A 3.0 vs. a 3.6 engine

Presently I own a 2011 Cadillac CTS4 with the 3.0 L engine in it. It’s about at 85,000 miles on it. I have had the car now about a year. Over the past year I have had the spark plugs and coils replaced, the throttle body cleaned and 3 oil changes done on it, plus the transmission fluid, and the two other fluids that go along with owning a AWD car. It for the most part runs very well. I have noticed from my research that in this model they offered it both in the 3.0 and 3.6. My base question is what is the difference in the two engines?

Per Wiki:

“GM revealed the all-new 2008 CTS at the North American International Auto Show in January 2007. The 2008–2009 base model featured a 3.6 L LY7 V6 with 263 hp (196 kW) and 253 lb⋅ft (343 N⋅m) of torque carried over from the previous generation. A second engine, a new 3.6 L direct-injection V6 VVT engine with 304 hp (227 kW) and 273 lb⋅ft (370 N⋅m) of torque was also offered.[6] For 2010, the base engine changed to a 3.0L variable valve timing (VVT) V6 with 270 hp (201 kW) and 224 lb⋅ft (304 N⋅m) of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission was standard equipment on the second generation CTS and GM’s 6-speed Hydra-matic 6L50 automatic transmission was available as an option on all variants. On-demand all-wheel drive was offered with both engines when equipped with an automatic transmission.[7] Suspension, braking, and steering improvements from the previous generation CTS-V were designed into the new standard CTS.”

.6 liters.

Customer: “What’s the difference between the Cadillac Cimarron and Chevy Celebrity?”

Dealer: " $4,000."


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You mean Chevy Cavalier…

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Cadillac Cimarron

Chevy Celebrity

Chevy Cavalier



The Cimarron was a Cavalier dolled up as a Caddy. The Celebrity was on a bigger chassis.

"Originally slated for a mid-1980s release,[2] the Cimarron was released in early 1981 alongside the Chevrolet Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Firenza, and Pontiac J2000 (eventually renamed Sunbird). "



You’re right!


Celebrity was an A chassis car. The Cimarron was a J chassis.

And that $4k got you a much nicer interior with leather, more sound deadening and a better audio system. They were pretty nice to drive with a V6.

I know a coworker who bought a Cimarron.

They said it was the biggest biggest piece of junk they ever owned.

They never bought another GM after that.


Okay so what does that .6 liters mean? How does that impact operation of the engine? Why would a company go with two different engines?

That means it’s 20% bigger in displacement, 3.0 liters vs. 3.6 liters. And read my post, it tells you how much difference that made in hp and torque. Makers often have a ‘base’ engine and a larger, more powerful ‘optional’ engine.

“.6 liters” was a glib way of saying the 0.6 liters of engine displacement is the difference. Engine displacement is a measure of how much volume is displaced by the pistons moving up and down.

So the short thorough answer is that the 3.6 liter engine has more displacement, and likely more horsepower and torque as a result, making it a more powerful engine than the 3.0 liter engine.

However, knowing what I do about cars, the difference in displacement isn’t likely to be the only difference between the two cars, or even the two engines. They will probably be mated to different transmissions, have other differences in engine configuration, and usually, if a car has two engine sizes, the smaller one has fewer cylinders than the larger one. However, in this case, both engines are probably V-6 engines.

Three oil changes in 85,00 miles? Does not matter which engine; it will have a short life.

@Docnick, I don’t think the OP bought the car new.

The Cadillac had about 72,000 miles on it when I purchased it, I have put a little over 12,000 miles on it over the past year and during that time have changed the oil 3 times.