December 19, 2017

Average Weight of a Car May Surprise You

Read more about Cars

The average car weighs just 2,871 pounds. Shockingly, it's only 300 pounds less than the 1967 Chevelle. While we think technology has come a long way, some things aren't as different as they seem.

© Manoj Prasad (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Keep reading to learn more about the average weight of cars.

Understanding the Weight of a Car

  • What is the average weight of a car in tons?
    We estimated the average weight of a car to be 1.4 tons (2,871 pounds).

    We based the average on the average sedan from each of the top car brands from 2017 using data provided by Edmunds.

  • What is the average weight of a car in kg (kilograms)?
    The average weight of a car in kg is 1,302 kg.

  • How much does a mid-size sedan weigh?
    The average mid-size sedan weighs 3,351 pounds. This is 660 pounds more than the average car. While it's not a big deal, the car does have to work harder to perform the same as a lighter car.

    We determined this average based on the weights of the top mid-size sedans from 2017 using data from Edmunds.

  • How much does the average SUV weigh?
    The average SUV weighs 40% more than the average car. The average SUV weighs in at 4,799 pounds.

  • How much does the average minivan weigh?
    We calculated the average minivan to weigh 4,437 pounds. This is just 7.5% less than the average SUV.

  • How much does the average pick-up truck weigh?
    Surprisingly, the pick-up truck weighs 7% more than the minivan. The average pick-up truck weighs 4,710 pounds.

  • How much does the average motorcycle weigh?
    The average motorcycle weighs 604 pounds. That's almost 80% less than a car weighs.

  • What is the average weight of an 18-wheeler?
    The average and legally maximum weight of an 18-wheeler is 80,000 pounds.

  • How much does an empty 53-foot trailer weigh?
    An empty 53-foot trailer weighs around 15,000 pounds. This is also known as the "tare weight."

  • How much does a school bus weigh?
    A "Type C" school bus, which is the standard school bus seen at most schools, weighs between 23,500 and 29,500 pounds. The difference is based on the seat capacity in the bus.

Comparing Car Weights

  • What is the average weight of a 1967 Chevelle?
    The 1967 Chevelle looks much heavier than today's vehicles. However, its average weight is only 3,172 pounds. At only 300 pounds more, it doesn't seem that heavy compared to today's cars.

  • What is the lightest car in the world?
    The lightest car ever built and driven was in the year 1900. Louis Borsi created a 21-pound car. However, it could only drive 25 miles per hour.

  • How much does a smart car weigh?
    The lightest smart car weighs 2,050 pounds. That's 29% lighter than the average car. However, the smart car tops out at 81 miles per hour.

  • What is the lightest car today?
    Aside from the smart car, the lightest car today is the Mitsubishi Mirage. It has a curb weight (weight without passengers) of 2,073 pounds. That's just 23 pounds more than the smart car, which only seats two people.

  • What is the heaviest car in the world?
    The Rolls-Royce Phantom Limelight takes the award for the heaviest car today. It weighs in at almost 5,600 pounds. That's almost double the weight of the average car today.

Car Specifications

  • How much does a car battery weigh?
    We calculated the average car battery to weigh 42.4 pounds. However, car batteries can weigh anywhere between 30 and 50 pounds.

  • What is the average length of a car?
    The average sedan measures 186 inches, or 15.5 feet.

  • What is the average length of an SUV?
    Surprisingly, the average SUV isn't that much longer than the average car. Today, the average SUV is around 191 inches, or just about 16 feet.

  • What classifies a Class A vehicle?
    A Class A vehicle has a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or higher. This includes the vehicle alone or the vehicle and any towed units with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds.

  • What classifies a Class B vehicle?
    A Class B vehicle has a gross weight of 26,001 pounds, but its towing unit does not exceed 10,000 pounds.

  • What is the average fuel economy for a car?
    The average fuel economy of new vehicles is 25.2 mpg. This is 5.1 more miles per gallon than 2007 vehicles. However, the average miles per gallon has remained fairly steady over the last few years.

The Bottom Line

Unless you drive a smart car, any car you drive will likely weigh around 2,800 pounds. The lighter the car you drive, the better the fuel economy. This means less money out of your pocket. Of course, it's not the only factor you should consider when buying a car. But, you may want to make it a top priority.

Sources and References:

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