Do I Need a V8? Or Is a V6 Good Enough?

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A 2023 Corvette Z06 Coupe is parked on a tarmac. It is orange. We see it from a front quarter angle, facing slightly to our right.
A 2023 Corvette Z06 Coupe is parked on a tarmac. It is orange. We see it from a front quarter angle, facing slightly to our right.

Fast Information to Know About V8 vs. V6

Which is best, a V6 or a V8? This query could seem outdated to some on this age of turbocharging, hybrids, and electrical autos. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless related, notably when looking for a truck or SUV. Furthermore, with fuel prices fluctuating, gas financial system stays on our minds. Finally, we will’t let you know which is best as a result of it boils all the way down to your particular wants. What you need to accomplish together with your car ought to decide whether or not a V8 or V6 fits you.

We purpose to arm you with sufficient data to choose that most accurately fits your wants. Since this isn’t a common dialogue of powertrains, we’ll consider the V8 and V6, leaving out 4-cylinder engines and electrical powertrains. We’ll ignore V10s and V12s, as effectively.

Engine Anatomy: What Is the ‘V’?

The essential perform of an inner combustion engine (ICE) relies upon upon the movement of pistons to rotate a crankshaft, which in flip powers the wheels through a gearbox. Pistons may be of varied sizes, however every accomplishes its process throughout the confines of a cylinder. In easy phrases, the extra pistons, the larger the ability potential. Consequently, after we consult with the variety of cylinders in an engine, it’s actually concerning the variety of pistons.

Engine designers can prepare the cylinders in a straight line (inline) or divide them into two parallel rows with an equal variety of cylinders. When divided into two rows, the cylinders should be angled inward at their base to connect the pistons to the crankshaft working alongside the underside heart of the engine. In different phrases, the parallel rows of cylinders kind a “V” form.

Though you may discover inline-8 engines in a couple of fashions 60 or 70 years in the past, right this moment, the inline association is confined to engines with six or fewer cylinders. These with eight or extra cylinders and most with six cylinders are within the V configuration.

The benefits and downsides of inline versus V are for one more time.

What Is a V8 Engine?

Two rows of 4 cylinders every comprise a V8 engine. Usually, V8 engines are bigger, heavier, extra fuel-thirsty, and extra highly effective than V6 engines.

Why You Want a V8

The explanations for selecting a V8 differ relying on whether or not it’s a automotive as an alternative of a truck or SUV. It additionally could rely upon for those who plan to tow with the car, or not.

Automobiles

No less than for now, a V8 is the selection for many drivers on the lookout for high-performance or horsepower and torque from a automotive. Whether or not a coupe, sedan, unique, or sports activities automotive, the V8 typically stays the go-to engine. Carmakers providing V8s sometimes reserve them for his or her top-end fashions.

Nicely-suited for efficiency vehicles, V8s supply the next energy ceiling and ship that energy in a easy, linear development. Furthermore, they emit a fierce growl that engines with fewer cylinders merely can’t duplicate.

Automobiles providing a V8 are a quickly shrinking slice of the automotive pie. Muscle vehicles and high-performance sports activities vehicles are a number of the final V8-equipped vehicles.

Take a look at these examples of high-performance V8 vehicles:

Vans and SUVs

Whereas the V8 vs. V6 debate for vehicles primarily revolves round efficiency, it’s extra about cargo-carrying capability and most towing limits in vans and SUVs.

Typically phrases, V8s convey the next capability for energy (energy ceiling). A V8 is extra succesful for those who want your truck to tug or haul heavy masses typically and for prolonged intervals. These further two cylinders sharing the workload means the stress of pulling a heavy load over lengthy intervals will get lessened for all of the cylinders.

Though V6 engines are gaining floor, V8s nonetheless rule amongst full-size vans and SUVs. That is notably true when used for work and towing.

Take a look at these examples of vans and SUVs providing V8 engines:

What Is a V6 Engine?

Not like an inline-6-cylinder engine with all six cylinders in a single row, a V6 provides two rows of cylinders, three to a row. Usually, a V6 is lighter, extra fuel-efficient, much less dear, and supplies higher dealing with than a V8.

Why You Want a V6

The V6 doesn’t have the cachet of the V8. Nonetheless, relating to practicality and effectivity, the V6 wins the day. In the present day’s V6s, particularly with turbocharging, aren’t only a smart V8 different however can rival V8s in efficiency and work ethic.

Consequently, the problem is much less about why you want a V6 and extra about why you’d purchase a V8. In most purposes, a V6 can ship equal efficiency at a decrease price — each by way of the acquisition value and gas prices.

Automobiles

For a lot of fashions, a V6 provides the thrust for the top-end trim degree. The V8 has all however disappeared from the engine arsenal of vehicles for many mainstream manufacturers, leaving the V8 to reign supreme for muscle vehicles and a few luxurious fashions.

Furthermore, some type of a V6 even provides the go for a rising variety of efficiency vehicles.

Take a look at these vehicles with a V6 on the high of their engine meals chain:

Vans and SUVs

Typically, there may be little output distinction between a V6 and a V8. For instance, the Ford F-150’s 5.0-liter V8 produces 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 generates 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

As for towing, the V6 outshines the V8 within the above instance. The V6 can tug as much as 14,000 kilos, whereas the V8’s most towing capability is 13,000 kilos. Nonetheless, because of the V8’s larger dimension and weight, we’re again to that sustained energy benefit V8s typically supply over V6s.

So, until your truck or SUV goes to be an actual workhorse, you’ll most likely admire the decrease working and restore prices of a V6. Additionally, you will nearly all the time pay much less at buy for a V6. Take a look at the examples beneath of vans and SUVs with a V6 engine.

What Is the Distinction Between V8 and V6 Engines?

The first distinction is the variety of cylinders: a V6 has six and a V8 has eight. Due to this, a V6 is lighter and burns much less gas than a V8. Nonetheless, most V8s can haul and tow greater than most V6s.

In summarizing the variations, we typically discover that V8s, in relation to V6s, price somewhat extra at buy, burn extra gas, weigh extra, and often can tow and haul extra, enduring much less stress.

By comparability, V6s price much less at buy, burn much less gas, and weigh much less. For instance, the 2025 Audi Q7 55 comes with a 335-hp V6, will get 18/23/20 mpg metropolis/freeway mixed, weighs 5,049 kilos, and begins at $66,995. The 2025 Audi SQ7 has a 500-hp V8, will get 15/21/17 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed, weighs 5,291 kilos, and begins at $92,590.

Do You Actually Want a V8, or Can You Purchase a V6?

The very important half of the above query is, do you really want a V8? Often, you’d search for a V8 for those who have been shopping for a muscle automotive or another high-performance car. In any other case, eight out of 10 instances, the reply is not any, you don’t want a V8. With all of the engine expertise developments, together with advances in turbocharging, a V6 will often fulfill your wants. Many efficiency vehicles, just like the Kia Stinger and Nissan GT-R, get their thrust from a V6. Nonetheless, a V8 is the engine of selection for truck and SUV consumers meaning to tow or haul heavy masses, together with a camper. That’s the place the V8 brings a slight edge. Nonetheless, for many truck and SUV purposes, a V6 will greater than get the job carried out.

With ever-tightening authorities mileage mandates, the V8’s days are possible numbered. This appears counterintuitive because the market relentlessly marches towards vans and SUVs. Even in these segments, although, the V6 has made enormous inroads.

Nope, until you’re looking for a high-performance car or a towing and hauling workhorse, you could find a V6-powered automotive, truck, or SUV that may do all the pieces you want.

RELATED: 4-Cylinder Engines In the present day Are as Highly effective as V8s Have been in 2001

Editor’s Observe: Despite the fact that the choice between a V6 and a V8 is rational, generally we make car selections for different causes. For example, I’m an enormous fan of the Toyota 4Runner. I’ve owned three through the years (a second-generation 1993 Restricted, a third-generation 1997 SR5, and a fourth-generation 2005 Restricted), and my favourite by far was the 2005 — as a result of it had a V8. I beloved the way in which it sounded and the way in which it doled out its energy. After I bought my 2005 (huge mistake), I thought of shopping for a fifth-generation 4Runner, however I couldn’t pull the set off — as a result of Toyota discontinued the V8 within the 4Runner starting in 2008. Despite the fact that the 2008 V6 outperformed the 2005 V8, I’m on the market attempting to find a fourth-gen 4Runner. Rational? Probably not. — Senior Editor Jason Fogelson.

Which Is Higher: A V8 or V6?

Selecting between a V8 and a V6 will depend on how you employ the car and what you need it to do. Often, V8s are the go-to engine for hauling or towing heavy masses. A V8 is extra of a need than a necessity for nearly some other software. The best-performance muscle-car fashions just like the Dodge Charger Hellcat and Chevrolet Camaro SS depend on V8 engines. Nonetheless, as a result of V6 engines are lighter and extra fuel-efficient, they’re typically the higher selection for many drivers.

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