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Best 6-Cylinder Cars in 2020

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Four-cylinder and V-6 engines are the most common types of engines in U.S. vehicles, but the 6-cylinder has been a favorite of American automakers for decades, thanks to its added power.

While turbocharged four-cylinder engines have closed part of the performance gap, they still don’t match the V-6 in terms of output. If you’re looking for that extra punch, here are some excellent, new 6-cylinder cars.

With such a wide selection of V-6 cars and SUVs available, we narrowed our picks to vehicles with starting MSRPs below $50,000 that had consistently good scores across several metrics: Kelley Blue Book (KBB) expert ratings as well as ratings by consumers on Edmunds, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), when available. We highlight the top three picks in each category: sedans, sports cars and SUVs.

Best 6-cylinder sedans

Who says a sedan can’t be fast? These top models balance comfort, performance and affordability.

2019 Chrysler 300

  • MSRP $29,470
  • 4.0 out of 5 by KBB experts; 5.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (9 reviews)
  • 4 stars NHTSA
  • 23 MPG combined

With the Chrysler 300, you’re getting an upscale ride without shelling out a fortune. Customers noted that the Chrysler 300 handles bumpy roads smoothly and that you barely hear any noise. The upscale interior comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power 8-way driver’s seat and a large touchscreen interface coming standard. The sedan is large with plenty of legroom but thanks to the standard 3.6L V-6 engine, you’re still getting plenty of speed. And if it’s not enough, you can also upgrade to the V-8 version with a $39,645 MSRP. Rumors flew that Chrysler would discontinue this sedan, but the 2020 model is here for $29,590 MSRP and offers more color choices. Lacking reviews as of press time, we opted to focus on the 2019 model for now.

2020 Toyota Avalon

  • MSRP $38,500
  • 3.5 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.4 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (5 reviews)
  • 26 MPG combined
  • IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick+

Redesigned in 2019, the Toyota Avalon makes few changes for 2020, except for the addition of a TRD trim, Toyota’s performance line. The Avalon remains one of the safest cars on the road. It comes standard with advanced safety features like lane departure alerts, blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alerts, brake assist and dynamic radar cruise control. Not only is it safe, critics note it’s also a comfortable ride with a large, roomy cabin. Finally, while the Avalon is not known as a sports car, its standard 3.5L V-6 engine delivers fast acceleration while keeping a respectable 26 mpg fuel efficiency. It’s worth noting that the Avalon also comes as (four-cylinder) hybrid.

2019 Genesis G80

  • MSRP $42,050
  • 4.4 out of 5.0 by KBB experts; 4.4 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (13 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 21 combined MPG

The 2019 Genesis G80 is another top-rated pick from both KBB experts and consumers alike. They found that this sedan from Hyundai’s luxury line was comparable to premium brands like Audi and BMW in terms of performance and features, but at a fraction of the price. The base version’s V-6 engine accelerates from 0 to 60 MPH in 6.5 seconds. Not bad for a luxury sedan. But if you want even more power, it comes as a G80 Sport trim, which can make the jump in 5.2 seconds thanks to a twin-turbo V-6 engine. However, the G80 Sport is a little outside our target budget with an MSRP of $55,250. All trim levels have the option of all-wheel drive though rear-wheel drive is standard. A 2020 Genesis G80 is out, MSRP $42,550, but lacking KBB or consumer reviews, we opted to focus on the 2019 model for now.

Best 6-cylinder sports cars

If top speed and performance are your goal, these 6-cylinder sports cars will get the job done.

2020 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe 1LT

  • MSRP $27,095
  • 4.3 out of 5 by KBB experts; not yet rated by consumers on Edmunds
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 22 combined MPG

The classic muscle car comes as a four-cylinder, V-6 or V-8 and as a coupe or convertible. For purposes of this article, we focus on the V-6 coupe, which requires stepping up from the base 1LS trim to the next rung of the trim ladder, the 1LT trim. Top performance comes with the V-8 but the gap between that and the V-6 is small. You can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.3 seconds using the V-6. While the Camaro is great for speed, keep in-mind there’s not much room. The backseat is tiny, there’s very little trunk space and critics say it can be hard to see out of.

2019 Dodge Challenger SXT

  • MSRP $28,095
  • 4.0 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.6 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (22 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 23 MPG combined

The 2019 Dodge Challenger comes standard with a 3.6 L Pentastar V-6 engine. But despite packing 305-horsepower, it takes 6.4 seconds to go from 0 to 60mph. That’s because the Challenger is bigger than other muscle cars so it loses a little speed and maneuverability. For more power, you could opt for the priciest Challenger model, the SRT Hellcat Redeye (starting MSRP $71,945) with supercharged high-output V8. Even though it’s a coupe, you can comfortably fit four adults in the Challenger and it has a large trunk for storage. And while the handling can feel a little bulkier than smaller muscle cars, critics say it’s a more comfortable and quiet ride. A 2020 model is out — and lower priced at $27,995 MSRP — but lacked reviews by KBB experts and consumers on Edmunds as of press time.

2019 Cadillac ATS

  • MSRP $48,395
  • 4.0 out of 5 by KBB experts; not rated by consumers on Edmunds
  • 23 MPG combined

For a luxury V6 sports car, we picked the 2019 Cadillac ATS coupe. While it comes in a less expensive four-cylinder version, upgrading to the 3.6L V6 will get you better performance. Customer reviews found that the handling and features of the ATS match foreign rivals like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. It’s a fun-to-drive luxury car and one of the least expensive Cadillacs you can buy, though you’ll be giving up rear and trunk space compared with a sedan like the CTS. Cadillac did discontinue the ATS coupe after 2019, so if this model caught your eye, take advantage while you still can.

Best 6-cylinder SUVs

With their power and handling abilities, these V-6 SUVs offer a fun ride while giving you room for your entire family.

2020 Chevrolet Traverse

  • MSRP $29,800
  • 4.4 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (5 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 21 MPG combined

The Chevrolet Traverse is one of the roomier SUVs on the market, with plenty of space in all three rows, good for eight passengers. It comes with a nine-speed automatic transition for smooth shifting and the standard V-6 engine gives you up to 5,000 lbs of towing capability, while still being reasonably fuel-efficient.  But even with a V-6, a vehicle this size still won’t be a speedster. However, if you’re looking for storage, safety and towing power, the Traverse is a solid combination. It’s worth noting that the base Traverse LT is a front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available starting with the LS trim ($34,900).

2020 Honda Pilot

  • MSRP $31,550
  • 4.7 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.3 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (15 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA; 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • 23 MPG combined

This three-row SUV has a range of standard safety features including adaptive cruise control and a collision mitigation system with automatic braking. It’s got a roomy interior, large enough for eight people, and you can bring even more cargo thanks to its multiple storage compartments. Despite being a large SUV, the Honda Pilot is still relatively light on its feet and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 7 seconds, thanks to the standard V-6 engine. Competitor Toyota Highlander, by comparison, also has a V-6 engine but only on upper trim levels though that is expected to change when Toyota rolls out the redesigned 2020 model this month.

2020 Acura MDX

  • MSRP $44,400
  • 4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (9 reviews)
  • 5 stars NHTSA
  • 23 MPG combined

As a luxury SUV, the Acura MDX standard model comes with adaptive cruise control, an automatic dimming rearview mirror,  keyless entry and ignition, tri-zone climate control and leather upholstery. The base V-6 leads to smooth, quiet acceleration while maintaining a reasonable 23 mpg fuel efficiency. While the interior design is not quite as upscale compared with even more expensive competitors, for a balance between affordability and luxury this is a great choice. All-wheel drive is extra ($2,000) like others on this list. The MDX hybrid mixes all of these things — V-6 and all-wheel drive — but its $52,900 price tag puts it above our cutoff.


To make our list, a six-cylinder vehicle needed to receive at least 4 out of 5 stars from both the experts at KBB and from the average ratings of consumers on Edmunds (when available). We also looked to make sure that they received at least a 4 out of 5 stars from the NHTSA and good ratings from IIHS. Vehicles with the best scores in all categories made our list.

Finally, we picked a range of price points but limited the review to cars with an MSRP of $50,000 or less. If you’re willing to spend the big bucks, there are some spectacular V-6 sports cars out there, like the Acura NSX with an MSRP of $157,500. An awesome car if you’ve got the money for it, but way too pricey for our review.

Ways to finance the best 6-cylinder cars

If you’ve got your eye on these top V-6 vehicles, or anything else, you’ll need to figure out how to pay for it. Keep in mind that dealers don’t just make money by selling you a car. They can also make a profit by setting up your car loan with a higher interest rate. To save money, get your financing in order before hitting the lot. You can do this through a bank, credit union or online lender.

By getting a preapproved loan ahead of time, not only will you know how much you can borrow, you can then negotiate with the dealer to see if they might give you a better deal on the financing. To get started, you could use the tools on LendingTree, where you can fill out one online form and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness. This saves you the time of contacting five different lenders and filling out an application for each one.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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