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Car Wars Wednesdays: American vs European Cars

June 10, 2015


We’re halfway through the working week and if you need a little something to propel you towards the weekend, we’ve got just the thing. In today’s edition of Car Wars we’re going big as we put two of the world’s continents head to head. Will a European car triumph in the style department? Can American cars take the edge on driving dynamics? We’re pitting two auto-industry superpowers against each other to settle the argument once and for all.

American cars vs European cars: who will come out on top in today’s contest? Let’s find out.


Although it’s difficult to make a generalisation of all American and European cars, across the board, they tend to follow certain rules. It’s a stereotypical assumption that everything is bigger Stateside – but in this case, it’s true. Across the pond, the American’s are privy to wide roads and generous parking availability – which are both important factors when it comes to car manufacturing. On the whole, American’s are looking for a practical runner, with plenty of space and tech – to make long or short journeys a breeze.

European cars however, are more concerned with size, style and economy. Due to their crowded streets and limited parking availability, European cars tend to focus on being more compact. Cars like the Fiat 500 and the MINI Cooper are popular in Europe because of their ability to mix style with dinky dimensions. When it comes to equipment, it’s safety first with European cars – and in 2014 they made waves again when they introduced electronic stability control (ESC) as standard in all new cars. The American’s produce some impressive cars – but for all-round practicality, safety and style, the European’s win this round.

Performance and Handling

If you’re in the market for an American car, you’re likely to be looking for a powerful performer – and American muscle cars like the Ford Mustang GT and Chevrolet Camaro known for their high performance, you won’t be disappointed. While an American automobile might soar along the open road at ease, where it fails to impress is when it comes to tight corners. European cars are designed to take on the tricky twists and turns of both urban and rural areas, navigating around winding and curved roads with ease. In terms of gears, almost all European cars come with manual gears, while the American’s generally opt for automatic.

For such an advanced nation, the USA is way behind the times when it comes to emissions. Petrol prices in the USA are relatively low and with their large cars playing home to large gas guzzling engines, CO2 emissions can be sky-high. European cars are a different story. Stricter emissions regulations mean there is a real focus on economy in Europe and manufacturers are constantly striving to build greener engines.  This forced innovation has meant that European manufacturers are taking huge leaps forward in the race for first place – developing ever smaller, more powerful and more efficient engines. For impressive handling coupled with a reduced carbon footprint, points go to Europe in this round.

The verdict: Call us biased but there’s only one winner here. Thanks to their attention to emissions, innovative styling and impressive handling, European cars will always come out on top in our books.

So European cars won today’s Car Wars, but do you agree with our winner? Wherever your loyalties lie, if you’re looking for help funding your new motor, our flexible finance deals can help. Decided on the model for you? Apply now, or alternatively, head over to our car finance calculator for an instant quote!

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.