Turbochargers are finding their way into more and more cars these days but not everyone is happy about it. Naturally aspirated engines offered a flatter power curve for decades. Nowadays, it’s arguable that turbocharged four-cylinder engines are better. Which would you choose?
Today, naturally aspirated six-cylinder engines aren’t exactly prevalent. Many sit under the hood of pickup trucks. The Ford F-150 is available with a 3.3-liter V6 that pumps out 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. RAM also leverages a V6, this time a 3.6-liter mill with 305 hp.
Some foreign automakers utilize V6 engines as well like Honda in the Ridgeline and the Pilot. Hyundai and Kia each use one in their respective three-row SUVs, the Palisade and the Telluride. Kia also uses it for the Carnival MPV. Considering all of these examples it might be said that the naturally aspirated V6 is considered to be a reliable power plant for daily duty.
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On the flip side, turbocharged four-cylinder engines seem to be in all sorts of cars today. Even many everyday sports cars utilize them. The Honda Civic Type-R, the Subaru WRX, and the Ford Mustang Ecoboost all leverage such an engine.
Some luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Audi use them too. They’re not all in smaller sports cars or sedans though. Chevrolet uses a turbo-four for the Silverado and the Colorado.
On top of that, there is one big benefit to those who intend to squeeze every ounce of performance possible from their engine. Turbocharging allows for relatively large boosts in power and torque with little more than tuning. A naturally aspirated V6 isn’t as easy to build power with.
So which would you choose and why? Are you going with a V6 that doesn’t enjoy the benefits of boost or two fewer cylinders with a snail or two attached? Let us know in the comments below!