Modern cars have a weight problem and it affects not only certain giant US-produced models, but also new European cars with huge SUV bodies, advanced ADAS safety systems and high-capacity batteries (in the case of electrics).
This sort of automotive 'obesity', slightly mitigated by the use of aluminium and carbon fibre parts, becomes even more evident when we look at the latest flagships and largest SUVs sold in Europe, now approaching three tonnes.
In our ranking, which does not include commercial vehicle-derived passenger vans, pick-ups or limited production cars, we review the models sold in several European countries. This list is based on weight with all fluids and including a 75 kg (165 pound) driver.
- Rolls-Royce Spectre - 2,965 kg
- Cadillac Escalade - 2,906 kg
- Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV - 2,845 kg
- INEOS Grenadier - 2,828 kg
- Mercedes-Maybach GLS - 2,815 kg
- Volvo EX90 - 2,811 kg
- Range Rover - 2,810 kg
- Rolls-Royce Cullinan - 2,735 kg
- BMW i7 - 2,770 kg
- Audi SQ8 e-tron - 2,725 kg
The Rolls-Royce Spectre is the British brand's first electric car and is presented as the heaviest vehicle on the European market. First deliveries are planned between late 2023 and early 2024.
Its unladen weight of 2,965 kg exceeds all previous figures, despite the aluminium Architecture of Luxury platform. The total mass is also influenced by the 102 kWh net battery, which claims 700 kg on the scales.
The Cadillac Escalade is one of the few large American SUVs sold in several European countries and is historically one of the heaviest cars on the market. At 5.76 metres in length, the fifth generation of the model, in the long-wheelbase ESV version, confirms the tradition and comes in at 2,906 kg with the 6.2 V8 682 bhp supercharged petrol engine.
No electrification in this Escalade, which puts the steel of the stretched body, the V8 engine, the 10-speed automatic and the seven seats in the balance. Nevertheless, it boasts a good power-to-weight ratio.
|Cadillac Escalade-V ESV
The first German representative in this ranking is the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, the star brand's largest and heaviest electric vehicle, which in the 580 4MATIC AMG Line version reaches 2,845 kg.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV
At 5.12 metres long and seating five or seven, this large electric SUV has two 537 bhp electric motors combined and a 108.4 kWh net battery. The even more powerful and luxurious Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV 680 4MATIC has not yet officially declared its weight, but it is estimated that it may exceed 2,900 kg.
|Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC AMG Line
The INEOS Grenadier is born as a tough and pure off-roader, a vehicle that makes robustness and off-road capabilities its strong points. It is therefore difficult to ask of the Grenadier that it should also be light, as the 2,828 kg of the Station Wagon Fieldmaster Edition Diesel proves.
The British five-door, five-seater SUV is also the only one in this ranking without a monocoque chassis, but with a chassis made up of a chassis with side members and cross members, as is the tradition in the off-road segment. The BMW 3.0 inline six-cylinder turbodiesel engine develops 245 bhp, but the Grenadier is the car with the worst power-to-weight ratio in the ranking.
|INEOS Grenadier Station Wagon Fieldmaster Edition Diesel
There is one other Mercedes in this ranking and that is the GLS. In the range, the record is held by the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC Mild hybrid, which is equipped with the electrified 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine. The car declares a weight of 2,815 kg.
Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
This luxurious seven-seater is 5.21 metres long and has a combined power output of 550+21 bhp. It also has all-wheel drive and 9G-Tronic automatic transmission.
|Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC Mild hybrid
Back to electric cars, but this time from Sweden. We're talking about the Volvo EX90 in Twin Motor version, a large seven-seater battery-powered SUV that weighs 2,811 kg.
The weight is the same for both the Twin Motor version (402 bhp) and the Twin Motor Performance (510 bhp), as they share two electric motors and a battery with a net capacity of 107 kWh.
|Volvo EX90 Twin Motor
The Range Rover is a historic luxury SUV that offers maximum comfort even on the worst roads. It can also negotiate the toughest off-road obstacles. The fifth generation weighs 2,810 kg for the Autobiography P550e PHEV AWD plug-in hybrid version.
This 5.05-metre-long, five-seat PHEV uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine and an electric motor to deliver a combined 542 bhp. This power goes to all four-wheel drive and is managed by an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The battery has a usable capacity of 31.8 kWh.
|Range Rover Autobiography P550e PHEV AWD
Another giant British vehicle. This time it's the Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge, a majestic SUV measuring 5.34 metres long and weighing a whopping 2,785 kg.
This is the ultimate luxury car, including the 591 bhp twin-turbo 6.7 V12 engine, with no electrification whatsoever.
|Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge
BMW could not be left out of this ranking and is present with the new BMW i7; in particular with the M70 xDrive which reaches 2,770 kg despite the CLAR architecture in steel, aluminium and carbon fibre.
We are talking about the Bavarian company's electric flagship, which in its top-of-the-range version uses two electric motors and a 101.7 kWh net battery to deliver 651 bhp to all four wheels. The power-to-weight ratio of 4.19 kg/hp is the best in this ranking.
|BMW i7 M70 xDrive
Closing this top 10 of the heaviest cars is the Audi SQ8 e-tron, which is also the most compact of the group (to put it mildly) at 4.91 metres in length. Even so, it weighs 2,725 kg.
Audi SQ8 e-tron
The German five-seater electric SUV has a total of three electric motors and a battery with 106 kWh net capacity, for a total of 496 bhp.
|Audi SQ8 e-tron