No, especially when gas is more than $4 a gallon.
A V-6 is generally “better” than a four-cylinder in that it will produce more horsepower and torque, deliver brisker acceleration and passing response, and may also be quieter and smoother. A V-6 also will allow towing heavier trailers, a benefit that is most common on smaller SUVs.
The downside to a V-6 is extra cost, both when you purchase a vehicle and refill the gas tank. Here are some examples:
The Honda Accord EX-L sedan with a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine is priced at $28,785, including a $790 destination charge, and has an EPA fuel economy estimate of 27/36 mpg city/highway. With a 3.5-liter V-6, the price rises to $30,860, and the fuel economy estimate drops to 21/34 mpg. At current pump prices, the EPA estimates the V-6 will drink $300 more gasoline per year on top of the $2,075 difference in sticker prices.
Chevrolet offers a choice of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter V-6 on most front-wheel-drive versions of the Equinox SUV, and choosing the V-6 bumps up the price $1,500. Its fuel economy rating is 22 /32 mpg for the four-cylinder and 17/24 mpg for the V-6, and the EPA estimates that the V-6 will cost $700 more to feed annually at current pump prices.
A V-6 will probably be more refined and potent, but more drivers are settling for four-cylinder engines because that is the direction the auto industry is headed. For example, you can no longer get a V-6 on midsize sedans such as the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. If pump prices continue to climb during the next few years to, say, $5 a gallon, then having a V-6 will reduce the resale value compared with a four-cylinder engine in the same vehicle.
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