Difference Between American & European Cars

by Hannington Dia

Comparing American and European cars is akin to comparing apples and oranges. Both are fundamentally the same thing, but with glaring differences. Americans tend to adopt their cars as a way of life, while Europeans primarily see cars as a means of getting around. These cultural aspects have greatly influenced the design and construction of vehicles on both continents.

Size

Complementing their smaller roads, European cars are usually built compact, with little space for a full traveling family. In contrast, American auto-makers focus on making larger cars, such as SUVs and Hummers to accommodate the much larger roads and "everything should be bigger" mentality in the U.S.

Aesthetics

Americans appreciate cars that are built tough, while Europeans take pride in a car's overall design. As a result, European cars tend to look more sleek and sophisticated than American cars.

Handling

In comparing American and European vehicles, many car enthusiasts agree that Euro cars travel at higher speeds with better handling. This can be attributed to looser speed limit laws -- some that allow for traveling at 150 MPH. American speed laws aren't as lenient, meaning that auto-makers must abide by lowering the speed at which their cars can travel.

Manual/Stick-Shift

Automatic handling is more common in the states. European cars largely use stick-shift transmissions.

Efficiency

Overall, European cars are designed to last longer and get more miles to the gallon. They can't hold as many people as a Ford, but in general, you can get many more years of service from an European car than an American car.

About the Author

Hannington Dia began writing and editing articles for a youth-oriented blog at his downtown youth center in 2007. He is a freelance writer and has worked for various websites since 2009. He runs his own blog, HD in Effect, and attends the City College of New York, pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in English.