How Much Does a Car Weigh?

Have you ever asked:  “how much does a car weigh?” If so, then you need to have an idea of the average weight of the different types of cars. Car weights vary based on the type of car and model. For instance, an SUV will weigh more than a standard sedan because it has a large build and is designed to carry heavier loads. 

Here are the average weight totals for common types of cars.

  1. Small car (e.g., Nissan Micra):  2,600 pounds.  
  2. Middle-sized car (e.g., Audi A4): 3500 pounds.
  3. Large car (e.g., Audi A8): 4400 pounds.
  4. Compact SUV (e.g., Kia Soul):  3,500 pounds.
  5. Mid size SUV (e.g., Nissan Navara): 5,300.
  6. Large SUV (e.g., Chevrolet Tahoe):  6,600 pounds.

Why You Should Know Your Car’s Weight

While it may not cross your mind too often, it is important to know the weight of your car for the following reasons:

Safety

The lighter your car is, the higher the risk you face in case of auto accidents. Lighter cars are more susceptible to damage, especially from bigger cars such as trucks—the risk of fatality increases by 40% for every 1,000 pounds in weight disadvantage.

It is also important to know your car’s weight so that you can adhere to restrictions on bridges and other places that have weight restrictions for safety reasons.

Routine Maintenance

When it comes to selecting the best tools for your car, knowing how much the car weighs will guide you on what the appropriate selection should be. The weight of your car will also guide you on other key maintenance issues, such as the correct tire pressure. You will find that vehicles, such as RVs, come with an inflation table that indicates the appropriate tire pressure for a particular weight.

Fuel Efficiency

Your car’s weight plays a significant role in the fuel economy of the car. The heavier your car, the more gas it requires to operate. Naturally bigger cars such as buses, van, and SUVs need more gas and therefore have a lower fuel efficiency than small sedans.

Payload

It is important to know how much weight your car can handle, or payload. This is partly determined by how much your car weighs. Overloading your car with more weight than is recommended can affect the ease of handling and also cause mechanical problems.

If you are buying a new car, make sure you know how much the car weighs. This will guide you in terms of understanding the car’s fuel consumption, safety profile, and ease of handling before you make your purchase.

Types of Car Weights

When it comes to car weight, several descriptions refer to different aspects of the car’s weight. Here are the most common terminologies used to describe how much a car weighs.

Curb Weight: 

Curb weight refers to the net weight of the car when it is empty. This means to get your curb weight; you will need to measure it when the car is free of the driver, passengers, and any other cargo.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

Gross vehicle weight refers to the weight of the car plus all the passengers and cargo or equipment being carried in the car. Your gross vehicle weight will vary based on how many passengers you are carrying, as well as the amount of cargo or luggage in your car at a given time. This is in contrast to the curb weight, which remains constant.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum weight limit that your car should carry at any given time.

Payload

Payload refers to the gross vehicle weight of your car in addition to everything else it carries. For instance, if you are towing a trailer or another vehicle, your payload will be the combined weight of the two cars.

Gross Axle Weight

Gross axle weight refers to the weight on each axle of your car.

Gross Axle Weight Rating

The gross axle weight rating refers to the maximum weight that each axle on your car can handle. Exceeding this weight can reduce the ease of handling and cause mechanical damage to your car.

How to Know How Much Your Car Weighs

Check Your Car’s Manual

The simplest way to find out how much your car weighs is by checking your car’s manual. All car manufacturers will typically indicate the curb weight of that particular car in the manual. Check in the specifications section of the manual.

The Driver’s Side Door

If you do not have your owner’s manual, check the driver’s side door. In most cars, you will find a sticker on the driver’s side door with the gross vehicle weight rating of the car. Some will have both the curb weight and the gross vehicle weight rating of the car.

Manufacturer’s Website

Another way to find out how much your car weighs is by simply checking the manufacturer’s website. Car manufacturers usually have a list of specifications for their car models. These specifications will typically include the weight of the car.

Have Your Car Weighed

Vehicle inspection sites and other auto shops can weigh your car and give you the car’s gross vehicle weight. This is especially important for vehicles that tend to carry big loads and need to remain within weight regulations for certain states and areas, especially including bridges. If you are not sure how much your car weighs, have it weighed at an inspection site near you.

Summary

When it comes to how much a car weighs, the answer is as diverse as the number of cars on the road. Taking time to know your car’s weight can be an important activity when it comes to safety, fuel consumption, and the ease of handling of the vehicle. Before you buy a car, take some time to find out how much it weighs and how that affects its performance and overall suitability for your particular needs.