Compact Cars & Fast(er) Food

In 1990, the average adult American weighed 155 lb.

In 1990, the average adult American weighed 155 lb. Today, the average adult American tips the scales at 180 lb.

While this is not an examination of eating habits, it is analogous to what is happening in the world of compact cars. According to the people at Edumunds.com, the average compact car on the road today is 549 lb. more than a comparable model in 1990. But this added poundage is not the result of too many BK Quad Stackers in the trunk.

Rather, according to Bill Visnic, Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com senior editor, “Over the years, consumer demand has increased for small cars that have more features and are more versatile in carrying passengers and cargo. Those consumer-driven desires, together with the regulatory drive for enhanced safety equipment, have led to size and weight increases.”

In addition to packing on the pounds, compacts now have a wheelbase that’s’ 6.4 in. longer. What’s more, they have 61 more horsepower.

Which leads to something of a chicken-and-egg (or chicken and Egg McMuffin) question: Did the compact cars get bigger because Americans did, or did the compacts get bigger to accommodate stuff and safety equipment, as Visnic suggests.

E

We’re sorta going with the former. And now we’re going to get one of those tasty sandwiches.