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Someone explain to me current fascination the automotive world has with the V-6. I'm not pointing fingers at any one manufacturer because I have had a lot of different V-6 powered vehicles of different flavors. They all suck. Power is ok, compared to a V-8 and they do not tow well. Worst of all, the gas mileage is only slightly better and when you tow its much worse. Now granted I have not driven any of the supercharged V-6's out there, but it does not look like they get very good gas mileage when tuned to put out more HP. Honestly the best mileage I have ever gotten towing a small enclosed trailer is from my wife's 06 X5 with a 4.4 V-8.

Edited by dcg141

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IMO, not only the engine but it's the combination of transmission and final drive ratio that decides if a certain drivetrain combo works well or not.

Add other variables like quad cab, 4WD, long bed, fully loaded etc. that also adds extra vehicle weight and strains a V6 more than a V8.

 

As an example I own a base model 2014 Ford F150 XL short cab, 6'-1/2" box, 2 wheel drive equipped

with a 3.7 liter naturally aspirated V6, 6-speed auto, 3.73 gear ratio axle w/limited slip.

It's rated at 302HP/278TQ but at higher RPMs at which I never push the engine.

 

No complaints at all for occasional hauling / towing in the 2500lbs range (dirtbikes, building supplies etc.)

I've towed a 5000+lbs trailer a few times, perhaps hills would have been a challenge but on relatively flat ground it was uneventful.

(this drivetrain combo is rated to tow up to 6500lbs or so)

 

This little V6 drives and hauls better than any V8 powered truck I've owned in the past plus,

when the engine revs are kept in the 'sweet spot' between 1800 and 2400 rpms.

it delivers at consistent 20MPG to and from the track hauling trailer & bike and loaded with gear.

Mileage tip: don't be in a hurry, drive it like a truck, not a car...

 

EDIT: If the same truck was equipped with either of the other available final drive ratios: 3.15 or 3.55

in the hopes of squeezing out an extra 1 MPG when unladen, it would no doubt be a real slug for towing/hauling.

 

As you can see I like simplicity (XL trim), never would I consider a 2.7 or 3.5 Ecoboost even if the fuel mileage was equal or better. 

Being old school, I'd actually prefer a inline-6 engine configuration but still with modern FI, variable cam timing etc.

Edited by mlatour
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Bought sort of the same thing, new chev W/T heavy 1/2 ton in 1992. Had a 4.3L , 700r, 3:73, 2wd.  $10k otd.  Never really regretted not getting the V8.  It hauled and towed anything you'd wanna do with a 1/2 ton fine.

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I'm not sure what v6's you're referring to, but I've been happy with the one's I've had.  My Ranger had the good OHV 4.0, and it was a very solid engine for a small truck with plenty of torque.  The old Chevy 4.3 was also a pretty good V6.  My Frontier had the vq40 which was an absolutely WONDERFUL engine.  It needed to rev to make power, but since it's based off of Nissan's popular 3.5 engine it loved to rev and I towed 6,500 lbs of water plenty of times and it always did what I needed.

Now I've got an ecoboost V6 in my F150, but it's not really fair to call it "just a V6".  It tows closer to a diesel than a V8 with the insane amounts of low RPM torque.  It's also capable of 19 mpg in daily driving if I pay attention to my left foot.

Even V8's of today aren't that similar to those older V8s.  Gone are the days of stump pulling low end torque in a V8, they're all high revving engines that are closer to sports car engines than truck engines.

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I just sold my 2011 F150 supercrew Limited with a 6.2 and bought a 2015 F150 Lariat supercrew 3.5 twin turbo, had we not lived where they dump train loads of salt on the road I would have bought a GM crewcab with the 6.2. The Ford 6.2 would get 13-14 mpg drive 70 mph, the 3.5 gets 8-9 mpg, the 6.2 would also get 13 mpg going 90 mph across South Dakota, I'm afraid  to even guess what the turbo would get. 

The Ford 3.5 turbo'd trucks are awesome, but don't buy one because Ford says it will get 24+ mpg, there not even close even if your driving like gas is $15 a gallon.     

Had I drove a 3.5 turbo a couple weeks before buying one, I would have bought a truck with the new 5.0. 

Edited by ktm300

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On 2/24/2018 at 5:25 PM, ktm300 said:

I just sold my 2011 F150 supercrew Limited with a 6.2 and bought a 2015 F150 Lariat supercrew 3.5 twin turbo, had we not lived where they dump train loads of salt on the road I would have bought a GM crewcab with the 6.2. The Ford 6.2 would get 13-14 mpg drive 70 mph, the 3.5 gets 8-9 mpg, the 6.2 would also get 13 mpg going 90 mph across South Dakota, I'm afraid  to even guess what the turbo would get. 

The Ford 3.5 turbo'd trucks are awesome, but don't buy one because Ford says it will get 24+ mpg, there not even close even if your driving like gas is $15 a gallon.     

Had I drove a 3.5 turbo a couple weeks before buying one, I would have bought a truck with the new 5.0. 

I assume you're referring to towing MPG?  I'll admit, it's not great and 8-9 is common with the 3.5 EB while towing a heavy load.  If you're not towing, you've got something seriously wrong with your particular truck.

Unloaded, my 2014 4x4 crew cab with the 3.5 eb does about 20 at 70, and that truck is several hundred pounds heaver than your 2015.  I like to drive at around 73 and it drops to 19 at that speed, strictly highway.  I actually kept track of my fuel economy for the past 12 months, with about a 60/40 mix of highway/city, Cincinnati traffic, and idling for 5-10 minutes every morning in the winter, my yearly total mileage was 17.1 mpg.  If I was easier on the throttle I could probably do better, but with the 93 octane performance tune I have it's too much fun to not get into it every once and a while!

Anyway, this truck does better than my 2005 4x4 crew cab Frontier which managed 17.5 in the summer and 15.5 in the winter on the same commute (and I never warmed it up in the morning since I didn't have remote start) for a combined fuel economy of 16.5.

If you're only getting 8-9 normal driving something's wrong.  If you haven't replaced the spark plugs, they're only good for about 30k in these engines, I'd start there.  Stick with the Motocraft plugs too and gap at 0.030".

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I can get 17 empty if I run 60 mph. What tuner did you go with, and did you do anything to intake or exhaust.  

Just past 30k, I'll throw in new plugs and see what happens. 

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17 hours ago, ktm300 said:

I can get 17 empty if I run 60 mph. What tuner did you go with, and did you do anything to intake or exhaust.  

Just past 30k, I'll throw in new plugs and see what happens. 

Wow, just last fall I drove 60mph for about 2 hours on a trip with my family and all our clothes and hiking gear, I did 22 mpg for the trip.  Some of your problem could be just winter gas, my economy goes down a lot in the winter.

I went with 5 Star for the tunes, and SCT X4 for the tuning device.  I bought an 87, 89, and 93 octane tow/performance tune, and a 93 pure performance tune.  All are nice, but that pure performance tune is wild.

I didn't do anything else, and I probably won't.  Cold air intakes are pretty worthless on any truck, but especially the ecoboosts.  You may get some gains with an exhaust, but not enough for it to be worth the cost.  And a boosted V6 doesn't sound very good IMO.

Are you running oversized tires or a lift?  Those seem to kill fuel economy by 2-4 mpg's from what I've seen on the forums.

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I used 5 Star on my last f150 with the 6.2 and they seemed decent and I'll give them a shot on this one. Winter fuel is most likely adding to the low mileage, along with the plugs.  I've had quite a few tuners on different trucks gas and diesel and they ran better, but mileage didn't change much,  when you did the 5 star tune on your turbo did you see much of increase ? 

Has the stock 20's, and I was actually going to lower the front an inch and bring the rear down to match up. I knew the trailer pulling would be an issue with these smaller 3.5 or 5.0 motors, so this winter I had Neo build me a 6x12 custom low roof, low pro dropped V nose aluminum trailer, I have been pulling a standard height 7x14, have not pulled the new one yet, waiting for a few rains to wash the salt off the roads. 

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Nothing wrong with a v6...its all in what you do with it.

Manufacturers are going that direction because they get dinged tax wise for having a v8.

Here are some good v6's IMO

 

And for the record my truck has a V8 and is not a ford ;)

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps already applicable (or soon to be) in other provinces or states,

here in Quebec for engines larger than 4 litres there is an initial acquisition fee plus,

an engine displacement surcharge fee' added to the yearly vehicle registration fees to

discourage people from buying larger / more gas  guzzling engines than necessary for their personal usage.

(work vehicles exempt: tow trucks, farm trucks, school buses etc.)

 

Scroll the link below, every .1 liter extra displacement gets a hike.

https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/saaq/rates-fines/vehicle-registration/additional-registration-fee-large-cylinder-capacity-vehicles/

Edited by mlatour

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On 2/28/2018 at 0:30 PM, ktm300 said:

I used 5 Star on my last f150 with the 6.2 and they seemed decent and I'll give them a shot on this one. Winter fuel is most likely adding to the low mileage, along with the plugs.  I've had quite a few tuners on different trucks gas and diesel and they ran better, but mileage didn't change much,  when you did the 5 star tune on your turbo did you see much of increase ? 

Has the stock 20's, and I was actually going to lower the front an inch and bring the rear down to match up. I knew the trailer pulling would be an issue with these smaller 3.5 or 5.0 motors, so this winter I had Neo build me a 6x12 custom low roof, low pro dropped V nose aluminum trailer, I have been pulling a standard height 7x14, have not pulled the new one yet, waiting for a few rains to wash the salt off the roads. 

 

I ran each of the 4 tunes I bought for a month each to see what the change in fuel economy would be.  The 87 octane tune was the same as stock for fuel economy.  The 89 and 93 octane tunes did a tad better on fuel economy, but not enough to make up for the cost of high octane gas.  There is a specific "fuel economy" tune that 5* offers, it keeps the engine off boost during low speed city driving and apparently it actually works at giving you better mileage.  Even though I do a decent amount of city driving, I knew I'd never use that tune so I didn't buy it.

You'll be impressed towing with that engine.  I have a 7x14 tandem axle landscaping trailer, last year I hauled 2 & 3 yards of soil on a few occasions, and hauled my entire deck off to the landfill.  The EB has such massive low end torque that it's still pretty spirited off the line pulling 4-5k pounds, enough that you barely notice it.  When I was hauling the full 3 yards of soil at around 7k lbs including the trailer I did notice the weight behind me, but even going up hills it wasn't a problem.

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The current ford ecoboost sixes will pull great, I see they hype with those.

now for the hype in general about v6’s and small engines, nowadays if you look at the numbers they put out what v8s used to about, idk, 10-15 years back or so. That sounds great right? Small engines putting out what big engines did years ago, wow technology!!! 

Not really. While the numbers are the same, it’s usually at high rpm and not a whole lot of grunt down low. This necessitates trans with tons of gears, because you can produce the same amount of torque mathematically if you gear it low and spin it high. Those help it keep it in the sweet spot and then overdrives for when your up to speed.

a small engine producing the same or higher power/tq numbers ain’t the same as a big engine putting out the same. The big engine will be more effortless and not have to work so hard. I’d prefer something not winding its guts out for a truck.

kind of like how a ktm 350 puts out numbers close to a 450cc  by the numbers but ride both and you’ll see the difference.

 

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I love my 2016 F150 with the 3.5 ecoboost motor. I will out pull your 6.2 all day.  I had a denali with the 6.2 before and it was good but the 3.5 eb is better.  Not to mention I get 50% better gas mileage.  I used to get under 12 in the denali and I get over 17 in the F150.  I'll take my over 5 MPG savings to the bank.  I also love the sportiness of the 3.5 eb.  Plus, when I want to hot rod it after my warranty expires, gaining over 200 horsepower will be a simple matter of bigger turbos, throttle body, fuel pump and a tune.

I have learned to drive a little different in the F150.  I learned that you want to hit the gas and then let it coast a lot.  When the turbos spool up at all the mileage drops off so you want to coast as much as you can - basically you drive on and off the gas.  I gained .5 MPG doing this.

Edited by 4Sevens

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Original poster asked about car v6's so ill throw my 2 cents in here......why woouldnt you want one???? And the one im referring to i believe has been discontinued......my girl has a honda accord coupe exl v6.......amazing motor....268hp.....2 less than the original acura nsx......yet she can get 30 mpgs out of it cuz it has cylinder deactivation so if you drive like a granny it'll sip fuel.....step on it.....oh man that car has some serious get up and go......best of both worlds....

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On 3/2/2018 at 1:42 PM, RawbW said:

The current ford ecoboost sixes will pull great, I see they hype with those.

now for the hype in general about v6’s and small engines, nowadays if you look at the numbers they put out what v8s used to about, idk, 10-15 years back or so. That sounds great right? Small engines putting out what big engines did years ago, wow technology!!! 

Not really. While the numbers are the same, it’s usually at high rpm and not a whole lot of grunt down low. This necessitates trans with tons of gears, because you can produce the same amount of torque mathematically if you gear it low and spin it high. Those help it keep it in the sweet spot and then overdrives for when your up to speed.

a small engine producing the same or higher power/tq numbers ain’t the same as a big engine putting out the same. The big engine will be more effortless and not have to work so hard. I’d prefer something not winding its guts out for a truck.

kind of like how a ktm 350 puts out numbers close to a 450cc  by the numbers but ride both and you’ll see the difference.

 

 

The high rpm power isn't just with V6's.  Ford's Coyote 5.0 V8 is pretty much the same, it needs to rev to make power.  Of course it's really a Mustang engine that Ford decided to shove in the F150, but even GM's ecotec V8's really like to rev as well.  Gone are the days of stump pulling torque from big block V8's.

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2 hours ago, bassjam said:

 

The high rpm power isn't just with V6's.  Ford's Coyote 5.0 V8 is pretty much the same, it needs to rev to make power.  Of course it's really a Mustang engine that Ford decided to shove in the F150, but even GM's ecotec V8's really like to rev as well.  Gone are the days of stump pulling torque from big block V8's.

Agreed. Everyone says look at how much hp these new v8s have! But all of it is up high, so it only sounds good on paper. 

Maybe they should sink some time into developing truck 8’s with longer stroke and optimized cams?

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