Many popular vehicles come with a V6 engine, including sedans, SUVs, and minivans. Here’s why the V6 is the go-to engine for powerful cars and why you might want to consider engine power when you’re searching for your next vehicle.
The V6 Lowdown
The V6 engine gives you more power than a four-cylinder and doesn’t use as much gas as a V8 engine. The V6 features six cylinders with three cylinders on each bank and usually have overhead cams. If the engine has single overhead cams, each head has one camshaft. Engines with double overhead cams feature two camshafts for each head.
Any type of fuel injection can be used with a V6 engine and that depends on the manufacturer. Horsepower and torque also varies depending on the manufacturer. When purchasing a vehicle, check to see what kind of engine it has and how much horsepower and torque as well. A nice feature of the V6 is that it allows you to take off from a stop with more power than most four-cylinder engines, unless the four-cylinder is turbocharged.
Vehicles with V6 Engines
Some of the more popular vehicles with V6 engines include the Chevrolet Impala, the Dodge Charger, and the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. The Impala’s 3.6-liter V6 makes 305 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque, and it gets twenty-nine miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. The Charger’s 3.6-Liter V6 makes 292 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque, and gets twenty-seven mpg on the highway. The Santa Fe’s 3.3-liter V6 makes 290 horsepower, 252 pound-feet of torque, and gets twenty five mpg on the highway.
In these examples, the engines are close in size when you compare cubic centimeters or cubic inches, but they make various horsepower and torque, with the Chevy making more horsepower per cubic inch than the Dodge and the Hyundai. However, when an engine makes more horsepower, it uses more gas. Gas mileage from a V6 engine will be better than a V8, but less than an inline four-cylindar engine. A V6 is a good compromise between gas mileage and horsepower.
Why Manufacturers Use V6 Engines
Many people don’t want a vehicle that uses a lot of gas, but they need something more powerful than a four-cylinder engine. The V6 engine fills that gap, giving the consumer enough horsepower and torque to tow lighter loads, yet it still gets good gas mileage, so it’s not expensive to drive.
When looking to purchase, carefully compare vehicles. If you’re mostly concerned with power and gas mileage, you’ll get better bang for your buck if you go with higher horsepower and just a tad lower fuel economy.