5 cylinder engines


Are the new 5 cylinder engines any good? They look like a poor compromise to me.



5 cylinder engines used in what capacity?

Audi and Volvo have had 5 cylinder engines for years, and as far as I know, they are decent powerplants.
GM also uses a 5 cylinder powerplant in the Colorado pickup and I believe in the Hummer H3. GM’s 5 cylinder, though, tends to be underpowered for its uses. It’s placed in large, heavier vehicles, whereas the aforementioned European companies use them in sedans.

Why do you think they are a poor compromise?


Five cylinder engines are nothing new. Even VW was using them 25 years ago and they were good engines.


Five cylinders is a good design, but of course it is possible to make a bad five cylinder engine.

There have been five cylinder engines for a long time.  I remember a few back in the 70's.


Acura Vigor has a five cylinder


These engines are a decent compromise – between a 4-cyl and a 6-cyl engine.


The GM 5-cylinder had some MAJOR problems early on. Something like OVER 10% had to be rebuilt with less then 5k miles. They fixed that quickly and from what I’ve heard it’s a pretty decent engine.


V 12 is good. V8 is good. Straight 6 is good. V6 is a compromise. 5, I don’t know.


What about V10s?


Certainly not as good as V8 or V12.


My 5 cylinder engine is doing just fine at 393K miles. There is nothing inherently good or bad about any engine configuration, it’s just another design decision. They will all work well if they are done correctly.


How is a 5 cylinder a poor compromise? They are smoother than 3, 4, 6 and 8 cylinders.


Everything engineered is a compromise. Our V6 runs fine.


A V type engine are the compromised ones, developed for packaging, ( fitting a larger engine in a shorter space).
All things being equal inline engines have stronger bottom ends


It has always been conventional wisdom that a V-8 is a very smooth engine, due to the 90 degree configuration. A 60 degree V-6 is also smooth. An inline 6, such as a BMW, is also very smooth. Generally, I think a 5-cylinder may be a little less smooth than a well-designed V-8 or inline 6, but the longevity should be very good if the engine is properly designed.


The only V5 I’m aware of is the VW VR5, and it;s not a traditional Vee. It’s a staggered straight 5 to fit in the engine bay. Not exactly a straight 5, but more so than a Vee configuration.


In addition to packaging issues, a V configuration has a shorter, more rigid crankshaft which is less prone to flexing in high performance applications.


most powerful Engine http://people.bath.ac.uk/ccsshb/12cyl/


I used to think that an odd number of cylinders was meant for a 2 cycle engine. In the early 1960’s, the Saab and the DKW had 3 cylinder, 2 cycle engines. The insignia on the DKW had 3=6. By this, DKW meant that with a power stroke on every downstroke rather than every other downstroke, the DKW had the performance of a 6 cylinder engine. If this is true, the 5 cylinder engines should be 2 cycle–then they would have the performance of a 10 cylinder engine. For those of you who miss the 2 cycle engines in automobiles, I offer the following lyrics to be sung to the tune “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”.

The two strok powers my chain saw,
it makes my LawnBoy mow,
but I can’t have one in my auto,
Government says “No, No”.

Bring back, bring back,
Oh bring back my 2 stroke to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back,
Oh bring back my 2 stroke to me.

My two stroke has no cam or valves,
it has no oil sump.
But if a four stroke leaks it oil,
it’s ready for the dump!

Repeat chorus.

Hang on to your 16:1 mixture. The two cycle shall rise again!


Crankcase charged 2 strokes are the least fuel efficient of any internal combustion engine. Externally charged 2 strokes are the most efficient.

Five cylinder engines have their reciprocating mass divided into 5 planes. V-8s 4 planes, Most 6 cylinders 3…