How Much Can Your Car Carry?

SUV back fully packed

Put two average American men and two average American women in my mid-sized crossover and you’ve already used 85% of the car’s weight limit … with nothing in the trunk … and the car seats five.

How much can your car carry and still be safe? The answer in your case, of course, will depend on what kind of car you drive. But, there’s an easy way to find out. Check out your car’s information placard (or your owner’s manual) on the inside of the driver’s side door jamb. It should have information like how many people can be seated in the car, the weight limit and cold tire pressure.

Here’s the info from my car: seating capacity – total 5 (2 front, 3 rear). “The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed 385 kg or 850 lbs.” The tire pressure is also listed there.

The bottom line is that weight limits vary on every car. Some sports cars (which sometimes only seat two people) will have a lower weight limit, while larger SUVs and mini vans will have a much higher one. Pickup trucks will probably be able to haul a lot more.

Can Your CarReallySeat Five?

Maybe. For your weekend jaunt, you’ll be piling five people into your car. If your car is like mine and has a maximum weight capacity of 850 pounds, you may start bumping up against that limit. The average American man and woman weighs 195.5 and 166.2 pounds, respectively. A carload of five adults would have to average 170 pounds per person to come in at an 850-pound weight limit. That also doesn’t count for luggage.

Going Over

Auto manufacturers set weight limits for a reason – it keeps the car handling safely. Going over the limit could affect things like handling, fuel economy stability, braking, rollover resistance and contribute to mechanical stress, according to an article from

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