Press release

EU vehicle market, by the numbers: Middle of the passenger-car pack on technical characteristics, but lagging only Japan on fuel efficiency

2014 edition of ICCT’s European Vehicle Market Statistics Pocketbook updates annual statistical portrait of passenger car, light commercial fleets, and adds data on heavy-duty vehicles; emphasis is on vehicle technologies, fuel consumption, and emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.

The Volkswagen Golf is by far the top-selling vehicle in Europe. In a global comparison however, the Golf falls in the middle of the pack in terms of technical characteristics like power and fuel efficiency. The most fuel-efficient car is the Toyota Aqua, the top-selling vehicle in Japan. These are among the conclusions to be drawn from the new edition of the European Vehicle Market Statistics Pocketbook, published today in Berlin by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

The typical Volkswagen Golf in Europe weighs 1.2 metric tons, is equipped with a 110 horsepower (HP) diesel engine, and emits 85 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer in the official test cycle. The Golf is about twice as heavy as the top-selling car in India, the Maruti Alto 800, which weighs only 600 kilograms. For comparison, the top-selling vehicle in the U.S., the Ford F150 pick-up truck, weighs more than 2.3 tons. Similarly, in terms of engine power the Golf falls between the most popular vehicle in Brazil—the Volkwagen Gol, equipped with a 76 HP engine—and the Ford F150, which boasts an engine delivering more than 370 HP.

Japanese customers demonstrate that a popular car can also be clean and fuel-efficient. The top-selling vehicle in Japan is the Toyota Aqua, equipped with a modern petrol-electric-hybrid powertrain. The Aqua emits only 61 grams of CO2 per kilometer in the test, which translates into a fuel consumption rate of 2.6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, or fuel economy of 90 miles per gallon. That level of fuel efficiency is a remarkable achievement for a vehicle sold in high volume. In Europe, among the most fuel-efficient vehicles is the Volkwagen Polo, which has performance parameters similar to the Toyota Aqua but emits as much as 82 grams of CO2 per kilometer (equals 3.1 liter of diesel fuel per 100 kilometer or 77 miles per gallon). Differences in the test cycle between Europe and Japan are already taken into account.

Available online at (or e-mail for a print copy).

Graphic: Top-selling vehicles

Top-selling vehicle models worldwide

Contact: Peter Mock, ICCT Europe, +49 (30) 847129-102,