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January 17, 2023

The Average Car Weight

It’s impolite to ask a woman her weight, but what about her Mitsubishi Mirage?

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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.

Average Car Weight

Body Style

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)
All All 4,329
Car All 3,695
Car Sedan/wagon 3,628
Car Car SUV 3,833
Truck All 4,714
Truck Minivan/van 4,557
Truck Truck SUV 4,534
Truck Pickup 5,239

Commercial Vehicles

For commercial vehicles, the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration dictates weight standards.

Type of commercial vehicle Standard weight in pounds
Single axle 20,000
Tandem axle 34,000
Gross vehicle weight (GVW) 80,0001

Car Manufacturer and Model

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)
BMW Car Sedan/Wagon 4,024
BMW Car All Car 4,075
BMW All All 4,485
BMW Car Car SUV 4,500
BMW Truck All Truck 5,030
BMW Truck Truck SUV 5,030
Ford Truck Minivan/Van 4,029
Ford Car Sedan/Wagon 4,043
Ford Car All Car 4,067
Ford Car Car SUV 4,076
Ford Truck Truck SUV 4,590
Ford All All 4,701
Ford Truck All Truck 4,780
Ford Truck Pickup 5,058
GM Car Car SUV 3,546
GM Car All Car 3,589
GM Car Sedan/Wagon 3,636
GM All All 4,662
GM Truck Truck SUV 4,897
GM Truck All Truck 5,059
GM Truck Pickup 5,314
Honda Car Sedan/Wagon 3,346
Honda Car All Car 3,414
Honda Car Car SUV 3,750
Honda All All 3,816
Honda Truck Truck SUV 4,243
Honda Truck All Truck 4,314
Honda Truck Pickup 4,500
Honda Truck Minivan/Van 4,570
Hyundai Car Sedan/Wagon 3,423
Hyundai Car All Car 3,597
Hyundai Car Car SUV 3,703
Hyundai All All 3,820
Hyundai Truck All Truck 4,388
Hyundai Truck Truck SUV 4,388
Kia Car Sedan/Wagon 3,405
Kia Car All Car 3,413
Kia Car Car SUV 3,464
Kia All All 3,787
Kia Truck Truck SUV 4,169
Kia Truck All Truck 4,223
Kia Truck Minivan/Van 4,650
Mazda Car Sedan/Wagon 3,327
Mazda Car All Car 3,327
Mazda All All 3,866
Mazda Truck Truck SUV 3,977
Mazda Truck All Truck 3,977
Mercedes Car Car SUV 4,000
Mercedes Car All Car 4,221
Mercedes Car Sedan/Wagon 4,365
Mercedes All All 4,508
Mercedes Truck Minivan/Van 4,512
Mercedes Truck All Truck 4,735
Mercedes Truck Truck SUV 4,760
Nissan Car Sedan/Wagon 3,506
Nissan Car All Car 3,604
Nissan Car Car SUV 3,861
Nissan All All 3,988
Nissan Truck Truck SUV 4,355
Nissan Truck All Truck 4,553
Nissan Truck Pickup 5,166
Stellantis Car Car SUV 3,682
Stellantis Car All Car 4,100
Stellantis Car Sedan/Wagon 4,241
Stellantis Truck Minivan/Van 4,504
Stellantis Truck Truck SUV 4,619
Stellantis All All 4,815
Stellantis Truck All Truck 4,909
Stellantis Truck Pickup 5,509
Subaru Car All Car 3,629
Subaru Car Sedan/Wagon 3,629
Subaru All All 3,934
Subaru Truck All Truck 3,993
Subaru Truck Truck SUV 3,993
Tesla Car Sedan/Wagon 4,067
Tesla Car All Car 4,233
Tesla All All 4,330
Tesla Car Car SUV 4,446
Tesla Truck All Truck 4,704
Tesla Truck Truck SUV 4,704
Toyota Car Sedan/Wagon 3,488
Toyota Car All Car 3,535
Toyota Car Car SUV 3,700
Toyota All All 4,109
Toyota Truck Truck SUV 4,345
Toyota Truck All Truck 4,554
Toyota Truck Pickup 4,988
Toyota Truck Minivan/Van 5,000
VW (Volkswagen; includes Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, etc.) Car Car SUV 3,880
VW Car All Car 3,905
VW Car Sedan/Wagon 3,914
VW All All 4,352
VW Truck All Truck 4,667
VW Truck Truck SUV 4,6672

FYI:

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.

How to Find Your Vehicle’s Weight

  1. Check the car manual: Your car manual is one of the first places you should look to find out your vehicle weight.
  2. Check the driver’s side door: Typically, you’ll find a sticker on the inside of the door that includes the car’s curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Learn more about these measurement types below.
  3. Check online: You can look on the manufacturer’s website for the weight.
  4. Have your car weighed: Your last resort should be to physically weigh your car at either a junkyard or inspection center.3

Why Car Weight Matters

Size does matter when it comes to cars.

Collision Damage

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
Cars Mini 123
Cars Small 57
Cars Midsize 43
Cars Large 76
Cars Very large 22
Cars All 53
Pickups Small 27
Pickups Large 36
Pickups Very large 33
Pickups All 35
SUVs Small 33
SUVs Midsize 18
SUVs Large 18
SUVs Very large 13
SUVs All 25
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.

Fuel Consumption

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
Sedan/wagon 34 3,628
All cars 33 3,695
Car SUV 32 3,833
All vehicles 26 4,329
Truck SUVs 25 4,534
Minivans/vans 26 4,557
All trucks 23 4,714
Pickup trucks 20 5,239

That said, with the advent of electric cars, the tides are starting to turn, making both larger and lighter vehicles more fuel efficient.

DID YOU KNOW?

Every 100 pounds of vehicle weight decreases fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

Maintenance

Car tools come with weight limits, so knowing a vehicle’s weight is essential for routine maintenance.

Hauling

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.

How to Measure Car Weight

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
Curb weight Yes Yes No No No
Gross vehicle weight rating No No Yes Yes No
Gross combination weight rating Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, trailer and hitch
Payload No No Yes Yes No
Gross axle weight rating No Yes Yes Yes No
Maximum load trailer weight Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, fully-loaded trailer
  • Curb weight: The curb weight is the closest thing to the actual weight of the vehicle, including a full tank of gas. You can calculate the curb weight by taking the GVWR (detailed below) and subtracting the payload, passenger, and cargo capacity.
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: You can find the GVWR on the door jamb label, also known as the vehicle compliance label, which is on the inside of the driver’s side door.
  • Gross combination weight rating (GCWR): The GCWR is the maximum weight of the vehicle’s cargo, passengers, and trailer combined. Also known as the gross combination rate, it includes the vehicle itself, its engine, transmission, optional equipment, axle ratio, and the type of trailer hitch it has, be it weight distributing or non-weight distributing, or a gooseneck.5
  • Payload: Along with the GVWR, you should be able to find the vehicle’s payload on the door jamb label.
  • Gross axle weight rating (GAWR): The GAWR measures how much weight you can put on a vehicle’s axle once it’s fully equipped.6
  • Maximum load trailer weight: Think of the maximum load trailer weight as the GCWR combined with the weight of a fully loaded trailer.7

Conclusion

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are two tons considered heavy for a car?

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.

What car weighs 500 kg?

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.

How much is too much weight in a car?

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.

Which part of the car is heaviest?

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
Body 23-28%
Powertrain 24-28%
Suspension/chassis 22-27%
Interior 10-15%
Closures, fenders 8%
Misc 7-8%

Citations

  1. Commercial Vehicle Size and Weight Program. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2003, May).
    https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/sw/overview/index.htm

  2. Explore the Automotive Trends Data. U.S Environmental Protection Agency. (2022, Dec 12).
    https://www.epa.gov/automotive-trends/explore-automotive-trends-data

  3. Average Weight Of A Car. J.D Power. (2022, Dec 11).
    https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/average-weight-of-a-car

  4. Fatality Facts 2020. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (2020).
    https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/passenger-vehicle-occupants

  5. How do I find the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of my Ford? Ford.
    https://www.ford.com/support/how-tos/owner-resources/vehicle-specifications/how-do-i-find-the-gross-combination-weight-rating-gcwr-of-my-vehicle/

  6. Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
    https://www.nwcg.gov/term/glossary/gross-axle-weight-rating-gawr

  7. How Much Does a Car Weigh? (Average Weight by Car Type). Mechanic Base. (2023, Jan 7).
    https://mechanicbase.com/cars/car-weight/