Top 5 Cars We Forgot Had 5-Cylinder Engines

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

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

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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2 of 6 comments
  • Smartacus Smartacus on Sep 07, 2016

    always wondered why VW never brought over their VR5 engine.

  • Colin Owen Colin Owen on Jul 14, 2018

    Number 4 and 5 use the same engine, instead of puting Ford at number 5, you forgot all about the 20v Fiat engine