6 Cylinder vs 8 Cylinder Truck: What’s the Difference?

The number of decisions to make while buying the perfect new truck could sometimes become overwhelming, especially when it comes to the big question of choosing between 6 Cylinder vs. 8 Cylinder Truck.

The engines of six or eight-cylinder vehicles are also known as V6 or V8 engines which you’ve no doubt heard of. But guess what! Even some of the most seasoned truck owners may not know their details.

So knowing a little bit more about them could help you make your purchase a lot easier.

What Does a 6 or 8 Cylinder Truck Mean?

The six-cylinder trucks have V6 engines, and eight-cylinder trucks have V8, which you already know by now. These numbers tell you about how many cylinders are powering the vehicle’s engine.

Although both the engines work the same way at the core, the only major structural difference is the number of cylinders for the fuel intake.

How Do the Cylinders Work?

To differentiate between V6 and V8 engines and pick the one you need, some knowledge of the internal combustion engine will go a long way. Don’t worry; we won’t get too technical here.

An internal combustion engine converts energy from spark ignition. This is done with the help of a moving piston and a cylinder inside the engine. The cylinder contains gasoline inside, which gets ignited, creating a succession of continuous small explosions.

These explosions provide the energy for the cylinders to rotate the engine. It is this rotation that moves the vehicle down the road. That is why, when there are more cylinders in the engine, there is more power.

What Does the “V” Mean in V6 and V8?

Engines with six or eight cylinders are called V6 or V8 because those cylinders are mounted on the crankshaft, arranged in a V shape.

In V6, the arrangement is in two rows of three, and for V8, two rows of four.

The Criterion for Choosing between V6 vs. V8 Truck

Even if we ignore the basic distinction between the two types, that is, the number of cylinders, we’ll see they both work almost the same way. But only due to the change in the number of cylinders, the outcome can become quite different.

Traditionally, no self-respecting full-sized truck driver would consider an engine less than V8. It was then an age when those fuel-guzzling lazy vehicles would compensate their poor efficiency with larger engines and many cylinders.

However, in modern times due to the advancement of technology, more and more people are considering V6 engines.

Today’s general trend is modern, highly boosted smaller engines with comparable power to the larger engines of the old. As a result, these six cylindered engines are quickly placing themselves in the competitor’s circle.

That is why today’s engine matters in terms of its usage: how much is the peak power or how economical it is in fuel consumption.

Therefore, it is not unusual to find a V6 engine of one truck superior to a V8 engine of another. We’ll see an example of that later in this article. further read Nissan Truck vs Toyota Truck – Which One Is Better?

Pros of a V6 Truck

Trucks with six cylinders today are often considered to be more flexible with decent power. They are also quite economical in fuel consumption.

  • Small and Light Design

The reason V6 engines are more flexible is due to their weight reduction. The lighter design makes the vehicle navigate and accelerate more smoothly. As a result, you can handle the vehicle better than V8 trucks.

  • Fuel Economy

V6 engines take the cake when it comes to gas mileage. You’ll see definite advantages at the pump when you fill up the engine.

If you don’t need your truck to work too hard, any modern V6 engine will significantly save. That is why it is one of the most significant advantages of 6 cylinder trucks.

  • Low Maintenance

Since V6 engines have fewer cylinders and fewer moving parts, you’ll see less maintenance than V8 engines. Besides, even if anything goes wrong, V6 engines are cheaper to fix also.

Once upon a time, the power difference between six-cylinder trucks and eight-cylinder trucks was very noticeable. But with drastic changes in technology, today’s V6 trucks can offer competitive outputs.

Pros of a V8 Truck

When it comes to overall power, speed, and acceleration, nothing beats a V8 engine for trucks. Besides, the power is also pretty consistent for the driver.

  • High Power

It doesn’t matter how much the technology has advanced; V8 engines are always more powerful than V6 ones. For anyone wanting to max out their truck’s power should seek eight cylinders only.

  • Hauling and Towing

The V8 engine affords the truck to haul considerably more weight than V6 with less strain on the vehicle. Besides, the rear torque ratios of each V8 provide the best towing performance. If you need to pull heavy equipment, V8 consistently is the one you need.

  • Smoother Ride

V8 has a perpendicular cylinder configuration. It provides a quieter and smoother ride than V6 as well.

V8 engines are always consistent in providing power and a smooth ride. Unlike six-cylinder trucks, eight-cylinder ones are better suited for towing heavy loads.

Which One to Pick?

While it may seem easy to pick the one with more power, modern technology changes the game with a turbocharger.

The turbo increases the internal combustion of the cylinders. It uses exhaust gas to power the turbine resulting in a lightweight and fuel-efficient solution to increase the horsepower.

That is why we say choosing between V8 or V6 engines isn’t cut and dry as it used to be. While it will seem like more power is always better, you have to see the modern V6 trucks first and start questioning yourself.

Take, for example, Ram 1500 with a standard 5.7L V8 engine. It will give you an HP of 395 and 410 lb-ft of torque.

And you’ll see that it tows around 11,610. Now consider the Ford F150 trucks with a V6 engine towing up to 13,200. That is a dilemma right there. You can’t just pick one from the numbers only.

So, you have to know what your lifestyle calls for and what you expect to do with the truck. If you are all about carrying big payloads regularly, a six-cylinder truck will gracefully provide you with all the power and performance you want.

On the other hand, if it is not the case and you’ll seldom need to pull such a huge weight, better save some bucks and go for the economical alternative, a six-cylinder truck.

Final Words

Since each has its own pros and cons, choosing between a six-cylinder vs. an eight-cylinder truck can be both exciting and confusing at the same time.

Picking V6 engines makes more sense for light-duty uses, while V8 makes for an excellent heavy-duty vehicle. The decision finally boils down to your personal preference at the end. Good luck!

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