Posted on July 15, 2015

The engine is a vital component of a car. What your heart does for your body, an engine does for your vehicle. But do large-size engines make for a better heart? Carmudi, the easiest means to sell or buy your car, searched far and wide to present global engine size preferences. Carmudi analyzed data based on more than 13 million visits to its website over the last three months and found that motorists in the Middle East prefer large-size engines (up to 4.6 litre in Qatar).

Mid-size engines dominate roads in Africa and Latin America (up to 2.8 litres in Ghana). In Asia, small-size engines are most popular (as small as 1.3 litre in Sri Lanka). The majority of motorists in Africa prefer to own cars with a mid-size engine as it fits best with the infrastructure in the region and is considered somewhat economical compared to larger engines. Carmudi data showed that a 2.8 litre engine is the most common engine size in Ghana, a country where roads are dominated by larger SUV type cars such as the Mitsubishi Pajero, Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

Carmudi also found that in Africa, a significant portion of cars on the road are large-engined cars that are over ten years old. With improvements in engine technology in the past decade, newer cars with small-sized engines that are far more powerful than the old large-engine sized cars have now become available on the market. The car classifieds site also points to no changes in the short term, but at least by 2020, with strong economic growth, we will see an influx of newer car models on Africa's roads.

Does engine size matter 2 [].jpgIn the Middle East, the majority of motorists are die-hard SUV fans and this trend looks to continue in the near future. The low gas prices are no doubt fueling car buyers’ preferences for large-size engines. In Qatar, where a litre of petrol is $0.26, the best selling car is the 4.6 litre engine Toyota Land Cruiser. Carmudi highlights that in the last quarter 65% of car searches in the UAE, where the petrol price per litre is $0.47, were for cars with an engine size of at least 4.0 litres or more.

In Asia, motorists are not so keen to buy cars with large-size engines; the average engine size cruising on the streets is 1.7 litre. Carmudi found that in Indonesia, the most searched car online is the small-size engined Honda Jazz, followed by Bangladesh with the 1.8 litre Toyota Allion. This trend continues in Sri Lanka where only 18% of car buyers searched for large-size cars in the past three months. The higher fuel price in the region compared to others such as Middle East and Latin America might be the culprit behind this phenomenon.

Is the situation any different in the Western hemisphere? Well, in the United States, motorists prefer cars fitted with engines so large, they would be considered insane by motorists around the rest of the world. Well, except in Qatar. Interestingly, Americans share a different taste in cars compared to Europeans, where hybrid cars have started to gain popularity especially in Norway, Netherlands, Iceland, Estonia and Sweden. These countries recorded most sales of electric cars in 2014.

So will the engine size trend stay the same in these regions? Carmudi predicts that for the next decade motorists in the Middle East will stick with gas guzzling engines. In Africa, motorists will switch to newer more compact, efficient and powerful engines and in Asia, we are likely to see a switch to cars with hybrid engines.