Thanks for getting back to me on this.
I must admit, this was an especially frustrating search. I kept
coming across figures that made it clear that *somewhere* there
existed a database of makes/models/weights, but actually tracking it
down was tough.
Finally though, it turned out to be the databases maintained by the
Environmental Protection Agency, and used to determine gas mileage and
fuel efficiency. Makes sense, I suppose, to use the weight of the
vehicle as one variable in determining how efficiently the vehicle
Anyway, the data are here:
Test Car List Data Files
and cover the current 2006 models, and extend back to 1984.
These are comma-delimited files that can be opened up into a
spreadsheet, which makes manipulating the data a breeze. The files
from recent years are straight downloads, while the earlier files are
If you find you need any help in either unzipping the files, or
importing them into a spreadsheet, let me know, and I can walk you
through the process.
There are more than 50 column headers for each year's data -- the most
recent year looks like this:
yr mfr mfr name bidx vid cfg carline car/truck cid police rhp ec1 ec2 ec3 ec4 ec5 evc trns drv od
etw cmp axle n/v a/c dhp sil prc prp tnum fuel C/H avcd wt hc co co2 nox pm mpg target-a target-b
target-c set-a set-b set-c engine code eng family vpc cstdwn
so you can see that there's quite a bit of information on each model,
which may or may not be of interest to you, depending on what you're
up to, I suppose.
Each column has a description as to what's in it, and -- where
relevant -- a set of codes. For instance, the 'trns' column
description and codes are as follows:
trns - transmission code
C4 - Manual 4-Speed (Creeper) (M-4)
M3 - Manual Three-Speed
M4 - Manual Four-Speed (No Creeper)
M5 - Manual Five-Speed
SA - Semi-Automatic
A3 - Automatic 3-Speed (No Lockup)
L3 - Lock-Up/Automatic/3-Speed
A4 - Automatic 4-Speed (No Lockup)
L4 - Lock-Up/Automatic/4-Speed
C5 - Manual 5-Speed (Creeper) (M-5)
S2 - Semi-Automatic Two Speed
S3 - Semi-Automatic Three Speed
S4 - Semi-Automatic Four Speed
S5 - Semi-Automatic Five Speed
AV - Automatic Variable Gear Ratios
M6 - Manual Six Speed
A5 - Automatic 5-Speed (No Lockup)
L5 - Lock-Up/Automatic/5-Speed
C6 - Manual 6-Speed (Creeper) (M-6)
A6 - Automatic 6-Speed (No Lockup)
S6 - Semi-Automatic Six Speed
The full set of descriptions and codes can be found here:
Fuel Economy Test Car List Database Files
which tells you, by the way, that the 'etw' column is the "equivalent
test weight" of the vehicle, which is government-speak for the weight
of the vehicle under supposedly real-world test conditions (you *said*
you were looking for good-enough-for-government data!).
I think, with that, you probably have everything you need in terms of
make/model/configuration weight data.
But as always, if there's anything else I can do for you, don't
hesitate to ask. Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'm at
All the best,
search strategy -- Google searches on:
vehicle weight statistics
curb weight site:gov
"equivalent test weight" site:gov
Clarification of Answer by
23 Jan 2006 11:21 PST
The quick answer is that the you can get the curb weight by
subtracting 300 pounds from the equivalent test weight.
The more complex answer is that EPA applies slightly different
criteria to different classes of car, and as the vehicles get up to
truck-size, the weight factor might be somewhat different from 300
pounds. But as a rule of thumb, I think you'll be pretty much on
target just by using the 300 pound figure.
To see the details on all this, check out:
CONTROL OF EMISSIONS FROM NEW AND IN-USE HIGHWAY VEHICLES AND ENGINES
Road load power, test weight, and inertia weight class determination
In particular, search the page for "equivalent test weight", and
you'll find (about halfway into the document) a pretty detailed
explanation of the adjustments made to curb weight.
Let me know if there's anything else you need on this.
Clarification of Answer by
25 Jan 2006 18:36 PST
No need to apologize, but I'm not sure I can get you anything more
precise than I've already presented. I'm just not aware of there
being any other publicly-available source of vehicle weight data,
other than what I've already provided.
As I understand things, subtracting 300 pounds from the EPA weights
should get you to the curb weight for the passenger cars (the heavier
trucks are more complicated, though). As noted in the EPA regulations
on the testing (which I linked to, above):
"...For light-duty vehicles and light light-duty trucks, test weight
basis is loaded vehicle weight, which is the vehicle weight plus 300
Subtracting the 300 pounds should get you to the unloaded vehicle
weight, which is what I understand as the curb weight.
Perhaps if you explained a bit more about why you need this
information -- particularly why you need it so to be so exacting --
then it would spark some thoughts about alternative sources of
Otherwise, I'm afraid that what I've provided already is probably the
best I can do. If it's not good enough, let me know, and I'll ask the
editors to withdraw my answer, in which case you should receive a full
All the best,