V6 engine cars going away: Automakers discontinue 6-cylinder cars

These days, there are fewer and fewer cars. And fewer and fewer hefty engines in them.

As automakers increasingly discontinue passenger cars in favor of SUVs and pickups, they’re also moving away from the once-standard six-cylinder engine, also known to many as the V6 because of its shape.

In its place is the formerly dreaded four-cylinder engine, which is shedding its previously sluggish reputation after incorporating new technologies that improve its performance while maintaining respectable fuel economy.

In fact, only one midsize car that isn’t a luxury model still comes with a V6 enginel – the Toyota Camry – according to auto industry data source J.D. Power.

If you want a V6 in a car, you’ll have to buy a premium model like a Mercedes-Benz, a large car like the Toyota Avalon or amuscle car like the Dodge Challenger.

But Forrest Jewel, who works in Oklahoma City, gets to experience V6s every day. He’s a valet and has the opportunity to drive a wide variety of new vehicles on the job.

“The V6s are definitely more fun,” he says. “They’ve got a little more power and they sound a little better on the exhaust.”

Yet he’s seeing fewer and fewer these days. And he understands why.

“They’re putting the smaller engine in,” he says. “The technology is better.”

That change doesn’t sit well with people like Stewart Westlake.

Stewart Westlake of Manitoba, Canada, poses with his Chrysler 300, a vehicle outfitted with a V6 engine.

The Manitoba, Canada, addictions counselor owns a Chrysler 300 large car with a six-cylinder engine, which gets him 30 mpg. He’s happy with his performance and fuel economy and is dreading the possibility that V6 engines will go away completely.

“I don’t like compact cars, and I really don’t like 4-cylinders,” he says. “I’ve had a 4-cylinders. There’s just nothing to it.”

To be sure, automakers have made significant improvements to 4-cylinder engines in recent years. In many cases, they’re offering turbocharged 4-cylinder engines with direct fuel injection, enabling greater power output than many V6 engines of days gone by.