In America we do everything big, and unless you step outside of the country, it’s difficult to understand just how excessively large we are here in the states. It has come to the point where trophy wives and over privileged kids are being forced to shell out more money just to park their obese trucks and SUVs.
But such is not the case in Europe.
If you ever journey across the Atlantic and head into the nearest car rental location, you will be hard pressed to find keys to an oversized boat such as the Ford F-150. Afterall, it is quite rare to encounter an everyday car rental facility that possesses commercial vehicles. Yes, you heard that right, folks. The F-150, while existent overseas, is not even classified as a consumer-grade vehicle, and owning one is more of a hassle than anything.
For the past 37 years, the Ford F-Series has been touted as the best-selling truck in America, but there has never been mention of its success story outside of the nation, and there are a few reasons for that. Allow me to explain.
Why Don’t Europeans Drive Pickup Trucks?
Gas prices in Europe are ridiculously higher than they are here in America. If you find yourself bitching about dropping four dollars for every gallon, just keep in mind that the Europeans are paying about twice as much as we are. Topping off a dry, 36-gallon tank in a V8-equipped F-150 would easily set you back well over $100 on the other side of the pond. Plus, if you ever wanted to park the truck in what would be considered a standard parking spot over there, your chances of doing so would be slim to none.
Ridiculously oversized vehicles just aren’t Europe’s thing, so the roads and the parking spaces reflect that. The U.S. Interstate Highway System uses a generous 12-foot standard for lane width, and while the laws and road widths vary by countries, in Europe the minimum widths range between 8.2 and 10.7 feet. Have trouble staying between the lines? You might want to cancel that trip to Europe.
With the mirrors, the Ford F-150 is about eight feet wide and a little more than six feet tall, which is roughly a foot-and-a-half larger than Europe’s best-selling car—the VW Golf—in both directions. If you ever encountered one of those 8.2-foot roads in the F-150, you would have to have Jedi-like powers to avoid crossing that center line. Getting under the clearance sign of the drive-thru at McDonald’s? Forget that shit. You’re gonna have to get off your ass and go inside if you really want that Quarter Pounder.
In short, large vehicles are simply not practical overseas. Anyone who chooses to own a gas guzzler over there is nothing more than a
bloody wanker mindless dumbass. With prices that equate to roughly $10 a gallon, small diesel-powered cars are king in Europe.
Thankfully, America is finally starting to take notes. Even though our gas prices are half of what overseas consumers are paying, we’re seeing a growing number of automakers offering up some attractive diesel options. Save for the Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel, most of the efficient, torque-heavy powertrains are being loaded into the noses of our pickups, but if the popularity of the engines continues to rise as quickly as it is now, there is a good chance that we will see diesel engines on the option lists for a couple more smaller offerings.
Vehicles here in America will probably just continue to get bigger. Obnoxiously and excessively large is just how we do here. So, as pressure to increase fuel economy continues to be pushed on automakers, in order to meet efficiency regulations without sacrificing size, they may be forced to bring a diesel engine to the table.
Because God forbid that they would ever just make their unnecessarily large vehicles smaller.