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A normal average European car has a diesel motor with less than a 2.0 liter engine which consumes 1 litre of fuel in 18-22 km.

A normal American car has a gasoline (benzin) engine at least a 2.5 liter engine and gets only 10-14 km with 1 liter of fuel.


  • European Ford Focus 1.6 TDci 80KW power: turbo diesel engine - 22km/l.
  • USA Ford Focus 2.0 Vti gasolin engine - 10km/l and less power than the European twin

Most of European (and Japanese) cars have really low consumption and more power than American cars. European engines are mostly diesel 1.6L with 18-24km/l.

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closed as not constructive by Bob Cross Nov 19 '12 at 20:04

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The language in this question is intentionally pejorative. If you would like to ask why diesels have longer range than gas/petrol engines, you need to rewrite this question extensively. Otherwise, this is covered directly by multiple topics in the FAQ: mechanics.stackexchange.com/faq#dontask –  Bob Cross Nov 19 '12 at 13:33

1 Answer 1

I would guess your downvotes are from your huge generalisations of European and American cars. There are some high power-to-weight ratio engines in the US, and there are some low ones in Europe. So I could pick two examples that show the opposite.

Also, your assumptions on diesel and petrol are not useful - you cannot generalise the 'average' European car to be a diesel. There are many fleet cars which are diesels, sure, but there are also many which aren't.

Also, I think your sizing may not be indicative. I have only ever owned European and Japanese cars, and the smallest engine I have ever had was a 2.0 litre.

So your question comes across as stating some assumptions, then wondering why they are true - when in reality they aren't as cut and dried as that.

If we go with your generalisations, however, there is a very simple answer: pricing of oil and its products (petrol/gasoline)

In the US, there has not been the same driver to produce highly tuned/highly efficient engines as in other parts of the world, as gasoline has been available and very cheap. So engines can be big and simply machined - efficiency doesn't need to matter in this context.

Also, if we do include size, a larger capacity engine will burn more fuel per cycle, so in general, as size increases, consumption increases. As these engines will also weigh more, and the car carrying it is likely to be bigger you will also lose efficiency through moving a larger mass.

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there are not generalisations, it is a defacto situation, the most sells cars in europe are medium/small engine cars not bigger than 2.0 litre both diesel and benzin. When I bought a car at USA the minimun that I could find was a 2.5 gasolin engine. –  albanx Nov 19 '12 at 12:42
That may be all you could find, but a quick google search shows me cars in the USA with 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines. And certainly, as time goes on, all countries are trying to produce smaller/more efficient engines as oil will run out, but in any case, my answer is still true. –  Rory Alsop Nov 19 '12 at 12:52

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