It’s impolite to ask a woman her weight, but what about her Mitsubishi Mirage?
Do you know how much your car weighs? The amount may not be top of mind, but it matters when it comes to collision damage, fuel efficiency, hauling, and maintenance.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find out how much your car weighs and the average weight of cars in general by type and manufacturer. While heavier vehicles typically face less damage in collisions, they get fewer miles per gallon, assuming they’re non-electric. Dive deep into the wonderful world of average car weights below.
Across all body styles, the average vehicle weighs 4,329 pounds as of 2022. Cars are lighter, with an average weight of 3,695 pounds, while trucks are heavier, coming in at 4,714 pounds on average, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, there’s weight variation between types of cars and trucks, as you’ll see below.
|Regulatory class||Vehicle type||Average weight in pounds in 2022 (preliminary data collected January 2023)|
For commercial vehicles, the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration dictates weight standards.
|Type of commercial vehicle||Standard weight in pounds|
|Gross vehicle weight (GVW)||80,0001|
The EPA also tracks car weights by manufacturer and vehicle type.
|Manufacturer||Regulatory class||Vehicle type||Weight in pounds of 2022 models (preliminary data collected January 2023)|
|VW (Volkswagen; includes Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, etc.)||Car||Car SUV||3,880|
The heaviest passenger vehicle of 2022 was the Stellantis pickup truck, which weighed in at 5,509 pounds. The lightest, on the other hand, was any Mazda car, which weighed only 3,327 pounds on average.
Size does matter when it comes to cars.
Whether you cause a car accident or are an innocent victim, large vehicles with heavier weights get less damage and fewer passenger injuries compared to smaller, lighter vehicles. In particular, vehicles with larger front ends protect passengers better in front crashes, continuing to move forward in the crash and subjecting the passengers to less force.
Data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety shows that the larger the car, the lower the driver death rate.
|Type of vehicle||Size||Rate of driver deaths per million registered passenger vehicles 1-3 years old in 2020|
|All passenger vehicles||All||374|
Cars with better vehicle safety ratings, which are based partially on crash test statistics, have lower average costs of car insurance compared to vehicles with worse safety ratings.
While larger vehicles may perform better in crashes, typically they require more fuel per gallon than smaller cars.
|Vehicle type||Real world miles per gallon||Weight in pounds, low to high|
That said, with the advent of electric cars, the tides are starting to turn, making both larger and lighter vehicles more fuel efficient.
Every 100 pounds of vehicle weight decreases fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.
Car tools come with weight limits, so knowing a vehicle’s weight is essential for routine maintenance.
It’s also important to know a vehicle’s payload — the amount it can carry. If a vehicle is hauling too much weight, it can cause wear and tear, plus other damages. Typically, car insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear or driver negligence.
There are a few different types of weight measurements. Here’s an overview of what they include, with more detailed information below.
|Type of measurement and what it includes||Standard equipment||Full tank of fuel||Passengers||Cargo||Optional equipment|
|Gross vehicle weight rating||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Gross combination weight rating||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, trailer and hitch|
|Gross axle weight rating||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Maximum load trailer weight||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, fully-loaded trailer|
Vehicle weight is one factor you should consider when buying a new car, as it affects safety ratings and, therefore, the cost of car insurance. Learn more about average car weights with our FAQ below.
Two tons are a bit heavy for a car. Across all car types, the average weight is 1.8 tons, while SUVs weigh 1.9 tons. Trucks are more likely to weigh two tons or more, with the average weight across all trucks hitting 2.4 tons in 2022, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.
No car weighs 500 kg. According to 2022 data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the lightest car, the Mazda, is 1,509 kg — three times that weight. Even a smart car only weighs about 700 kg, so 500 kg is far too low for any car to weigh.
If you have exceeded a car’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR), which is the maximum allowable weight of cargo, passengers, the trailer, the vehicle itself, and optional equipment, it is too much weight. You could risk wear and tear or more significant damages.
The heaviest part of a car is its body, which makes up 23 to 28 percent of the total weight.
|Car part||Approximate vehicle mass breakdown|
Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2003, May).
Explore the Automotive Trends Data. U.S Environmental Protection Agency. (2022, Dec 12).
Average Weight Of A Car. J.D Power. (2022, Dec 11).
Fatality Facts 2020. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (2020).
How do I find the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of my Ford? Ford.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
How Much Does a Car Weigh? (Average Weight by Car Type). Mechanic Base. (2023, Jan 7).