America is a big country, and Americans have always favored big vehicles to traverse it. America gave the world Cadillacs with massive tailfins and oversize pickup trucks.
While in Western Europe or Japan cars are often small – quite small – American automakers churn out big SUVs, full-size pickup trucks. Even our sporty cars – like the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger, are big and are often called “muscle cars” as a nod to their larger size. Research shows consumers like bigger vehicles when they can get them. Researchers say regulatory loopholes favoring trucks have helped the shift. But there are downsides: Big cars are more expensive. If they burn fuel, they usually require more of it, and are thus more harmful to the environment. Some research indicates they are also more fatal in car accidents.
America’s passion for big cars – 1:32
Size Creep – 3:24
Effects of regulation – 5:52
Downsides – 7:59
The future – 10:37
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Why Americans Are Obsessed With Big Cars