I remember when gas in Los Angeles hit something around $4.20 a gallon, everyone was up in arms, especially all the soccer moms with their SUVs and eight cylinder engines. I can say that now, because I have witnessed a whole other world here when it comes to gas and engine size.
Today, I put 54liters (14.2 U.S. gallons) and paid $75 U.S. Dollars for it. That’s $75 bucks for 14 gallons, to fill up a 1991 BMW sedan with a 4 cylinder 1.6liter engine. The times it took me $50 bucks to fill up my 4Runner in L.A. seem almost funny now. My old BMW is a hog though, compared to newer cars it burns around 11liters per 100km. That’s another difference here, no one in Europe says 30miles per gallon, or 12km per liter, they all say the amount of gas it burns per 100kms driven. My 11 liters per 100km is a lot compared to 6 or 8 liters that is considered a standard.
This is probably why there are so many small cars here. There are models here I’ve never seen in U.S. like the Audi A1 & A2, Mercedes A class, VW Polo, Honda City, Toyota Auris, etc. all smaller cars that seem to be made just for Europe, their small cities, and high gas prices.
I have seen plenty of American cars here as well. A newer model Corvette passed me the other day, there is a Dodge Ram in my neighborhood, and Jeep Cherokees are everywhere. But when it comes to Chrysler products they’re not the same as in the U.S. Most Jeeps here are from their Austrian factory, fitted with diesel engines you can’t even get in the States. Dodge Caliber is very popular here, also with the diesel engine.