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It is no surprise that American trucks and SUVs are enormous, but did we know just how big trucks and SUVs are? New reports show that the vehicles driven by regular people on regular roads every day in America are now bigger than the tanks used in World War II.

American trucks and SUVs are huge

American Trucks and SUVs are now bigger than World War II Tanks
American Trucks and SUVs are now bigger than World War II Tanks | Jean-Francois Monier/AFP via Getty Images

Most modern American trucks are outfitted with cameras at the front and the back of the vehicle to aid in visibility. That’s because these vehicles are too big to see what might be in front of the bumper, like a shopping cart or a person. A modern Ram 1500 or 2021 Ford F-150 is now bigger than a tank used in World War II. According to Jalopnik, a comparable World War II tank would be the 1942 M4 Sherman medium tank.

According to Ford, a 2021 Ford F-150 is between 209 and 250 inches long. It is around 80 inches wide. A Chevrolet Silverado is 260 inches long, and a Dodge Ram is 242 inches long. Even a Chevrolet Suburban is 226 inches long. According to the American Fighting Vehicle Database, the 1942 M4 Sherman tank was approximately 230 inches long, depending on the model. When it came to the width, it was around 103 inches wide.

Size comparison of modern American trucks and SUVs vs. World War II tanks

Tank measurements from the Online Tank Museum; car measurements from their respective manufacturers |
Mercedes Streeter, Jalopnik

In his Tweet, Andy Arthur, a graphic designer in England that a modern 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak truck was 212 inches long while the 1942 M4 Sherman tank was the 230 inches mentioned above long. It was only a few inches that divided the vehicles in width. The average length between a Range Rover, BMW X7, and Ford Ranger Wildtrak was 208 inches long in an unscientific comparison. The average width was 82 inches wide.

When it came to the average length and width of World War II tanks, Arthur used the Matilda, Panzer IV, and M4 Sherman as guidelines. The average length between these tanks was 228 inches long, while the width was 106 inches wide. The tanks had an edge on the trucks regarding width and height, but the length is pretty close. It is also worth noting the M4 Sherman tank was about 30 tons when it was ready for battle. A modern Ford truck is about two and a half tons.

The M4 Sherman had a sustained speed of around 21 mph, or 24 mph, in a hurry. That would undoubtedly hold up traffic trying to merge onto the highway.

When will the madness end?

As long as automotive makers continue to make large trucks and SUVs, people will buy these huge vehicles. Buyers can customize most trucks to be longer with various truck bed configurations, plus the Super Duty options which are also extraordinarily long and wide. But with the addition of the length of trucks is the addition of more safety features and intricate bumper designs.

Back in June, Consumer Reports questioned if these oversized trucks were becoming an oversized problem. Consumer Reports analyzed the hood height of passenger vehicles. Since the year 2000, the hood heigh of passenger trucks has increased by 11%. Pickup trucks grew 24% heavier, and the front of some vehicles is 55 inches off the ground.

There seems to be no end in sight with the size of trucks and SUVs, but buyers don’t seem to mind. Blind spots or not, buyers love these huge trucks that are about the size of a World War II tank. If these vehicles were not selling, then this would be a non-issue. But since buyers can’t get a truck big enough, it seems the upward trend will continue.

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