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How Much Does a Car Weigh?

Find out how much cars in Australia weigh on average and the factors that can impact their overall mass with Savvy.
Published on July 31st, 2023
  Written by 
Thomas Perrotta
Thomas Perrotta is the managing editor of Savvy. Throughout his time at the company, Thomas has specialised in personal finance, namely car, personal and small loans, although he has also written on topics ranging from mortgages to business loans to banking and more. Thomas graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Media, majoring in journalism, and has previously had his work published in The Advertiser.
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Bill Tsouvalas

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Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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When it comes to cars, weight plays a crucial role in determining their performance, fuel efficiency and safety. The weight of a vehicle can vary significantly depending on its size, type and purpose. Learn about the factors which contribute to a car's weight and explore the average weights of different vehicle categories in Australia right here with Savvy today.

What does a car’s weight refer to?

The weight of a car refers to its total mass, including the body, engine, chassis, and all other components. Car manufacturers aim to carefully engineer the weight distribution to achieve optimal balance and stability while driving. Vehicle weight impacts various aspects, such as acceleration, braking, handling and fuel consumption. As you would expect, larger vehicles tend to weigh more than smaller ones due to the additional materials and features required for their construction.

What factors can influence the weight of a car?

Several factors contribute to a car's weight, with each element playing a critical role in its overall performance:

  • Size and body type: larger vehicles, such as SUVs, utes and trucks, have more substantial bodies and frames, resulting in increased weight compared to compact cars.
  • Engine and powertrain: the type of engine and powertrain also affects a car's weight. Vehicles with larger engines or advanced technologies, like hybrid or electric cars, may be heavier due to their additional components.
  • Materials used: car manufacturers utilise various materials in vehicle construction, such as steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. The choice of materials impacts both weight and strength.
  • Features and accessories: modern cars come equipped with a range of features and accessories, from advanced infotainment systems to safety technologies. These additions contribute to the overall weight of the vehicle.

What are the average weights of different car types in Australia?

Car weights in Australia are on the rise, with the average car now weighing in at 2.05 tonnes. Although there are many factors that determine the weight of your car, some of the weights you might be able to expect from different types of vehicle in Australia are:

  • Small cars: smaller models, such as compact, micro or light passenger vehicles, typically weigh between 1,000kg to 1,300kg, with some even weighing under a tonne.
  • Medium cars: mid-sized passenger cars can weigh between 1,400kg and 1,700kg, although some may be heavier.
  • Large cars: these models will generally creep further towards 2,000kg, with this type of car tending to weigh in at upwards of 1,900kg.
  • Upper large cars and people movers: as the biggest members of the passenger vehicle classification, these vehicles tend to weigh in at around 2,200kg to 2,400kg.
  • SUVs and crossovers: the different sizes of SUVs and crossover SUVs are similar, but generally slightly heavier, on average compared to passenger cars. For instance, large SUVs weigh closer to 2,100kg on average.
  • Utes: utes and trucks are known for their robustness and ability to carry heavy loads. While a 4X2 may weigh around 1,700kg to 1,800kg, a 4X4 could top 2,500kg.
  • Electric cars: while the weight of electric vehicles ultimately depends on their size, materials and battery packs, they’re generally much heavier than petrol-engine models. An EV could be over 1,000kg heavier than an equivalent petrol car.

What are the lightest and heaviest cars for sale in Australia?

Australia is known for its love of big cars, but there are still plenty of small cars available on the market. As of 2024, there are four cars available that weigh under 1,000kg:

  • Suzuki Ignis: 820kg (manual) / 865kg (automatic)
  • Suzuki Swift: 900kg
  • Fiat 500 : 920kg 
  • Kia Picanto: 976kg

At the other end of the scale, these are some of the heaviest cars on sale in Australia today:

  • RAM 3500: 3,609kg
  • RAM 2500: 3,593kg
  • Nissan Patrol Warrior: 2,884kg 
  • BMW XM: 2,710kg
  • Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 4MATIC: 2,679kg

Looking at brands overall, Suzuki makes the lightest cars at 1,020kg on average and RAM makes the heaviest at 3,252kg on average.

How can I find out the weight of my car?

The simplest way to determine the weight of your current car (or your next car before you purchase it) is to read the specifications of your vehicle, which should be available online. You may be able to find this on the manufacturer’s website, but if not, there’s a wide range of resources in Australia which track the pricing and specifications of vehicles sold on our shores.

Does car weight affect safety?

The weight of a car can significantly impact its safety on the road. Larger, heavier vehicles like SUVs are often perceived as safer due to their size and mass, and typically offer occupants better protection in the case of a crash. However, they pose greater risks to pedestrians and occupants of smaller vehicles in the event of a collision. This is because larger cars can be harder to stop and cause more significant damage upon impact.

Technological advancements have improved safety features in modern vehicles, including crumple zones, airbags and autonomous braking. However, the risks still exist. When buying a car, whether it’s a lightweight runaround or heavy-duty ute, it’s essential to consider not only its comforts and conveniences but also how safe it is on the road. Checking ANCAP safety ratings can provide valuable insight into a vehicle's safety performance and help you with your decision. Ultimately, the most important safety factor is the driver: your behaviour behind the wheel plays a crucial role in preventing accidents and minimising harm to both yourself and others.

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