4 or 6 cylinder on an SUV

Hi All,

Looking into getting a Ford Escape. Leaning towards an XLT that has the 4 cylinder eng. as oppossed to the 6, thats in the normal XLT line. Someone told me that the 6 would increase the longevity of the engine, is there any truth in this?

It will not be used for towing anything and will basically just be a much needed larger family vehicle. Although I cannot rule out that it may be needed on very rare occassions to put a trailer on it. Also the difference between the 4 and 6 on mpg’s is about 2-3m on the window sticker.



Unless you need the extra acceleration the 6 would provide, I’d say go with the 4. If you drive sensibly the 4 should deliver better fuel mileage, and it will last just as long as the 6.

I have CRV with a four banger and AWD. Love it. I have been getting at least 24mpg around town and stop at the same lights everyone else does. I would only want a six if you were going to tow something large or frequently (you probably can tow around 1000lbs, but check the owners manual).


I guess it’s OK…But why buy a SUV if you won’t be hauling things around in it??? And when you do haul things around the 6 cylinder is going to be a LOT better.

Do you really think a lot? I brought home a washing machine (inside) and a dryer (on the roof) in my CRV in the middle of a snow storm (don’t ask why). No problems at all. I suppose I accelerate why below standards anyway so I don’t notice much impact. I agree if you carry things a lot (weekly) then you might want it, but I will take the gas mileage for the 90% of the time I am not hauling anything.


95% of the time this would only be used for light cargo stuff and family vacations. The other 5% may be used for hooking up a trailer for stuff.
I have a pontiac sunfire now that puts out almost 150hp, this 4 cylindar Escape puts out 153hp and the curbisde weight is about 500lbs heavier. Acceleration is not a big concern of mine. Just trying to really figure out why someone would say that a 6 cylindar would be the better engine. I could see if I was towing or racing but I will be neither. Will the extra 500lbs really tax a 4 cylindar engine?
Thanks Again.

Drive them both and YOU decide. Vacation trips mean cruising at 75mph. How does the 4-banger handle that? Come re-sale time, the 6 will surely return anything extra it cost you to buy and operate it. This is America. More is better. You can’t fight the system.

Todays four cylinders seem to be good enough and will cost less if you ever change spark plugs or intake manifolds.

I agree with most of the posts but don’t be led astray by thinking an suv
has lots of room. They don’t.

Especially if you have kids in safety seats and a dog.

Those with a third row seat (to seat 7 or 8) really leave very little room for storage behind the seat.

The full sized SUVs are the same in style. Only difference being larger on the outside and larger motors to pull more weight.

I bought a (used) '02 Chevy Tahoe to pull my 21ft. travel trailer.

Our '00 Olds Silhouette hasn’t got the power or RWD needed to pull the TT.

For those thinking (hard on fuel), yes the Tahoe IS a guzzler. That’s why it is only used for pulling the trailer four times a year for long trips.

That’s one benefit of retirement.
The vehicles sit in the driveway most of the time.

Because our kids have grown up, moved out and have kids of their own
we didn’t need or want a third row seat.

When researching for this truck, I looked closely at inside space and opted for a Tahoe WITHOUT the third row seat just to gain some space for other gear.

Four bangers are pretty limited as to towing.

For growing families the way to go is perhaps to look at the new cross-over van/suvs for better towing cap and space.

Although FWD vehicles are NOT usually recommended for towing, they can be used as long as the towed weight is limited.

i really dont see the point in buying an suv that has anything smaller than a v6

The SUV that he is looking at is basically a modern day version of a wagon. Just a little higher up. Personally, I love my CRV. I get good gas mileage, there is amble space (especially when I include the roof rack) and it fits 4 kids with me just fine. I never tow anything so why get a six? Accelerating super fast to the next light or trying to tow a big boat just is not my game. For some of us, a four works well.


A WASHING MACHINE??? You consider a washing machine HEAVY??? Maybe if you leave the water in it it is.

We love our 4 cyl too except when we have to go up mtn passes when SK decreses her power to about half of normal and then we get passed by just about everyone including small cars.

Great mileage though and she sure packs alot in her.

Actually if a 6 cylinder engine has much more HP and a little more torque, it just means that its greater potential power is used when accelerating. Once you’ve hit cruising speed, it takes a lot less energy to maintain your velocity than it did to reach it.

If your driving style included a lot of 0-to-75 -to-55 -to-75 then maybe a 6 cylinder engine would be necessary. However, it’s wasteful to purchase a vehicle based on what you do with it 5% of the time.

FWIW: My 2000m.y. car has a 120HP engine, and in some respects I feel that it’s overpowered. I’d rather purchase a car with the lowest HP possible to get sustained fuel economy.

No one NEEDS that much zip and umph. If you want to pay for it (in vehicle, gas, CO2 output costs), then that’s your prerogative.

maybe if you leave the water in?? well that was dumb. Those are heavy (older styles) but they still have some weight on them

Now THAT’S a STUPID remark…You talking about Heavy for YOU or the SUV. A Honda Civic can haul the weight of the washer. They weigh less then an average size man. Try towing a yard of sand around (2500lbs) with a 4-cylinder SUV…or better yet stone.

Let me think about the number of times I have needed to carry 2500 lbs of sand, stone, mud or anything else. Oh, that’s right, never. If I did, I could rent a truck for far less than what I save in fuel everyday- unless of course my job was hauling this stuff around, which it is not, nor is it the OPs. I used an example (if you are so gracious to allow me to) of a more typically transported item by your average Home Depot consumer. I would be willing to bet that most people on the board (here comes the responses from the few that have) have ever carried 2500 lbs of stone or sand in any vehicle they have ever had.


with all due respect, if you never tow anything, why did you get an suv?

Let me think about the number of times I have needed to carry 2500 lbs of sand, stone, mud or anything else. Oh, that’s right, never.

Then why waste the money on an SUV???

The I-4 will last a long time as long as you take care of it. Look at some other, equivalent trucks to see if you like them better. Power and weight together determine what works best. Test drive a few and see if you still want the Escape. I’n not knocking the Escape, just suggesting that you stay informed on what’s offered in that class.