European Cars Are Better Than U.S. Cars? 6 Reasons (Explained)

Europe boasts of a lot of notable car brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and others.

America is also a forerunner in the auto industry, owning hot car brands that include Jeep, Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Tesla, Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln, Hummer, Dodge, Ram, Buick, and a few others.

The general belief is that European cars are better than US cars. So, in this article, we look at the various reasons behind the claim.

1. European Cars Offer Better Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is one of the major factors people consider before buying a car. This is understandable, as vehicles cannot function without fuel.

In Europe, the price of gas is relatively higher than it is in America. As a result, many European automakers build their vehicle with an eye for fuel efficiency to reduce the effect of the high price of gas.

This is not the same with many American vehicles. Americans enjoy cheaper cost for gas than in Europe. It is one of the reasons why most American vehicles run on gasoline while many European vehicles run on diesel fuel.

However, since the issue of better fuel economy may be a case of overgeneralization, let’s check the real deal on it.

2022 Audi R8 17 VS 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 19
2022  BMW X3 25 VS 2022 Jeep Compass 25
2022 Porsche 911 20 VS 2022 Ford Mustang 24
2023 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 23 VS 2023 Chrysler 300 23
2023 BMW X7 21 VS 2023 Chevy Tahoe 17

Obviously, from the above, you’ll notice that American vehicles have now improved on fuel economy. In fact, it can be argued that their vehicles now outperform many European rivals on fuel economy.

In addition, it is important to note that most American automakers love big rides. That explains why they boast of many full-size SUVs.

Since vehicle size impacts fuel economy, many American full-size SUVs don’t fare better on fuel economy, when compared with their European rivals.

2. They Have Better Resale Value

American vehicles are relatively cheaper than their European rivals. Do you know why? It could be because they often come with lesser sophisticated designs and average cabin materials.

One of the disadvantages of low-cost vehicles is that they lose their resale values the most. Besides, they’re more prone to repairs and servicing, which usually has a toll on their resale value.

Unlike most American cars, many European vehicles come with higher price, as they are made with high-quality materials. While more people may prefer cheaper vehicles, several others would opt for European vehicles because of their better resale value.

Mind you, the resale value of a vehicle relies less on its overall quality and performance, but more on how well it’s cared for and maintained.

3. They Are Built With High-End Engineering

Another notable reason critics rate European cars better than American vehicles is the engineering works involved in building the vehicles.

Whereas American vehicle brands aimed more at building their vehicle for cheaper repair and maintenance costs, many European brands only care about high-quality performance.

So, their vehicles are usually built with high-ended engineering, which makes their parts more expensive.

With higher engineering, European cars also offer better ride quality. Mind you, this is most applicable to high-end European cars, as some American auto brands, like Chevrolet and Ford, also boast of vehicles with impressive ride quality.

The truth is, some American rides now contend with some European vehicles on ride performance.

Be that as it may, Mercedes-Benz still remains the most reputable for producing high engineered vehicles that give off raving performance. For better insights, check out why European cars are different here.

4. They Have Better Aesthetic Appeal

Another reason critics often rate European cars better than their American rivals is the quality of their designs.

American vehicles are usually known for their simple but rugged designs. This is the pride that the like of Jeep, GMC, and Ford take delight in. Even their interiors often feature simple cabins that are less comparable with the more sophisticated interiors seen in most European cars.

Various European vehicles come with well-refined designs, both in their interior and exterior parts. That explains why many automobile enthusiasts admire Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi over Chevrolet, Buick, Jeep, Lincoln, and Ram.

That said, make sure you check 10 reasons European cars are so popular. The truth is, hardly will you find a European car with low aesthetic appeal.

Mind you, even some American vehicle makers have also upped their design game. You’ll agree that the Chevrolet Corvette is not very different from the Audi R8 in terms of exterior impression, even though R8 offers a nicer interior design.

In addition, in terms of aesthetic appeals, Italian vehicles, like Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ferrari, have always stood ahead of others. This is also the same as the German Porsche and Mercedes.

5. European Vehicles Last Longer

As stated earlier, most European automakers focus more on building their vehicles with high-quality materials without caring about their eventual cost. This comes at a huge advantage in the vehicle’s longevity.

According to NCBI, “the average lifespan of national car fleets in European countries varies strongly from 8.0 up to 35.1 years”. This is to show that many European vehicles last longer than the 200,000 miles mark.

Although some American vehicles could also last as long as 200,000 miles or even more, they do not give off equal reliability as many European rides, especially the German ones.

Besides, the average vehicle age in America is only 11.7 years, as revealed by Berla. This is significantly smaller than that of many European countries, which could be as high as 35.1 years.

Note that most European automakers, especially the Germans, take pride in the reputation imputed unto them in terms of vehicle reliability. So, they remain bent on producing highly reliable cars.

Mercedes-Benz and many other German cars, for example, have remained notable for giving off lesser issues. While these vehicles will hardly make you befriend a mechanic, they can also remain with you for a long period.

6. European Cars Are Relatively Faster

This may not be true for all European cars, since some American automakers, like Chevrolet and Ford, boast of fast some rides. However, these rides cannot sweep aside many German vehicles.

A big advantage that German rides enjoy over many other vehicles is the presence of the autobahn. The world famous highway is known for having no speed limit. And this gives German automakers a better chance to test and build incredibly fast cars.

Besides, most European countries have less strict laws regarding speed limits unlike in the US which seems to care more about safer highway. That said, make sure you check if you can drive European cars in the US.

Final Thoughts

European cars may truly be better than many American vehicles if we are to consider fuel economy and build quality. However, in terms of driving spacious rides, you may prefer many American cars to their European counterparts.

Most European countries do not enjoy the wide roads present in America. The reason for this has been traced to the historical use of large wagons in many American states some years back.

Because these wagons hauled freight and would need to turn around in the street and on the road, America had to maintain the use of wide roads. And the country keeps up with this till date.

This could also be the reason why America is known for big and spacious rides, while Europe has more of compact vehicles.


Lifespan of Passenger Cars in Europe | NCBI

Average US Vehicle Lifespan | Berla

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