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4 Cylinder Engine vs. 6 Cylinder Engine: Which One Should You Opt For?

20 March 2023 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

Are you currently on the hunt to find your dream car? If so, you will need to consider what type of engine you are going to choose. Now you may be wondering, why? Well, the engine is the heart of your car. It converts fuel into power to move your car and is a crucial factor in determining your car’s fuel efficiency. 

Now, you may be faced with a tough decision - should you go for a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine? What’s the difference between the two? Which one is the best choice for your next ride?

Let’s help you find your perfect match! But before we jump into the nitty gritty, let’s first understand the key differences between the two engines. Trust us, this knowledge will come in handy when it’s time to make your final decision. 

So, buckle up and let’s get started!


The Difference Between the Two Engines: Overview

Car mechanic fixing parts of car engine

Before we pop the hood and examine the inner working of car engines, let’s first get an overview of what sets 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines apart from each other.

4 Cylinder Car Engines

  • Known for their fuel efficiency and reliability, making them an excellent choice if you’re in the market for a small and dependable car.
  • They also have a smaller carbon footprint, which is a great bonus for eco-conscious drivers.
  • You will typically find 4-cylinder engines in smaller, compact cars.

6 Cylinder Car Engines

  • Have a higher performing engine that can be commonly found in sports cars and other vehicles that require more power.
  • They are best used in vehicles with larger engines.
  • Older models may be outperformed by newer 4-cylinder engines, so it’s always best to check the horsepower before making a purchase.


Car engine with repairing tools

Engine Power Output

When it comes to power output, 6-cylinder engines generally produce more power than those of a 4-cylinder engines. If you compare cars with V4 or other 4-cylinder engines to those with a V6 engine, you will likely notice that the latter are more powerful.

This is because 6-cylinder engines have more cylinders, which means they can burn more fuel and air to generate more power. They also tend to have larger displacements, which means that they can suck in more air and fuel for combustion.

However, it is important to note that not all 6-cylinder engines are created equally. The amount of power output can vary depending on factors such as their design, technology, and tuning. Likewise, there are some 4-cylinder engines that very well may just be able to outpower certain 6-cylinder engines.

Engine Fuel Efficiency

If you are in the market, for a vehicle that has a high fuel-efficiency rating, then 4-cylinder engines are typically the better choice. Due to their smaller size and fewer cylinders, 4-cylinder engines consume less fuel compared to V6 engines. This means essentially, cars with 4-cylinder engines can travel further on a single tank of petrol compared to those with V6 engines. 

Additionally, 4-cylinder engines are often found in smaller cars, which also contributes to better fuel economy. However, it is important to note that not all 4-cylinder engines are created equally, as we spoke about in the previous section. Factors such as the engine’s design, technology, and tuning can affect its fuel efficiency.

Engine Cost

When it comes to cost, it can be quite a challenge to make a direct comparison between 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines because the cost can vary depending on the type of car you opt for and many other factors. 

If we compare a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder engine of the same model of car, then the 6-cylinder engine is typically considered an upgrade and therefore more expensive. 

In terms of longevity and value, the answer can vary depending on the specific vehicle and engine. However, 4-cylinder engines tend to be more fuel-efficient, which can result in long-term cost savings on fuel expenses. It is also important to note that since 4-cylinder engines are often found in smaller, less expensive cars, this can also contribute to long-term cost savings.


Technology Saves the Day

An electric car being charged

When it comes down to the crunch, and having to decide which option is best for you, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, advancements in technology have made the decision a tiny bit more tricky. 

Modern 6-cylinder engines are more fuel efficient than their predecessors, while modern 4-cylinder engines are more powerful than they used to be. As a result, the performance gap between the two engine types has narrowed considerably. 

Ultimately, it is essential to consider your driving needs, such as your driving habits, intended usage, and performance requirements, when deciding which engine is the best fit for you.


Pros and Cons for 6 Cylinder vs. 4 Cylinder Engines

Here are some pros and cons of 6-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines to help you understand the differences between the two.

4 Cylinder Engines


  • Typically more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly.
  • Less expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Ideal for smaller and lighter vehicles
  • Can offer sufficient power for everyday driving needs.


  • May lack in power and acceleration that is needed for towing.
  • Can feel underpowered when driving at high speeds or when carrying heavy loads.
  • Generally less refined and can produce more vibrations and noise due to having fewer cylinders. 

6 Cylinder Engines


  • More powerful and can provide higher acceleration and top speed.
  • Less expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Ideal for larger and heavier vehicles that require more power and torque.
  • Can offer better towing capacity for trailers and heavy loads.


  • Generally, less fuel efficient.
  • More expensive to purchase and maintains.
  • Can produce more emissions and have a larger carbon footprint



Looking for a car with a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine? Look no further than MotorMatcher! We are here to help you find the perfect ride that suits your needs. Say goodbye to the hassle of having to fix up your old, broken, or non-running car, and say hello to our comprehensive list of quality used cars.

We value your time and want to make the process as easy as possible while still ensuring that you get a fair price. So how do we do what we do? By using our expertise to provide you with the best options that are available on the market. 

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