Is 200 Horsepower Enough or too Little? (Checked)

What if I told you that the most powerful engine in the world can produce a mind-blowing 5,300 hp?

Yes, it is true that a Hemi Twin Honeywell Garrett GTX5544R Gen II 106MM turbocharged engine with a displacement of 670 cubic-inch is recorded to set a world record by reaching 5,300 hp on a dynamometer test.

We also keep hearing about supercars with engine powers in excess of 1,000 hp. So, a normal car owner often wonders what is the optimum power range for a vehicle.

Is 200 horsepower a lot? Or do they need more?

In this article, we will try and answer all these questions.

Is 200 Horsepower a Lot?

It depends upon the usage of your vehicle. 200 horsepower can be too much or too little if its utility is not optimized. In general, 200 horsepower is a lot, because it can carry a load of 20,000 lbs easily.

The power requirement for a vehicle is dependent on multiple factors. These include the curb weight of the vehicle, the loading capacity, acceleration requirement, and engine power to volume ratio. A combination of these factors can be used to determine that is 200 horsepower sufficient or not.

Also read: 9 Easy Ways to Increase Car’s Horsepower (+30 HP)

How Much Horsepower Does an Average Car Have?

The average horsepower power of a car is about 180 hp. This average power is not distributed equally among all types of cars. Rather, we have the average horsepower for compact cars in the range of 100 and 130 hp. For mid-sized and full-sized sedans, this goes up to 200 hp.

The average horsepower for different types of cars and trucks in the world is:

  1. Hatchback: 100 horsepower
  2. Small Sedan: 130 horsepower
  3. Large Sedan: 160 horsepower
  4. Crossover: 180 horsepower
  5. Small SUV: 200 horsepower
  6. Midsize SUV: 250 horsepower
  7. Large SUV: 300 horsepower
  8. Minivan: 290 horsepower
  9. Mini truck: 200 horsepower
  10. Full-size truck: 300 horsepower
  11. Heavy-duty truck: 450 horsepower

The following illustration shows the average engine power of new passenger cars sold in Europe in 2018.

What is 200 Horsepower Enough for?

200 horsepower is enough to pull a car with a 3,000-pound curb weight and five passengers. Not only that, but it can reach from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds with this much weight. So, 200 hp is nothing short of sufficient.

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To physically understand what is 200 hp enough for, we must know what horsepower is. We all know the conversion that 1 hp = 746 watts. But what does it really mean and why only horsepower, why not tiger power or elephant power?

Well, to answer these questions. If a horse can lift 550 pounds to a height of 1 ft in 1 s, then it is called one horsepower. Strangely enough, a healthy horse is actually capable of pulling that load. Image 200 of these healthy horses. So, there are limitless possibilities of what you can do with 200 hp.

Also read: 10 Best 300 HP Cars for Less Than $20k

Is 200 Horsepower Car for Everyone?

It depends upon the type of car you are driving. If you are driving a hatchback or a small-sized sedan, then it is not a car for everyone. However, if you are driving an SUV or crossover then it is pretty much an average car, or you can say that it is a car everyone can drive.

200 horsepower isn’t a mind-shattering amount of power. It isn’t a power surge you cannot handle or control. So, no matter who is driving, whether it be your grandma or your kid’s nanny or maybe your teenage son, it is completely safe. You can be sure that the car will behave well and won’t go out of its limits.

What is 200 Horsepower not Enough for?

Where 200 horsepower is enough for a lot of purposes, it is certainly not suitable for all types of vehicles. Following is the list of vehicles for which 200 horsepower is not enough:

  1. Racing car
  2. Large SUV
  3. Minivans
  4. Light trucks
  5. Towing trucks
  6. Heavy-duty Trucks

The average power requirement for different types of vehicles is already shared in the list above. From that list, it is evident that large SUVs, minivans, light trucks, towing vehicles, and heavy-duty trailers require more power than 200 hp. So, if a 200 hp engine is fitted in these vehicles, it is simply not enough.

Similar is the case with racing and high-performance cars. 200 horsepower is not enough for these types of cars because it cannot provide sufficient acceleration and timely boost. For racing cars acceleration is everything. Where total races last only a few seconds, a car taking 5-6 seconds to reach 60 mph is bound to lose.

Also read: 8 Fantastic Cars Faster than F1 (with Photos)

How Fast Can a 200 Horsepower Car Go?

The power and top speed of a car are not directly linked to each other. Maximum power output has some effect on the top speed, but it isn’t the sole deciding factor. However, a car with normal loading conditions and an aerodynamically favored shape can go as high as 150 mph with a 200 horsepower engine.

Top speed is more dependent on aerodynamic factors like wind pressure and air drag. A car with lesser horsepower can beat one with higher horsepower if its aerodynamic design is more efficient. Top speed is adversely affected by the load in the car as well. The higher the load, the lesser speed your car can achieve.

Is 200 Horsepower Ok for Daily Driving?

I would say that 200 horsepower is a touch beyond the usual power requirement for daily driving. But if you choose a 200 horsepower car for daily usage, it isn’t a bad option either. Since it can provide you an extra bit of speed boost during high adrenaline moments.

We have been repeating one point again and again, and that is the type of vehicle under consideration. Since the majority of people go for light cars for daily driving. So, we are correct in assuming that 200 horsepower is more than sufficient for this car. Because with the average requirement of 120 hp, you are driving an above-average car.

Also read: 10 Best Daily Driver Sports Car Under $10k

Is 200 Horsepower Enough for a Sedan?

There are multiple types of sedans in the market. We have small, mid, and full-sized sedans. For small and mid-sized sedans, 200 horsepower is more than sufficient. For a full-sized sedan, 200 horsepower is just on par with the minimum power requirement.

For small and mid-sized sedans, the curb weight of the vehicle is around 2,000 pounds. 200 hp can accelerate this much weight with ease. But with full-sized sedans the average curb weight of a car is 3,000 lbs, so you might feel sluggish on a 200 hp engine. Plus, if you have a big family, it will wear down your speed even more.

Is 200 Horsepower Enough for a Truck and SUV?

No, 200 horsepower is not enough for a truck or SUV. Though, trucks and SUVs are divided into various categories. But 200 horsepower is sufficient for neither of those types. The average power requirement for a truck is around 300 hp, and for an SUV it is 250 hp.

If you are a fan of mountain driving, then 200 hp doesn’t even come close to the requirement of your SUV. The curb weight of large-sized SUVs is around 4,000 pounds, so they require a fair bit of power to move.

Similar is the case with trucks, 200 hp might be able to pull the truck itself. But it is definitely not enough to carry considerable loads. You would need higher amounts of power to increase the towing capacity of your truck.

What are the Best Cars with 200 Horsepower?

Following are the best cars you can find with 200 hp or under:

  1. Infiniti Q50
  2. Volvo XC40
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Coupe
  4. Acura ILX
  5. Toyota Corolla Hatchback
  • Infiniti Q50: Japanese brands are known for their reliability. Infiniti Q50 is no different. The turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine of this car is capable of producing 208 horsepower. The standard 2.0t trim of Q50 is laced with rear-wheel 7-speed automatic transmission.
  • Volvo XC40: Volvo has been producing some of the most exciting cars these days. Volvos are fun to drive and easy to handle. Volvo XC40 comes with a turbocharged I-4 2.0-liter engine. Its power output can go as high as 187 hp, with torque generation of 221 lb-ft.
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Coupe: Many people might dispute the reliability of German cars. But to the extent of making high-performing engines, no one comes close to Germans. Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 coupe is a perfect car with a maximum power output of 208 hp. This car can reach 0 to 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds.
  • Acura ILX: Acura ILX is one of the finest cars you can find in the 200 hp range. I’m personally a fan of high-performing Japanese cars. Since they are capable of delivering power along with necessary reliability. Acura ILX comes with a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that delivers 201 horsepower.
  • Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Toyota Corolla hatchback barely made to our list of 200 hp cars. Since it rated way below the 200 hp mark. The standard Toyota 2.0-liter I-4 engine in the Corolla hatchback can produce 170 hp. The power is on the lower side, but still, it is an excellent option in this range.