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V6 Crossovers?

I am having some difficulty resolving the purchase of a new vehicle … I am interested in the small SUV / Crossover category (for reasons of size, more leg room for my tall husband compared to my current car, and the desire to sit up higher in the vehicle compared to a sedan). However, I am having reservations because of the limited number of 6-cylinder options.

For the last 11 years I have been driving a 6-cylinder car (VW Jetta), and my husband has a 6-cylinder SUV (Saturn VUE --which we love and are still bummed about them doing away with the Saturn line). I am concerned that if I go to a 4-cylinder, I will be disappointed. However, reviews online talk about the more power in 4-cylinders these days, and a couple of options I like aesthetically tout having more power or turbo-charged engines. I would appreciate any assistance folks can offer in this manner.

Toyota Venza is a Crossover available in V6 and I4 versions. You really have to sift through the models that appeal to you in style, size, and features. Don’t worry about the number of cylinders. I4 engines can generate plenty of power. Just test drive the cars that make the cut. If you don’t feel it has enough power then try another car. Some 6’s are dogs, and some 4’s are zippy fast. It is about the right size motor for the weight of the vehicle and proper gearing and the transmission make a big difference too.

I would think a bit of test driving would address your concerns. If you the vehicle you like isn't powerful enough with a 4-cylinder, buy the V6 version.

Perhaps it would help if you told us the makes and models you're interested in.

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It really depends upon your use in Toyotas. We have a RAV 05 with the Camry 4cyl with more than enough power. But we are two people and luggage. I would assume that the bigger Venza would be the same with the 2.7 …But, here is the deal. In larger vehicles, Venza v6 and and the RAV v6 from Toyota, there is very little difference in mileage between those and their good mileage 4. The 3.5 v6 is very strong in either . The 4s are slightly under powered for AWD plus heavy loads and towing but sufficient otherwise. So it’s really what you want to pay for a model with a 6 and your use and you loose almost nothing in economy (better at times), especially under heavy loads.

In the Hondas, the 6 does use more fuel than their 4s which are quite OK in the CRV. They offer no 4 options other wise in the larger crossovers that I am aware of. In my experience with 4s in American cars with AWD is that they are woefully under powered but economical and the 6s are adequate but with poor relative fuel economy…a problem. Euro cars do not have the reliability of either American or many Asian imports with either motor.
If you test drive, load the car up and use it under the maximum load you anticipate for all cars.

Why consider a crossover vehicle and not a minivan? They are basically the same vehicle with different styling, and there are plenty of minivans with optional V6 engines.

I agree with the others that you need to do some test drives. What you may find is that the four-cylinder has enough power for your needs, but the engine has to rev higher to deliver it. Perhaps this will give you the feeling that the car is less refined or perhaps it won’t bother you at all.

You need to test drive all the vehicles you like, with all their available engine choices.
I’m sure you will find exactly the vehicle you are looking for that way.


Don't forget the power to weight ratio of these vehicles. In some cases, the V6 power will allow the engine to move the vehicle (and it's load) easier, whereas the 4 cylinder variant will have to work much harder, bringing the fuel usage up to more comparable levels.


And make sure you like driving the car - a friend once asked me if 4-cyl. Accords were good cars. Sure, I said. Turns out they didn’t like the added vibration from the 4, and should have bought the v6. But they bought the 4, and I get to hear about it!

The Mazda CX7 is one good looking (bias), good performing and roomy vehicle with turbo 2,3L 244 hp 4 cyl. It may not “have” to be a 6 cyl. I would try one out.

I’m probably more biased than dagosa on the turbocharged Cx-7; it’s my daily driver. I’ve heard the 2.5L I4 in the CX-7 isn’t all that great, but I never test drove one, so I can’t really comment about it.
If you want a V6, the Cx-9 is the only one in their SUV lineup to use the V6 engine.

I find that the 2009-ish (it gets confusing for Nissan around that time) Nissan Murano is still a really good car. It’s a mid-size crossover with a V6 turbocharged engine with 245 HP at nominal performance. If you can find one in good shape, it’s [I] really [/I] worth the buy. Doesn’t hurt that it looks nice too. (possible bias)

I’m guessing that some time in the 6 years between the original post and now, the OP either found a car or gave up and rides horses now. :wink: