Why do American Cars get bad gas mileage compared to their European counterparts. ?

Does it relate to weight, safety features, Air Conditioning? American cars in Europe get better gas mileage looking at estimates the focus gets a 10 MPG better rating in Europe than the states - what gives? 

Also saw a car that looks amazing Citroën C4 Cactus, it is a standard transmission wagon with 78 MPG!!! Why doesn't America get these cars.

12 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The Cactus gets 47 MPG, not 78. The motor is a 3 cylinder, 1200 cc. About the size of a Harley. America has stricter pollution laws & smog devices cut mpg. Several American Car companies make cars that get  50 mpg. 

  • Jay P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A US gallon and an Imperial gallon are NOT the same thing.

    US gallon is 3.78 L while an Imp. gallon is 4.54 L

    Also, compare the test methods used in Europe vs. the US.  They do not test their vehicles exactly the same way.  the New European Driving Cycle's test procedure is both shorter and slower than the EPA's procedure.  The European "Urban" test, for example, is 13 minutes long--the EPA's city test is 31 minutes long. The "Extra urban" test takes 6 minutes, 40 seconds; the equivalent EPA highway test is 12 minutes, 45 seconds.  Speeds are different too. During that 13-minute urban test, the highest speed attained is just over 30 mph, and maintained for only 12 seconds.

  • 1 month ago

    Largely, the cost of fuel in the US is significantly less expensive, so consumers want more powerful engines that use more fuel. Europeans also have a diesel option on many cars that is not available in the US.

    Second, the US has higher emissions standards requiring extra equipment than Europe which lowers fuel economy. Some of this equipment can be removed to increase economy without sacrificing emissions due to computer control and cleaner burning fuel.

  • F
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    1. US gallon is about 10% less than a British ( Imperial) gallon.

    2. Fuel is about half the price, so people don’t buy cars so much based on economy.

    3. Americans can’t get their heads around big engine doesn’t necessarily have more power than a small engine,so the same cars tend to have bigger engines. 

    4.Stricter emission laws sap power from the engine, so to overcome it, fit a bigger one.

    ( mmm that’s logical!)

    5.Few diesel cars.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    What gives is different engines. The smallest Focus engine in the USA is 123hp. In Europe it is 83. The largest engine available for it in Europe is 180hp. In the USA it's 350hp. Small displacement engines do not sell well in the USA. The USA also restricts imports, particularly small diesels, which is a type of protectionism for automakers so they don't have to compete in that market, and "big oil" likes it that way - more profit for them. Besides that, the gasoline and diesel in America is far cheaper than in Europe and owners aren't taxed according to the size of the engine in their car, so large, less efficient engines are far more popular. In Europe people have to be more economy minded due to the costs even though they drive roughly 1/3 the miles in a year than the average American does.  

  • Things are going to change drastically in the next few years.. With O'biden now president gas prices will start climbing and we will be seeing $4 5 6 7 8 dollars as time rolls on.. Gas miser cars will gain in popularity.. He will break things so bad that we will never see cheap gas again.. 

  • 1 month ago

    Due to high fuel costs, cars sold in Europe often have smaller engines and use less fuel. We don't get them because they would not sell well here.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    US gallons are actually smaller than imperial gallons. Because americans are idiots and the oil companies like charging you as much money as possible.

  • 1 month ago

    Because of our emission laws. The USA already has higher standards for clean air and if President Biden puts us back in the Paris Climate Accord American's will get screwed paying to help other Countries clean up their act. Other Countries should pay their own way!

  • 1 month ago

    American cars MPG is using American gallons, European MPG is using UK imperial gallons, the imperial gallon is about 10 American pints.  

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