The Difference Between a 4-Cylinder, V-6, and V-8 Engine

June 7, 2018Cars Standard

When shopping for a car, we have a long list of criteria – mileage, power, acceleration, safety, style, and performance. Whether you are going to buy your dream car or just need a transport to get you to work, you should think about what type of engine you want before you make the purchase. California Online Traffic School may help you hone your driving skills, but the type of engine a car has will determine how well it performs on the road.

How well do you know your engines?

Different Types of Car Engines

An engine is the powerhouse of any vehicle, and one of the reasons autonomous vehicle day is celebrated. It contains cylindrical chambers inside, where the fuel undergoes combustion and the energy produced causes the vehicle to move. The number of cylinders in a vehicle drastically affects the efficiency of the engine and gives it a classification. Below are the three classifications of engines based on their cylinders.

4-Cylinder Engine

As the name suggests, the number of cylinders in this engine is 4. Of all the engines present in the list, this is the most economical since 4-cylinder engines have a lesser intake of fuel. You not only save the money on fuel, but you also save on power. 4-cylinder engines have a steady acceleration rate. That makes it the perfect choice for beginners.

V-6 Engine

The crankshaft in a V-6 engine has three pairs of cylinders, which makes it a power upgrade from the 4-cylinder engine. This engine is easy to fit in almost any kind of vehicle, given its compact, small packaging. What makes it more desirable is the fact that this is where the elite Mustang class starts. The V-6 engine is found in most mid-range sedans, sports cars, and low-end SUVs. Although it’s powerful, it operates best in lighter cars that do not require heavy acceleration or a lot of power.

V-8 Engine

The most powerful engine on the list is the V-8 engine. A V-8 can crank out an acceleration of 0 to 120 in most vehicles within 30 seconds. Many of today’s vehicles can go that distance in 15 seconds or less. The V-8 has four pairs of cylinders – twice the 4-cylinder – to give it more power on the road. Many luxury vehicles and high-end trucks carry V-8 engines. Companies like Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, and Dodge and Ford utilize the V-8 to gain higher speeds and greater payload when hauling or pulling other items. The only downside to the V-8 engine is its size.

Which Class of Engine is Right for a Beginning Driver?

If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle for a beginning driver, a 4-cylinder is probably your best bet. Since a four 4-cylinder has less power than a V-6, it will give the driver more control during acceleration. A beginning driver will also appreciate the fuel efficiency and affordability of the 4-cylinder. They are far more economical to maintain than a V-6 or V-8, with fewer repairs or problems down the road.

Is V- 6 the Future?

While V-6 engines are becoming more popular with consumers and gaining traction with critics and auto manufacturers, they still pale in comparison to the higher performing V-8. The V-6, however, does have a distinct advantage is that it is far more attractive to eco-conscious consumers who prefer a cleaner output over power. Governments across the globe are also pushing for more clean, fuel-efficient vehicles, and V-6 engines fit the bill.


Regardless of what type of vehicle you are looking for, there is an engine size to suit your taste. If you’re looking for economy and affordability, go with the 4-cylinder engine. If speed and power are your thing, however, then you’ll want to check out cars that house the V-8. Somewhere in the middle is the V-6, and that’s what makes it a popular choice.

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