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Old 03-31-2010, 02:14 PM
 
8,468 posts, read 13,222,091 times
Reputation: 7511

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As someone who's been driving cars with 6 cylinder engines for the last 10 years, I would have a very hard time going back to a 4 cylinder. What I love the most about having a V6 is the passing power. There's no shortage of bad drivers on the road and it's nice being able to easily get around them. While I can still do that with a 4 cylinder engine, most 4s I've driven feel like they're working a little hard too hard. But more and more manufacturers, no doubt feeling the pressure to be more fuel efficient, are coming out with Turbocharged 4 cylinder engines to appeal to the V6 crowd. I just read that the new Sonata will offer a Turbo version that gets 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque while delivering 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. For someone who's not that familiar with turbocharged engines, can someone give me an idea of the pros and cons, not just in terms of performance, but also maintenance, engine noise, etc.? If you had to choose between a V6 or a Turbo 4 that gets better fuel economy, which would you choose?
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:51 PM
 
1,739 posts, read 4,820,576 times
Reputation: 705
....v8
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
366 posts, read 1,146,458 times
Reputation: 241
My 09 WRX 2.5L 4 cyl turbo eats V8s for breakfast
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:58 PM
 
1,739 posts, read 4,820,576 times
Reputation: 705
My grandma eats eggs and toast for breakfast
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
366 posts, read 1,146,458 times
Reputation: 241
wow....that was hilarious.
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
11,876 posts, read 45,659,960 times
Reputation: 12996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew303 View Post
My 09 WRX 2.5L 4 cyl turbo eats V8s for breakfast

I know that's right! But a boxer engine is the exception to the rule, considering most 4 bangers are in-line engines.

Well, if I had to choose- 4 banger turbo. But, I drive a 5cyl turbo, Volvo C70. It goes Zoom-Zoom but it ain't a Mazda!
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
Reputation: 11465
Most American people pay *way* too much attention to cylinder count. When a manufacturer wants to make a cheap to build and cheap to fuel engine, with little attention to performance potential, they will generally build a 4, since this is the fewest # of cylinders that can be brought into full primary balance. These "econo-4s" tend to give the impression that "4-bangers are gutless" to people who are not really paying attention.

Honda and BMW have built some pretty impressive high-output 4-pots. The Miata and Elise are light enough that the 4-bangers they come with are adequate for good if not muscle-car like performance. Subaru have built some good turbo-4 powerplants.

Turbo engines are IMHO for real car guys only. You need to make sure you get the proper spec of oil, not all oils are turbo rated - there is nothing wrong with non-turbo rated oil for engines that don't have a turbo, but don't expect the pimple-faces at Stupid Lube to know or care about the difference.

Turbo motors need some cool-down before ending your drive, you can't do the typical "suburbanite late for work" dash into the parking lot and just switch off, slam the door and run into your office. You can't just tack 30 seconds at idle onto that scenario and be golden either. You can't quit paying attention once a little of the new has scrubbed off either.

*You* may be qualified but what about anyone else that might be driving the car?

I'm not saying a turbo-4 is not for you, I'm just saying they are not for everybody
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:12 PM
 
432 posts, read 3,006,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew303 View Post
wow....that was hilarious.
Actually I'm lauging my butt off, he just had the best (and most irrelevant) post of the year.
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:14 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,427,237 times
Reputation: 1616
I don't like the lag while the turbines spin up on lots of turbos. But on modern cars, it really depends on the specific model how noticeable it is. See if you can rent one for a day to see whether it bothers you.
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:16 PM
 
269 posts, read 816,912 times
Reputation: 170
I have had two turbo 4s of note.

The first was a Mazda MX-6 (year escapes me maybe about an 89 and maybe 2.0 liter?) . Stick shift, very quick with a fair amount of torque and torque steer. IIRC, it did buzz a lot at higher RPMs. It was a small, sporty, fun car. Lasted forever (about 150k miles) with minimal attention or repair til it rusted out underneath. Decent gas mileage, dont recall specifics. Also this was an early turbo 4. They are better now.

Current stable includes a 2005 Saab 9-5 Aero SportWagon w 5 spd auto 2.3 liter 4. This is a very sweet ride, it gets 30+mpg at 70+ mph and 20+- around town, good for a pretty big car. It has great mid range power, and minimal turbo lag w the auto. It is a very smooth, quiet, and much faster than it should be. A great road car that I like it a lot. I hope it keeps going (currently 80k miles). You would not think it was a four. Of course this drivetrain combo went the way of the dodo when GM got its hands on Saab. I hope Saab's new owners revive the four.

I also have an 98 Audi V6, stick. It is fine too, but it feels like less power until it gets higher revs. This is especially noticeable during quick passing. The gas mileage is just a bit less than the Saab.

Despite this gross generalizations are probably not good. It really comes down to the car, drivetrain combo, and what it is that you want and like. Just note that, bottom line, some turbo fours can be great.
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