More Thrills, Fewer Bills
Today's V6 variants offer big value and big performance.
Three hundred horsepower is righteous muscle. Back in the day, bragging rights awaited the owner of any car that could muster such might. And in most cases, that powerful steed was propelled by a thumping V8 engine. Not anymore. Thanks to a variety of modern technologies, many of today's engines can pump out 300 or more ponies on only six cylinders.
That's right: Opting for the 6-cylinder variant of any given model can most likely deliver the same visceral, fun-to-drive feel as its comparable V8 variant. The difference: Six-cylinder engines typically cost less and get better fuel economy.
Here are 10 six-cylinder rides that should provide the savvy buyer with just as many thrills as their V8 counterparts, for fewer bills. While some don't quite register 300 horses on the power meter, they do come close. Mighty close.
While the sporty 535i just makes it into the 300-pony club, it does so in style. But the 535i costs a cool $10,100 less than the 550i's sticker, and delivers appreciably better fuel mileage: 19 mpg city/28 highway versus 15 mpg city/22 highway for the V8. The 535i's base price checks in at a cool $10,100 less than the 550i's sticker, while delivering appreciably better fuel mileage: 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the V6 versus 15/22 for the V8. Both deliver the same stellar handling dynamics you would expect from an "Ultimate Driving Machine."
Cadillac has emphasized performance in recent years and the CTS-V is the pinnacle of these efforts. Essentially, the Cadillac CTS-V is a 4-door Corvette, and it puts a premium on power (556 horses) and price ($63,465). Non-"V" CTS sedans that are motivated by 3.6-liter V6 engines generate ample thrust, cost $28,300 less ($35,165) and offer the biggest improvement in fuel efficiency on this list: 18 mpg city/26 highway versus 14 mpg city/19 highway. And in any guise, the CTS faithfully delivers that timeless Cadillac ambience.
With 312 horsepower, the 3.6-liter V6 Camaro is a capable burnout machine in its own right. At $22,680, the base V6 trim represents $8,265 in savings compared with the V8 SS trim. And the car sports the same hunkered stance, the same award-winning interior and the same boost to the ego as the V8 SS. Posting 17 mpg city/28 highway, the base Camaro also outlasts the SS by 4 mpg on the highway. Let the smoldering rubber fly.
This retro-cool ride delivers the goods with its classic lines, low-slung stance and potent powerplant lineup. The 2011 SE model features a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 55 horsepower more than the 2010 SE. The SE costs $7,615 less than the 376-horsepower V8-driven R/T and $19,685 less than the 470-horsepower SRT8. As for fuel efficiency, the SE (17 mpg city/26 highway) and the 5.7-liter R/T (16 mpg city/25 highway) are nearly even, while the 6.2-liter SRT8 (14 mpg city/22 highway) has a bigger thirst.
Not to be outdone, the original pony car easily tops the 300-horse mark in V6 guise. The 3.7-liter V6 gets an econobox-like 31 mpg highway, a significant 5-mpg advantage over the 412-horsepower V8 GT. Further, the V6 checks in at $7,500 less than the GT. The freshened 2011 Mustang V6 is an eye-catcher, and the savvy buyer can use the V6 savings for a performance package that adds suspension mods, lowering springs, special brake calipers, an upgraded gear ratio and ultracool 19-inch rolling stock.
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You have a good point MotorCity, I get what you're saying.
Actually, I'm really impressed with the new V6 cars, as the new V6 Mustang would give my LS1 Firebird ( which was considered very quick up until a few years ago) a good run for it's money.
It's just that as good as the V6 is in the Mustang, or to a lesser degree the Camaro (Camaro is still too heavy for the 6 in my opinion), the V8's are just so much better!
Over FOUR HUNDRED horses in a car that can get 25mpg, for under 35 grand. AMAZING! just a few years ago the Corvette at over 50 grand was the only car that could touch that.
And if I'm not mistaken, the V8 Mustang only requires 87 octane.
"the same award-winning interior"? Not unless the award was for the cheapest, ugliest interior. Virtually every automotive magazine has ragged on the cheap interior of the Camaro. Even their new CEO has been quoted as admitting that they had to cut corners somewhere and that they did so with the interior. The only model in it's class not to offer a nav system. Most rental cars have a better interior then the Camero.
This author should stop shilling for the auto companies and do some actual research. Shame.
To gt mustang:
Here's a hint...fix it. Will cost more to fix than your Yugo, but is worth the money. Maybe one day you'll be able to afford a real car.
I admit that having a V6 has it's advantages in real-world driving but it will never replace the V8. Yes, it's pretty cool that a V6 has 300+ HP but it's still a V6. If you're truly a car person, buying a V6 when you have a V8 available is a sin. Does the V8 cost more? Yes. Does it get worse mileage? Yes. Does it sound better and put a smile on your face whan you hit the gas? Oh yeah. In the end, there will be people who buy the V6 for cost reasons or for being "green" but you will always have the people who buy a V8.
And s1b5c7, it's CAMARO, not CAMERO.
I chose the V-6 Stang...it's awesome to drive on steep mountain roads and has more than enough power to get you in trouble with the law....
If your not going to race the damned thing, you'd do just fine with the V-6...it's fun to drive and is faster than anything you probably drove when your were a teenager...Ford did an excellent job with this car...I'm thrilled with mine.