V6 vs. Inline 4?


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CromGuy
I am Here to learn from others from Midwest
Member for 5 years 41 weeks
GuG-Points: 16

The other day me and a friend of mine (he is a somewhat of a car guy, me: not so much), and in discussing our different engines he seemed to give the impression that an inline-4 engine was always and absolutely superior to V6's. The argument/discussion focused more on power/acceleration, and while I'm sure his focus SVT is faster than my mercury milan, he argued that an I4 would always beat a V6, in the majority of scenarios. Since this I've done some research myself and have of course discovered for myself things like V6 engines having higher torque and horsepower at lower RPMs, and also the obvious fact that a wide range of variables (make, model, engine size, etc) come into play in terms of overall performance. My friend is a bit strong-headed, so I wanted to ask actual car people about his claim that I4s are unilaterally superior to V6s. Thank you.

Also: I tried searching for a thread similar to this and didn't find one, so I apologize if this is a common topic here.

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Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
A Mistubish Evo is a 2.0 l 4 banger that does 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds. To answer your question yes a v6 will definitely beat it .. not. Bigger is not better. Smarter is better, the engineering, placement, and even the Exhaust all play TOGETHER to determine the efficiency and quality of a car. EVEN WEIGHT look at the lightweight Lotus Eli I believe 0 to 60 in 5.5 and it only has I think 170 the late earlier models. AND like the guy said in a previous comment any generic inline engine will produce more torque. period. mind you Im not hateing on v6 or anything because generally a naturally aspirated v6 is faster then a i4 I mean not that hard to thik about it 4 or 6. it gets more fuel but a 4 can be compensated with pressing down on the gas pedal harder.
Nitro (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
Looking for a good engine for a heavier 4 seat rail buggy. Not a fan of AC VW's due to cost to get to 200HP and reliability. Trying to find something in the 300hp range in stock form for long life. But I dont want a ton of weight or $10k to mod it out. Been looking at some northstar cadi engines, light for the size, but I know there has to be better out there.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
I think it depends on Size of the car, What type of trannie and the make of the car and motor and so on.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
Inline fours, especially Volvo's 2.3 liter turbo'd ones,are better than ANY engine. no V6 can match it.
Nitro_mudder
I am nuckin futs
Member for 1 year 46 weeks
GuG-Points: 1
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
Well this engine will be in a hand made tube frame rail buggy. It is built for the woods not the sand so turbos tend to suck for us. Poor bottom end out of a creek bead then lets loose about halfway up the hill with a big power jump. Not something you want in a rail you steer with brakes as the front tires are off the ground on hills steeper then 45 deg. Super chargers work well based on the powerband, but turbos act like two strokes and are not a good fit. I need something in the 300hp range if I can that is a good combo of lightness, cheapness, and reliability. I like the honda 3.7v6 but would rather an engine from the big three if I can find one that works. I will also need to make it run on a stand alone engine harness and ECU. Right now I have a Quad4 2.3l HO that does great in my 2 seater, but it weights a ton.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
We're not talking about turbocharged engine here... we are comparing I4 and V6. And we should not!!! Compare an orange with an orange and an apple with an apple. So to compare 2 engines, they should have the same amount of cylinders. Comparing an I6 with a V6.. so yes, the I6 would produce more torque than the V6. The only reason why they created the V shape engine is to increase the size of motors without increasing the width of the car, because the problem with inline engines is the size. To put an inline engine on a FWD car, you cannot go above 4 or 5 cylinders, because the front space is limited on width. It's much more easier to fit an I6 on a RWD car or truck. But to compare an I6 with a V6.. or an I4 with a V4... the inline engine is always more powerful.
davey c (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?

well considering none of you know what youre talking about, first off inline motors will always create more torque then a V-shaped motor. Its not about racing or which makes more power. Horsepower is only half the equation when youre talking about your car making power. An inline motor can make a significant amount of more torque. If you all need an example, look at a tractor trailor, yes theyre diesel engines that can make more power just based on being diesel, but all tractor trailor motors are inline six cylinder motors. And now a days, if you need an example again, try to pass a tractor trailer moving at a good rate of speed, its hard for your little car to pass it now a days. Inline motors do make more torque i promise that, more horsepower, well that can vary. I know all this since ive been working in a machine shop rebuilding motors for over 10 yrs.

If you want a more recent example, somebody answer me this of which is more reliable and more powerful. An early generation jeep with the inline6 or todays jeeps with v6????

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
Hello, I just saw your comment and hopefully I hear from you soon. Well, right now I'm trying to buy a new Toyota Tacoma and notice that they have V6 engines and the I4...well since I'll be using the truck for carrying heavy stuff on the wknds and I would like it to be fuel efficient, which one do you recommend?...Please, I would like your comments and what you think...Thank you and hope to hear from you soon...Emma
wentco
I am nuckin futs
Member for 3 years 27 weeks
GuG-Points: 1
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
the chevy v-6 is just a v-8 with 2 cylinders takin off.your water pump,dist,power steering pump are all the same as the small block v-8
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
An inline four would theoretically be more reliable than a V6, but it would theoretically be easier to make more power with a V6 because it would be easier to make a bigger engine. However, as all generalizations are false, an engine being 'better' would depend far more on the level of engineering than just the engine's configuration. Inline fours are often used where light weight and reliability are favored, such as a small commuter car (one of the reasons why many japanese race cars with inline fours is because most cars small enough to sell successfully in japan are of a small size that favours an inline four), but with small changes can produce copious amounts of power; squeezing 400, 500, or even 600 horsepower out of a 2.0 liter inline four is not a particularly difficult or complex matter. As for V6's, these engines are popular, particularly in america (where most cars are big enough to easily fit a V6 engine into), because they provide a compromise between inline fours simplicity and size and V8 power, without needing special measures; a V6 can be considerably bigger than an inline four, and thus make more power, because it has half again as many cylinders as an inline four and, if properly engineered, has almost no upper displacement limit. If you want more power, make a bigger engine. The reason why inline fours would theoretically be more reliable than a V6 is that they have fewer parts, however, high power inline four engines are often highly stressed, increasing failure rated and decreasing life span of many parts, while a V6 with similar power would have much more lightly stressed components. While inline fours are lighter and smaller, high power makes for a short life. V6's are heavier and bigger, but make more power easier.
anonymous visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
Hi there: I cannot imagine that an I4 would have any power.....I have only ever driven V8's. But that is what Kia is using for its Sportage and my daughter is considering buying one. Has anyone had one of these Kias with the I4 engine? Thanks.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
rear-drive I4's are rare, drive one you'll probably like it [basically an old volvo].
Donna (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
My question: I now own a 05 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS V6 AWD and I noticed that the new 2010 models of the GLS are I4 engines. Can an I4 really pull and accelerate adequately given the weight of this vehicle? My V6 can sometimes be a little slow. If I wanted to get a V6 I would have to go up to a more expensive model with a bunch of stuff I don't want on the vehicle. To me this just seems like a way to get you to purchase a more expensive vehicle. I don't want to invest this kind of money and then be sorry in the end that I settled for the I4 model. I also noticed that all of the new SUVs have the I4 engines in the lower models
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Hubby
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I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
Donna wrote:

Can an I4 really pull and accelerate adequately given the weight of this vehicle?

I doubt it! Do you know the horsepower & torque ratings for it?

Donna (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
I checked on the horsepower and the 2010 Sante fe GLS AWD is 2.4L 175HP I4 - 175 @ 6000 rpm, Torque is 169@3750rpm. Would this be a good choice or would I be better off going for their V6 model which is the SE 3.5hp AWD, 276 hp @6300 rpm and the torque is 248@5000 rpm. I would appreciate your input on these two models
Anonymous Visitor
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?

Hmm I wouldnt say a I4 is better than a I6, H6 or V6.
Each has its pros and cons.

I4
Pro:
-Smaller (less weight)
-cheaper (inline = 1 intake manifold and 1 exhaust manifold)
-typicaly better fuel economy (less displacement)
-good power to weight ratio (not always true but some engines such as the K20Z3 in the Civic Si, have impressive volumetric efficiency)

Con:
-Displacemnt is limited to about 2.4L.(I4 becomes unbalanced above 2L and requires a balance shaft)
-Total engine displacemnt is only divided across 4 cylinders (more mass per cylinder = more stress on connecting rod)
-Not as smooth as a V6 (more steps per cylce = smoother output)

Forced induction will artificialy increase the displacement of the engine increasing its power to weight ratio. This is true for all engine configurations, not just I4.

Something to note is for equivalent power 4 & 6 cylnders the peak torque on a 4 cylnder will be lower and much higher than the 6. This gives the illusion that the 4 cylinder is much slower, but really since the 4 cylinder has a higher redline most likely the transmision will have a higher final drive to compensate. So really at the wheels the torque will be fairly close as equivalent speeds.

It all depends on how the engine was designed. I believe overall a 6 cylinder has more potential for power due to its higher displacemnt capacity. But for equivalent power engines it just comes down to personal preference, some people prefer a screaming 4 cylinder to a V6.

Hope this information helps.

Pembo210
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I am a Grown Up Geek from FL
Member for 4 years 40 weeks
GuG-Points: 193
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?

The V6 vs. I4 has been around for a while. While the V6 does have more power, it also has more weight. It depends on so many things, its hard to say for sure. Its all about the weight to torque ratios and how far away is the finish line. Its different depending on where each engine has its powerband (strongest rpms) and how each has its transmission geared. He may be able to drive that four banger 0-50 like a rocket but once you get into that higher speed the V6 will most likely fly right by and continue all the way past 100 (governor willing.)

Having the engine facing forward on sideways depends on the transmission and drive train hookup. Front wheel drives have there engine side to side while rear wheal drives have them going towards the back. The FWD has a lot going on on those front wheels. It has to support the drive system, steering, and braking. All that also changes how the weight is distributed. Once again the I4 may pull ahead but if you have to make a few turns while going fast, give me the rear wheel drive v6 any day.

If you have the Milan with the Intelligent All Wheel Drive system, then you have all four wheels moving giving you superior grip and road handling capabilities.

His SVT focus may have the upgraded intake, exhaust, and some tweeked cams, but your Milan will ride way better for the %99 of the time that you're not racing below 50mph in a straight line on a dry day.


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If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
~George Bernard Shaw

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Hubby
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I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: V6 vs. I4?

i recall reading somewhere (that i cant find now) that, all else being equal, an inline engine will deliver more torque/power than a V engine.  However does NOT mean that "any I4 will beat any V6"..  

Hopefully someone that knows more about engines can explain the physics and power-curve thing better.

Vash the Stampede (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. I4?

hmm i know that a lot of japanese cars race w/ 4 bangers, but a v6 will crush it.

photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: V6 vs. I4?
Vash the Stampede wrote:

hmm i know that a lot of japanese cars race w/ 4 bangers, but a v6 will crush it.

Those rice-burners are all V4's arent they? Not inline-4's ?

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. I4?
14's; V4's are rare..
Vash the Stampede (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. I4?

ive never seen a v4, i think all 4 bangers are inline, often the engine sits sideways or on its side too.

now a 6 cylinder has options.  v6, straight 6, or slant 6. 

CJ jeeps made a killer slant 6 engine thats very strong/torquey.  my cousin had off road tires and could pop wheelies with his jeep.  the engine eventually twisted the drive shaft causing it to look like a red vine candy.   from too much power.

cubic inches = more power.

if a 4 cylinder is tricked with cam shaft, new rockers, bored pistons, re timed, performance headers and suped up tranny, the works and stomps.  well all that can be done to the 6 cylinder engine with more high performance results.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. I4?
V4's are mostly used in motorcycles...
markus248 (not verified)
Re: V6 vs. I4?
Lancia used narrow angle V4 engines back like the sixties and before in some its small fwd cars(like the Fulvia) with reasonable success.

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