Which Truck Engine Is Better: V6 Vs V8 Engine

  • A V6 truck engine is great for those that want to have a powerful engine but don’t use their truck for heavy purposes
  • Now compare those with a low rumbling, clumsy, nasty V6 on the New Ford GT, it sounds amazing on its own, it is a world away from sound and function than a V8
  • Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 offers more torque than its 4.2L V8 but falls short on horsepower because of its smaller displacement engine

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We’re all looking for the best truck engine out there. You want something that is not only reliable, but that will also save you money in the long run. One of the most popular options is V6 vs V8 trucks engines and we know it can be hard to make a decision when faced with such a choice. But don’t worry!

Before we get started, let us mention a few things about V6 vs V8 engines. Though they may seem similar, there are a lot of differences between them and it’s important to understand these before you make any purchase.

A V6 truck engine is great for those that want to have a powerful engine but don’t use their truck for heavy purposes. V6 engines are manufactured with lightweight materials and can be great for fuel economy. A V8, on the other hand, is built with a stronger block typically and has more power than a V6.

In addition, you will find that several car manufacturers have phased out their V6 engines in favor of the lighter and more efficient inline-4. We expect that this trend will continue and we might see a further shift towards small, turbocharged engines that deliver high horsepower, but with lower torque and MPG numbers than what we’re used to seeing from bigger V8’s.

For these reasons, we recommend a V8 truck engine for those who have a heavy-duty or commercial application. If you need to pull or haul heavy loads, a bigger, stronger engine is going to be necessary and the V6 just doesn’t cut it. That’s not to say a V6 won’t work for hauling – there are plenty of people hauling with a V6 and they don’t have any problems. But there are a lot of cases where a V8 will be the better choice in terms of reliability, cost, and power.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at some important factors you should consider when choosing between a V6 vs V8 engine:

V6 Vs V8 Pros And Cons

You might be surprised to know that the V6 is more popular than the big, mean muscle cars. They are cheaper and easier for auto manufacturers because they only have three speeds instead of four! But why?

The first thing you should do when looking at any vehicle’s engine type – especially something as important as what kind of powerplant goes beneath its hood-is ask yourself this one question: Why does my choice matter? What would I do with this car?

In other words, what exactly is it you need from your vehicle? The things that will help you decide which engine to go for are as follows: The first thing you should look at when considering a V6 vs. V8 is the kind of use the vehicle will see.

Will it be used every day, or just for a weekend trip now and then? If it’s going to be used every day, you need an engine that is reliable. You also want something that will give you decent fuel economy and not break the bank when it comes time to refill your tank.

So let’s look at the advantages of the V6 and the V8 and which stand out to you and your needs (or wants):

V6 Pros

  • Lighter and more balanced
  • Smoother horsepower ratings
  • Lower costs in maintenance
  • Improved fuel consumption
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Better reliability

V8 Pros

  • Smoother power band than the outdated six-cylinder.
  • Fewer vibrations
  • Higher horsepower potential
The most reliable truck engine is a Toyota V6

V6 Vs V8 Longevity

The second factor to consider when deciding on the right engine is longevity. Either a V6 or a V8 can be very reliable. But there are a few things that can lead to certain types of engines not living as long.

The third factor to consider when looking at the pros and cons of a V6 vs. V8 is whether or not one engine will be more reliable than the other. And if reliability should matter, which engine wins over the other in this category?

I have broken down the most reliable truck engine that have been on the road forever it seems here. I touch on some V6s and V8 siblings. But when these two are compared to a straight 6 there may not be a fair fight in terms of reliability. But that is only one part of the whole makeup of an engine. Another important detail when comparing engines is how much food do you need to give them.

V6 Vs V8 Gas Mileage

A V8 has two more cylinders than a V6. So if you have one of each engine side by side with identical characteristics, the MPG of the V6 will be better than its V8 bigger brother. There is just no getting around it.

You will have to feed more gas to a larger engine to get the same amount of horsies out of it. This may not seem like a big deal, but when we start looking at an average of 10 MPG (15 combined city and highway) 15,000 miles a year is 700 gallons. You can do the math to figure out how much extra you pay for an engine over its lifetime.

If this is not important to you I understand that. Some people are simply happier with a V8 rather than a V6 if both are offered. Some will even ignore models that only offer the more economical 6 cylinders. So What about the most important element of the two? Power.

V6 Vs V8 Horsepower

When comparing V6s to V8s, the one with more power is without a doubt the 8. It has 8 cylinders pumping out force, not 6. That makes it 25% stronger than its six-cylinder counterpart. More horsepower does not necessarily mean better times are ahead though because you need to consider torque also.

The reason for this stat not to be the only one considered is horsepower has to do with RPMs. If both engines are at 3000 RPM but 8 has more torque, it will outperform 6 any day of the week.

V6 Vs V8 Torque

Torque is what gives you control when driving your truck. It also helps get other vehicles moving when in the passing lane. Driving up steep hills is also no problem with high torque because it puts less strain on the engine to push a heavier vehicle uphill. The V6 has better fuel economy and produces more low-end power than a V8 can which also makes for easier starts and passing specific situations.

When you take both of these characteristics into consideration you start to see how the V6 is still an awesome engine.

Trucks with V6s generally weigh less than those with V8s, so that means they are more fuel-efficient too. So if you drive mostly on the highway or in town, then this is advantageous for you. Some of the best-selling vehicles today only offer the 6 cylinder option. These are trucks like:

  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Nissan Frontier
  • GMC Canyon
  • Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon
  • Ford Ranger.

V6 Engines That Punch Above Their Weight

There is some specific engine architecture that keeps certain manufacturers above water when it comes to their V6. The most common of these kinds of engines is the 3.0L EcoBoost that Ford uses in all their F-150 and Superduty pickups.

This engine is loaded with turbochargers that boost the power significantly, but it’s still not quite as impressive as a larger displacement yet more economical V8 can be.

Ford’s V6 is not the only one that performs well though. GM uses a 3.6L in some of their trucks, while Toyota has a 4.0L version sitting under the hoods of Tacoma and Tundra models. These engines are all pretty much solid gold when it comes to reliability, but they just don’t have that extra boost that brings them up to the top.

Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 offers more torque than its 4.2L V8 but falls short on horsepower because of its smaller displacement engine. This means it is easier for the driver to go through gears and accelerate at lower RPMs where fuel economy can be achieved.

V6 Vs V8 Sound

The first thing I would like to make clear here is that neither one of these engines should be considered quiet. They are loud and it’s not because the engine itself makes noise, but those sounds come from the gears, exhaust, and wind rushing by as you drive down the road.

What V6 does offer over a V8 though is more of a low purr at idle and while operating in regular conditions like cruising on the highway. When you put pressure on these engines such as accelerating quickly or climbing hills, both make loud obnoxious sounds.

When you consider all of this information, it is understandable why some people prefer the V6 over the V8. The advantages can be seen simply by looking at the specs and if a person is mainly interested in fuel efficiency, then this will be a selling point.

For those who want to tow bigger loads or pull more weight from their truck, having higher torque is crucial. This characteristic can make your time behind the wheel go by much smoother because you won’t have to keep changing gears just to keep up with traffic.

In the end, a lot of people will still purchase a V8 over a V6 because they want more power and torque for heavy hauling jobs. If you only have to drive around town on occasion though, then the engine choice doesn’t really matter as long as it is reliable.

Check out this video comparing the different sounds:

V6 Vs V8 Engine Balance

One advantage of only having 63 cylinders instead of 8 is that there’s less weight on each front axle, which means better balance. You’ll still feel some sway when pulling a heavily loaded trailer though because the engine is still overworked trying to haul it along.

The one thing I find strange about V6 engines, in general, is that they often offer better smoothness than V8 engines. Even though the pistons inside are moving up and down much faster, there’s a certain balance that comes with having six cylinders instead of eight.

This engine type is so nice in fact that some car manufacturers can get away with it when designing their sporty models. Plenty of sports cars use V6 engines because they offer better balance and smoother performance.

Typically the more cylinders a “V” shaped engine has the smoother it will run. Look at some of the V12 engines out there. They sound unreal and they purr like a race engine. They are instantly identifiable. Now compare those with a low rumbling, clumsy, nasty V6 on the New Ford GT. While it sounds amazing on its own, it is a world away from sound and function than a V12.

Main Takeaways – The V6 Vs V8 Engine Battle

So what is it that makes the V8 better than a V6? Quite simply, it’s about torque and power. The 2011 Ford F-150 has to offer 278 lb.-ft. of torque with their 5.0L engine or 375 lb.-ft. with the one from 2012 and up, while GM offers 432 lb.-ft

The V6 Vs V8 Engine is a question that’s been debated for years. One engine isn’t necessarily better than the other, but there are some major differences between them. For example, while both engines have six cylinders in total, the number of valves differs greatly-the V8 has eight and the V6 only has four.

This could be one reason why people think that this type of engine produces more power than its counterpart because it can push air into combustion using two extra valves per cylinder. However, even if you’re not looking to buy an older model with these types of engines just yet, they are still important to know about when considering how your vehicle will perform in different conditions or under varying driving styles–especially on the highway.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new vehicle with either of these engine types, you should know that the V8 always wins when it comes to fuel efficiency.

In most cases, they can offer better gas mileage than their counterpart because there is less idle time where the engine is simply running but not doing anything productive. This means your car will have to switch gears less often because the torque will remain constant throughout the entire rpm range.

The 6.2-liter V8 engine powering the 2011 Ford F-150 delivers 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque.

However, if you’re mainly interested in fuel efficiency then this will be a selling point for you. For those who want to tow bigger loads or pull more weight from their truck than having higher torque is crucial. This characteristic can make your time behind the wheel easier and more streamlined because the engine will be able to handle it better.

Whether you plan on purchasing a new or used vehicle, knowing these facts can help you make an intelligent decision that fits your specific needs. If you’re looking for maximum power, then go with the V8; if you’re looking for maximum efficiency, then consider saving some cash by purchasing a used vehicle with the V6 engine.

It’s important to remember that either one of them can offer you an excellent driving experience, but your choice will ultimately depend on what you are looking for in your vehicle.

Thanks for reading and stay dirty