the models and types of vehicles in the calculation.

For a bit more specific info on the various types of cars, the EPA broke it down like this:

  • The average weight for compact cars is just over 2,900 pounds
  • The average weight for large cars is almost 3,900 pounds
  • The average weight for compact SUVs is almost 3,600 pounds
  • The average weight for large SUVs is just over 5,600 pounds

Below we’ll dig more into the average weight for the most popular classes of vehicles in the USA.

Vehicle Type Average Weight
(pounds)
Average Weight
(tons)
Smart Car 2,072 1.04
Sub-Compact Car 2,505 1.3
Compact Car 2,919 1.5
Midsize Sedan 3,361 1.7
Large Sedan 3,882 1.9
Compact SUV 3,590 1.8
Midsize SUV 4,404 2.2
Large SUV 5,603 2.8
Half-ton Truck 4,951 2.5

What Are The Lightest Car Models In The USA?

If you’re interested in the most lightweight car models in the USA, then there are quite a few options for you.

The EPA found the following models to be the most lightweight in 2018:

  • Chevy Spark at 2,246 pounds
  • Toyota Yaris at 2,315 pounds
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata at 2,332 pounds
  • Nissan Versa at 2,400 pounds
  • Honda Fit at just over 2,500 pounds
  • Smart Car at just under 2,100 pounds

Have you ever wondered how much does a Smart Car weigh? Well, the Smart Fortwo has a weight range of 2,050 to 2,094 lbs. But, Smart stopped selling vehicles in the USA at the end of 2019.

What Are The Heaviest Car Models In The USA?

With the popularity of SUVs in the United States, it should come as no surprise that they make up some of the heaviest vehicles on the road.

In 2018, the EPA found the following models are some of the heaviest on US roads:

  • Mercedes-Maybach S560 4Matic sedan at just over 5,000 pounds
  • Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV at 5,700 pounds
  • Ford Expedition SUV at just over 5,400 pounds
  • Lincoln Navigator SUV at 6,000 pounds, with the addition of four-wheel drive
  • Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury sedan at 5,643 pounds
  • Infiniti QX80 SUV at 5,676 pounds
  • Toyota Sequoia SUV at 5,730 pounds
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV SUV at 5,831 pounds

One thing to keep in mind with these heavy SUVs is that upgrades to larger engines, four-wheel drive and luxury trims increase the overall weight as much as 500 or 600 pounds in some vehicles.

Why You Need To Know Your Car’s Weight

The most important reason you should know your car’s weight is because it impacts your safety in the vehicle. But let’s look in more detail at why you need to know the vehicle weight.

Is the car too heavy for the road?

For some bridges and overpasses, there are weight limit restrictions in place. This means that if the vehicle is over that weight limit, then it is not safe for you to drive over it.

Is the car safe in collisions?

No one expect to be in an auto accident, but they do happen and you should be prepared for this eventuality. Smaller, more lightweight cars fare worse in collisions than larger, heavier vehicles.

The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that for every 1,000 pound disadvantage your vehicle has against the other vehicle in the collision, there is a 47% increased risk of fatality from the auto accident.

Do you want better fuel efficiency and emissions?

The larger and heavier the vehicle, then the worse the fuel efficiency and emissions emitted into the air.

If you want to be environmentally friendly with your driving habits, then you need to choose a vehicle that isn’t heavy.

Are you carrying too much weight in the vehicle?

Have you ever seen a vehicle loaded down with stuff (or people) that seems to drag or bottom out? This is because the driver is exceeding the payload, or weight capacity, of the vehicle.

You need to know how much the vehicle weighs and how much it is capable of holding so that you don’t overload it. When you exceed payload, it causes damage to the vehicle and makes it dangerous to drive.

Are you using tools that can support the weight of the vehicle?

If you are a home mechanic and use a floor jack or other equipment, then you need to make sure that your auto body equipment actually supports the true weight of the vehicle.

Car Weight Definitions

You may have already noticed that there are a lot of different types of car weights out there. If you’re not sure what all these different words mean, then this quick car weight glossary will help you out.

  • Gross Vehicle Weight – This is the weight of a car with all cargo and passengers inside.
  • Curb Weight – This is the weight of a car without the driver, passengers, or cargo
  • Payload – this weight is the weight of the car, equipment, passengers, and anything else that may be towed.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – This is the maximum total weight your car can handle including drivers, passengers, and cargo.
  • Gross Combined Weight – If you’re pulling a trailer, this measurement includes the weight of your car and the trailer.
  • Maximum Load Trailer Weight – This measurement is similar to the gross combined rate. However, this includes the weight of a fully loaded trailer.
  • Gross Axle Weight – This is the amount of weight that is currently being supported by each axle.
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating – This is the maximum amount of weight the axle can support.

When we refer to the weight of a car on in this article, please note that we are referring to curb weight unless otherwise specified.

How To Determine The Weight Of Your Car

If you’re ready to learn how much your vehicle weighs, then it’s easy for you to find out. There are a few different ways to go about this, so let’s cover each of them for you.

Driver Side Door

The easiest way to know how much your car weighs is to just look on the vehicle and find out. You can find this information by opening the driver side door and looking at the vehicle data sticker that is on the frame.

You should find the weight of the vehicle listed on that sticker.

Your Vehicle Manual

If you have the manufacturer’s manual that came with the vehicle, then you can use it to find the weight of the automobile.

Just look in the manual to get the weight. It will be listed in the specs section for easy reference.

The Manufacturer

If the above methods fail you, then contacting the manufacturer of your vehicle is a good way to get the correct answer.

You’ll need to give them the year, make, and model of your vehicle in order for them to look it up and give you the weight.

Car Scale

As a final resort, you can use a car scale to get the weight of your automobile. Of course, it’s not like you can just drive to the end of the street and find one of these.

And keep in mind that a car scale will give you the weight of the vehicle, including everything that is currently inside of it when it is weighed (including fuel).

And if you’re wondering what is the weight of my car in tons or kilograms? Well, converting the weight is pretty simple.

  • One ton = 2,000 pounds or 907.19 kilograms
  • One pound = 0.453592 kilograms
  • One kilogram = 2.20462 pounds

Now, you can convert your vehicle’s weight into any of the above measurements.

 

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