Top 5 Cars We Forgot Had 5-Cylinder Engines

Top 5 Cars We Forgot Had 5-Cylinder Engines

Four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines are commonplace, but five-cylinder engines are a bit more rare.

Forty years ago, Audi introduced the first five-cylinder gasoline engine in its second-generation Audi 100, and unlike other automakers that stick to traditional four, six- and eight-cylinder engines, the German automaker has continued on with the tradition. The company’s 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder engine has been voted “Engine of the Year” seven times in a row since 2010, with the all-new TT RS continuing to be powered by a five-cylinder engine.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cars the Ford Focus RS is Faster Than

But did you know Audi isn’t the only automaker that has used a five-cylinder engine? Here are five other cars you may have forgotten also had five-cylinder engines.

5. Acura Vigor


Honda is known for its impressive four-cylinder engines that return a good horsepower-per-liter ratio. But did you know the company used a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the Acura Vigor? Not very many may remember the Vigor, which served as a more upscale Accord, slotting between the Integra and the Legend. To make things even more interesting, the five-cylinder engine was longitudinally mounted as if the Vigor was a rear-wheel-drive car (it was actually front-wheel drive).

4. Mercedes-Benz W123


Mercedes-Benz used a five-cylinder diesel engine in its W123 and the family of engine was widely considered one of the most reliable of its time. Some even say it was one of the key reasons why Mercedes became popular in the U.S. in the 1980s.

3. Land Rover Defender


Land Rover used the Td5 five-cylinder diesel engine on its popular Defender starting in 1998. The turbocharged diesel five-cylinder engine replaced the former Tdi to meet emissions regulations at the time and the engine remained until it was replaced in 2007.

2. Volvo 850 R


Like Audi, Volvo has regularly used five-cylinder engines in its models, like the 850 R. The high-performance version of the Volvo 850 was only produced from 1996 to 1997 and featured a 2.3-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine.

1. Ford Focus RS


With all the hype surrounding the new Ford Focus RS, we pretty much forgot the older model, which never came to the U.S., actually had a five-cylinder engine under the hood. Like the Audi five-cylinder engine, it’s a 2.5-liter mill and is actually used in various other Ford models in Europe. Something tells us though, that the performance of the new Ford Focus RS will make others forget about its predecessor’s five-cylinder engine rather quickly.

Discuss this story on our Ford Focus RS Forum

  • Isend2C

    Why did you focus the article on Audi? They’ve rarely used 5-cylinders except for a couple of examples (RS2, Quattro) while Volvo has used them in almost every model… S40, S60, S70, S80, V50, V60, V70, XC60, XC70, XC90, C30, C70… it’s hard to find a Volvo from the last 2 decades that didn’t have a 5-cylinder option.

  • Jared Barousse

    Not a car but also Chevy sold a lot of Colorados with a 5cyl which have now been replaced with a v6

  • Hamish Blair

    Ford used a Volvo engine too IIRC

  • Sarah_SW

    Who would have ever thought that I would own a 5-cylinder engine’d car, my daily driver being a 6-speed Volvo C-70 hardtop convertible. So glad that I made the choice to purchase her back in 2008. Smooth, plenty of power, very quite, no rattles and evidently the safest convertible made at the time with roll bars that popped out if a potential roll-over was sensed. And when that yellow thing in the sky starts showing up, all of a sudden you remember that you have a convertible, while not having to deal with the issues you would if you owned a softtop convertible.

  • smartacus

    always wondered why VW never brought over their VR5 engine.