Why are Japanese cars more fuel efficient than German ones?

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Mudassir Ali
Feb 15, 2020 04:58 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 15, 2020 04:58 AM

Context is pretty important here.

With the Japanese domestic market, efficiency is highly regarded, and kei cars are all the rage (cars about the size of the scion iq). They have small displacement engines and are pretty Spartan in all the interior commodities in the name of saving weight.

The German domestic market is different. There is a market for economy cars (Opel) but that isn’t available in the US domestic market. We are more used to luxury and performance brands like Mercedes, bmw, audi, Porsche; and semi-luxury in volkswagen. These cars have higher displacement engines with more cylinders for a smoother, quieter ride. They have a lot of bells and whistles, and sound deadening to ride more quietly and surely, which adds weight.

If you compare USDM cars by size class you’ll find the mpg difference is quite small.

Mid size- VW passat: 23/34 city/hwy
Honda accord: 27/36.
Toyota Camry: 24/33.
BMW 320i: 23/35.
Compact sedan- vw jetta: 28/40
Audi a4: 27/37
Toyota corolla: 30/40
Acura ILX: 25/35
I could keep going but, you have access to Google I’m sure. This is excluding hybrids, there is no contest there which is more efficient. Japanese all the way.

One more thing to mention, Germany has a much more prolific diesel market than the US does, so people buying cars in Europe with the interest of paying less for fuel will opt for that (vw Polo).

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