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Unread 06-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: In the great state of Texas
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4 cyl vs. 6 cyl

OK, so I'm finding myself in a position where I might be needing a mid size vehicle that get's good mileage, can comfortably haul 4 adult sized people and have luggage space. I really like being able to easily access the luggage compartment so for me this means some sort of wagon or SUV on a car chassis kind of thing. I'm looking at things like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Jeep Liberty etc.

So here's my questions: In a vehicle this size with 400+ lbs of passengers and or luggage driving 75-80 mph would a 4 cylinder engine really get that much better mileage than a 6 cylinder? Also would you think a 4 cylinder engine in a car this size, hauling passengers and luggage at those speeds for hours at a time be over worked? Would it wear the engine out faster than it would a 6?

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Unread 06-20-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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Location: Melissa, TX
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We bought a Santa Fe recently....very nice sized, lots of luggage room. The one we got has a 4 cyl. We are big people, and tend to over pack...I'm getting about 26 on the high way, so I'm pretty happy (this is a 2011, the 2013 can supposedly do about 32). The one thing it doesn't have is a lot of UMPH. There's just not a lot of power or sudden acceleration. I wouldn't want to try and tow anything larger than a small trailer. I know this would be different with a 6 cyl, but the mileage on the v6 would probably suffer by 5 or 6 mpg.

Not sure how that all relates to the wear and tear on the engine over the years....I suspect it's mostly an afterthought. At 70 mph your momentum is doing a lot of the work.

Supposedly the newer Ford Escape with ecoboost is roomy and gets great mileage and power.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 10:44 AM   #3
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Generally it's been my experience that a small and efficient motor becomes immediately not efficient at all when you ask it to make peak power all the time.

My 6-cylinder car from the '80's gets 32 mpg on the highway with two people and a load in the trunk. I average about 26 mpg overall, and that includes the time I spend flogging it through back roads... It's not my primary vehicle, so it gets a dis-proportionate amount of flogging as opposed to normal driving.

My wife's 4-cylinder car from 2008 gets about 27 mpg total.... no flogging, haha.

Don't underestimate the effect of vehicle weight on fuel economy. If you buy a big heavy car, you're going to get some big heavy fuel bills. My car is pretty light, thus the good fuel economy. If I were you, I'd look into cars that aren't too big... when you say "mid size," I start thinking Ford Taurus. The Focus has enough space for 4 adults, comfortably.
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