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 V6 engine. 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 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. 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: $31,365 USD for Latitude LUX FWD ($37,708 CAD for Altitude)
9. Dodge Charger
This list has many entries from Stellantis automobile brands, including the this big Dodge. 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: $31,125 USD for SXT ($39,765 CAD for SXT)
8. Ram 1500 Classic
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 Classic, 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: $29,490 USD for Tradesman Regular Car 4X2 ($39,385 CAD for Tradesman Regular Cab 4X2)
7. 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: $29,480 USD for 2WD Extended Cab Elevation Standard ($31,828 CAD for 2WD Extended Cab Elevation Standard)
6. Ford F-150
While its EcoBoost engines are all the rage, the Ford F-150 still makes do with a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 as its base motor. Output is substantially less than what’s made by either EcoBoost, with 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, though it’s still rated to tow as much as 9,400 lb (3,447 kg). It’s an improvement over the older 3.5-liter V6 in both terms of power and fuel economy.
Price: $29,290 USD for XL including destination ($34,079 CAD of XL)
5. Jeep Wrangler
(Rubicon Model Shown)
The new Jeep Wrangler has a multitude of engine and drivetrain choices. Thankfully, the popular 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 can still be optioned between the front wheels of the Jeep Wrangler. 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: $29,070 USD for Sport 4X4 ($37,765 CAD for Sport 4X4)
4. 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: $29,065 USD for SXT ($36,265 CAD for SXT)
3. Toyota Tacoma
(Higher Trim Model Shown)
Our first non-American entry is another pick-up truck, but this time from Toyota. The Tacoma has a long history in North America and it is still possible to option it with the ubiquitous 3.5-liter V6 engine. With 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, that is more than enough for this mid-size truck.
Price: $28,760 USD for SR 2WD ($39,890 for 4X4 Double Cab 6A)
2. Chevrolet Camaro
Taking the top two spots are a pair of Chevrolets. First up is the brand’s muscle car, the Camaro. Unlike the Ford Mustang, the Camaro can still be had with a V6 engine in mid-level trims. It is a 3.6-liter unit that produces a healthy 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque. That is more grunt than found in the more expensive Dodge Challenger SXT.
Price: $28,290 USD for 1LT V6 ($32,058 for 1LT V6)
1. Chevrolet Colorado
Pick-up trucks have dominated this list so it should come as no surprise that one claimed the top spot. The Chevrolet Colorado undercuts its corporate sibling, the GMC Canyon, by offering General Motor’s 3.6-liter V6 engine as an option in the stripped out base model work truck. It even comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Price: $27,880 USD for WT V6 2WD ($29,598 CAD for WT V6 2WD)
November 16, 2021 – updated gallery. Remove Ford Taurus. Removed Ford Mustang. Removed Dodge Grand Caravan. Updated Jeep Cherokee ranking, image and text for accuracy. Updated Dodge Charger ranking, image and text for accuracy. Updated Ram 1500 Classic ranking, title, and text for accuracy. Updated GMC Canyon ranking and text for accuracy. Updated Ford F-150 ranking, image, and text for accuracy. Updated Jeep Wrangler ranking, image and text for accuracy. Updated Dodge Challenger ranking and text for accuracy. Added Toyota Tacoma. Added Chevrolet Camaro. Added Chevrolet Colorado.