Pros & Cons: Straight-Six Vs V6 Engines Duke It Out

Even though the ‘V6’ has proven to be more popular than straight-six power units, a thinking man could argue in favor of both.

Six-cylinder engines are widely spread across the automotive landscape. They can power anything from sports sedans to luxury limos, SUVs, trucks and even supercars. However, if you round up all those vehicles, you’ll find that the V6 is definitely the dominant one.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of advantages when it comes to in-line six units, as Car Throttle would point out. Some of the “pros” include easier maintenance and an overall superior balance, though people looking for “cons” could point to the straight six taking up more room inside the engine bay.

The first thing that strikes you about a V6 engine is that it’s a lot more compact in size compared to an in-line six. This is a good thing because it allows for more flexibility when it comes to adding components, and even cuts costs during R&D phases.

As for V6 disadvantages, aside from not being as well-balanced as a straight-six and more difficult to maintain, it’s also a harder engine to work on if you’re the type of person who enjoys getting your hands dirty as a hobby.


  • WG

    Hopefully the straight-6 will make a comeback before electric vehicles take over… 🙏

  • Six_Tymes

    This video is sort of outdated, for example they suggest straight six’s is “all but dead today” that’s flat out false. Merc has already brought them back and Bmw still use them.

    • Big Black Duck

      so 2 out of how many companies again?

      • Kash

        Merc and BMW sell millions of cars every year, it’s not like Mazda with the Rotary, the straight 6 is a viable thing, several hundred thousand of them get sold every year and eventually that number will hit the millions once Merc gets back into them (the E50 coupe should be their first one) and then Jag is either working on their own or looking to bring it back. From there it’s very likely Audi/Porsche will join in, and then it’s a good chance that other companies like Alfa Romeo and maybe even Ferrari could start building them (if the Dino is a real thing then Ferrari could very likely use one over a V6), but it just depends on how well Merc’s do.

        Then if Toyota does partner with BMW for engines then there’s a good chance they’ll switch to them as well, at least on the Supra and other sportscars.

        • Six Thousand Times

          The original Supra (and Z-car, come to that) were straight sixes. Jaguar is bringing them back as part of the Ingenium engine project. Audi and Porsche as well as Ferrari/Alfa /Maserati don’t have a history so may stay with V-6s.

          • Kash

            Okay, i was pretty sure Jag committed to them.

            Are we talking about the BMW Z or Nissan Z? If Nissan Z then they could bring back the straight 6 if they borrowed the enigne from Merc, which is a strong possibility with them borrowing the GLA’s underpinnings for the QX30 and loaning them the underpinnings for the X-class.

            I feel like Audi and Porsche would be open to use them if Merc’s prove to be decent, Porsche with the Macan, Cayenne, and Panamera and if they were to build a front engined coupe which would mean Audi would likely borrow them for things like their S models and maybe even their RS models.

          • Six Thousand Times

            Audi might encounter some packaging issues with its MLB platform and a straight six. And yes, I meant the Datsun Z. Z-car to my generation only could mean one thing.

          • Kash

            It’s nothing I’d expect to see in the next A6 or even A8. it’d have to be factored into the next generation of cars.

            Even if you had said “[your] generation” i still would’ve had to ask just to make sure.

    • Kash

      Don’t forget Jag is reviving them as well, or at least looking to.

  • Mind Synthetic

    love my L28

  • smartacus

    a Vee with less than 8 cylinders is wasted complexity.
    Especially the typical 60 and 90 degree units.
    If someone made a 120 degree V6 and possibly hot-vee, then maybe i’d reconsider.
    But right now, Turbo 4’s are taking V6 jobs in cars and even Pickups.

    Inline 6 needs to be reduced in bore so it can fit in sideways in more cars.

    • Ilbirs

      Or the cylinders of this inline 6 can be put in a narrow V configuration, while keeping the crankshaft in the same configuration of conventional inline 6, something that VW does for more than two decades with its VR6.

  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    Which sounds better?

  • ediotsavant

    To hell with an inline 6. I want to see an inline 8!

    • Matt Johnson

      The Straight 8 was no longer manufactured. The last straight 8 was manufactured by Dodge.

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