Turbocharging continues to take over at a torrid pace, allowing automakers to stuff smaller engines into new cars, trucks and SUVs while increasing output and improving efficiency.
That may not seem so bad, especially when it comes to consumption, but some buyers still want the smoothness of a naturally aspirated V6. With snappy and direct throttle response, these engines may not be the most powerful or efficient but they’re certainly easy to live with.
Alas, it’s time to prepare for the eventuality that such powerplants will cease to exist at some point in the not-so-distant future. But they’re not dead just yet, and there are still quite a few such engines that breathe on their own available on the market. Here’s a list of the 10 least expensive V6-powered vehicles on the market ranked in order of MSRP.
10. Dodge Charger
This list is dominated by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands, so it’s fitting that it starts with one of the automaker’s most popular models. The Dodge Charger has been a hit since it was re-introduced back in 2006, and not much has changed in the 11 years since. And while big V8s like the hellacious Hellcat have become the car’s calling card in that time, base models still come powered by a commuter-friendly six-cylinder. The 3.6-liter Pentastar under the hood is good for 300 horsepower and 264 lb-ft, which is more than enough to move the sizeable sedan around with ease.
Price: $29,090 including destination ($37,890 in Canada)
9. GMC Canyon
The upgraded 3.6-liter engine available in the GMC Canyon offers plenty of additional output without burning much more fuel than the base four-cylinder. Its 18 mpg (13 L/100 km) in the city and 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km) on the highway is only marginally worse than the 2.5-liter’s consumption rating while making 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t hurt that it’s rated to tow 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) and haul 1,620 lb (735 kg) in the back.
Price: $29,040 including destination ($29,900 in Canada)
8. Ford F-150
While its EcoBoost engines are all the rage, the Ford F-150 still makes do with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 as its base motor. Output is substantially less than what’s made by either EcoBoost, with 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, though it’s still rated to tow as much as 7,600 lb (3,447 kg). It’s also not much worse on gas than either of the turbocharged six-cylinder options, with ratings of 18 mpg (13 L/100 km) in the city and 24 mpg (9.8 L/100 km) on the highway.
Price: $28,405 including destination ($31,799 in Canada)
7. Ford Taurus
Just like the F-150, the largest car in Ford’s lineup can be had with or without the fanciful EcoBoost technology. For those who opt to do without it, the same 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 is on offer in the Ford Taurus making 288 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of power for a sedan favored by few under retirement age, and doesn’t have much of a problem motivating the nearly 4,000-lb (1,814-kg) Taurus.
Price: $28,220 including destination ($33,248 in Canada)
6. Dodge Challenger
The Charger nameplate wasn’t the only one Dodge resurrected from the dead, with the Dodge Challenger making its own comeback just two short years later. Built on a shortened version of the platform that underpins the Charger, the Challenger makes do with most of the same componentry — including that car’s 3.6-liter V6. Output here is slightly higher, with ratings of 306 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. While that’s a far cry from the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque, it’s still an impressive amount from a base six-cylinder engine.
Price: $28,090 including destination ($34,390 in Canada)
5. Ram 1500
A combination of low gas prices and strong price incentives have made V8-powered pickups especially popular these days, but every half-ton needs a V6 version. In the Ram 1500, that version comes powered by — you guessed it — the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. With 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Pentastar provides enough low-end output to comfortably tow 7,260 lb (3,293 kg).
Price: $27,890 including destination ($34,190 in Canada)
4. Dodge Grand Caravan
The minivan that started it all has basically become a license to print money over the years. While the minivan herd has thinned noticeably in recent years, the Dodge Grand Caravan still quietly sells like hotcakes. Chalk it up to the minivan’s ridiculously low price tag, which undercuts everything else on the market. Output comes from the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that resides under just about every hood in the FCA family. It churns out 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque in this application.
Price: $27,090 including destination ($25,190 in Canada)
3. Jeep Cherokee
We’re not exactly sure why anyone would want a base Jeep Cherokee with a V6 engine and front-wheel drive, but it is available for those who are interested. The optional 3.2-liter V6 makes a healthy 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, which is substantially more than what the base four-cylinder makes.
Price: $26,535 including destination ($31,085 in Canada)
2. Ford Mustang
Of the three American muscle cars on the market, the Ford Mustang will soon become the first to do away with its six-cylinder engine. The 3.7-liter Cyclone V6 and its 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque will soon be gone, replaced by the EcoBoost-ed four-cylinder as the base engine in the Mustang lineup. The engine has few fans this side of AutoGuide.com News Editor Stephen Elmer, and likely won’t be missed after the 2017 model year.
Price: $26,085 including destination ($28,648 in Canada)
1. Jeep Wrangler
Count your friends at AutoGuide.com among those disappointed by the decision by Jeep to scrap the Wrangler’s 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder. Thankfully the brand eventually landed on a worthy replacement when it dropped the popular 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 between the front wheels of the Jeep Wrangler back in 2012. The same engine used in the likes of the Dodge Challenger and Charger siblings, the 3.6-liter is good for 285 horsepower to go along with 260 lb-ft of torque in this application, which is plenty.
Price: $25,090 including destination ($30,0490 in Canada)