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American vs European Cars: What's the Difference?

Car consumers often equate European models with higher luxury and class than American-made cars. But are European cars really better than cars made in the U.S.? These four factors highlight how American and European cars differ from each other, letting you decide for yourself if the European make is really worth the price for you.


When it comes to visual appeal, European cars generally are considered superior to their American counterparts. European automakers place high emphasis on aesthetics and beauty, perhaps more so out of any other factor in the building process. American cars, on the other hand, are often described as boxy, awkward, and over-sized. Car buyers find them less visually appealing than European models. However, it’s important to remember that the increased visual appeal comes at a cost. Because they are sleeker and lighter, European cars are less durable during impact, making them prettier but not as safe in an accident. 


While perhaps not as visually appealing, American cars last longer than their European counterparts. A recent study found that, when compared to American models, European cars needed more frequent repairs than cars made in the U.S. The study also ranked European and American cars in 26 separate performance categories. Out of the 26, European cars only took the top spot in one. American cars outperformed in the other 25 categories. Compared to cars made in Europe, they need less frequent repairs and maintenance to operate properly. It’s also important to note that when you get them serviced, you’ll want to get it done at a dealer that has the right parts, as not all dealers will have European parts. For example, if you get a Renault vehicle, you’ll want to look specifically for a dealer that offers Renault servicing, so that they’ll have experience working with your specific vehicle type.


Because of their sleeker and lighter build, European cars are designed to go much faster than American vehicles. They can often top speeds of 150 miles an hour compared to American cars that are designed to go only around 100 to 110 miles per hour on average. The speed factor plays into European laws being more lax about speeding on major thoroughfares. American laws are more stringent when it comes to driving past the speed limit, so this speed increase is only particularly useful if you plan to be driving in an area where driving faster is legal. This makes European drag racing cars a major benefit for those who want an edge on their competitors.

Gas Mileage

American cars have larger fuel tanks but use more gas than European cars. Cars made in Europe have smaller gas tanks. However, they burn through less gas than American cars. In terms of fuel economy alone, they are less expensive to drive than many cars made in the U.S. They also get more miles to the gallon than American vehicles. Drivers of European cars enjoy having to fill up less frequently and spending less at the gas pump than drivers of American-made vehicles. This means that if fuel efficiency is a major concern for you, European cars definitely are worth the consideration in that regard.

European cars outperform their American counterparts in a number of key ways, though these improvements may not be ideal for every driver’s lifestyle. Between the fuel economy, visual appeal, and greater speeds, European cars certainly earn their price tag. However, before you go buying an expensive foreign make, ensure that it’s really the best fit for your lifestyle and driving needs by carefully examining the pros and cons of both types.

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Tags: American, European, car, cars, durability, gas, make, mileage, renault, speed, More…vehicle


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