What Is a V6 Engine?

by Abraham Hovey

There are a number of automobile engines, ranging from four-cylinder to the powerful V-10. These engine types include gasoline, diesel, hybrid-electric and bio-diesel. The V-6 is a widely used engine in many brands of cars.


The name V-6 comes from the shape of the engine. There are six cylinders, three to a side, and they angle away from the engine center in the shape of a "V."


V-6 engines have a larger space for fuel combustion than a four-cylinder engine, giving it greater horsepower, or measurement of power per unit. This means that V-8 and V-10 engines have even higher horsepower than a V-6.

Fuel economy

Since the combustion area for a V-6 is greater than a four-cylinder, which is known for higher miles per gallon (some average 45), the V-6 ranges from 15 to 29 MPG.


Some gasoline V-6 engines can run up to 200,000 miles without a major rebuild, while others will give out at 100,000. This depends on how well you take care of it and the quality of the engine from the factory.


The inline-6, or I-6 engine, is less common than a V-6 but has less issues with piston wear because of its cylinder position of straight up and down instead of a "V" shape.

Popular Cars with V-6

Chevrolet makes its Camero with a V-6 option, as well as most of its small trucks. Ford makes such sedans as the Taurus and Focus with a V-6. Mid-size Sport Utility Vehicles like the Toyota Four Runner and Jeep Wrangler also come stocked with a V-6.

About the Author

Abraham Hovey is a poet and songwriter living in Madison, Wis. He has been a working musician since 1997 and holds a bachelor's degree in history from Western Michigan University.

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