The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Inline 4 cylinder engines are better than a V-6

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 21,786 times Debate No: 17841
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Firstly, i would like to say that Four Cylinder engines are not given their due credit.

1.) Argument 1- Four cylinder engines have power
Four Cylinder engines are rarely seen as powerful, however there are some Four Cylinder engines that are extremely powerful for their total CC's. Here is an Example-
the SR20DET(nissan) is a 2.0 liter Turbocharged, DOHC engine that produces roughly 250 hp, along with fairly decent gas mileage. V-6 engines are not so well on gas mileage, however they do pack a bit of horsepower.

Argument 2.) Gas Mileage
Since a four cylinder engine only has to inject fuel into four cylinders(which are usually very small) it makes sense that it uses less fuel to get the car moving, and with the right gear ratio on the transmission, it doesn't take much to keep it moving.
V-6 engines usually have a larger bored combustion chamber, a larger piston, and also contain two more cylinders than a L4 engine. This results in much more gas being used for going the same distance.

Argument 3.) Maintenance
Most L4 engines are front wheel drive, meaning that the engine sits in the engine compartment with the cylinders lines up in a 1-2-3-4 fashion. Also, if a head gasket were to blow, a 4 cylinder engine would be easier to change the head gasket, because of the generalship that it is only one valve cover to remove, and the location of the air intake. Most V-6 engines have a throttle body with an air intake sitting on the top, which means more stuff that has to be removed. if a head gasket were to blow on a v-6, there are two head gaskets to remove, and the two headers to remove too. this causes big maintenance problems. a L4 is sitting out in the open, no digging required to get to the engine.

Thanks for listening!


I like to thank my opponent for this interesting topic for discussion, and though I am supportive of my opponent's decision to uphold the PRO, I must negate the resolution and argue for the CON. Before continuing, I would like to define the following key terms from the resolution:

Inline 4 Engines: an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase.

V6 Engines: a V engine with six cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of three cylinders, usually set at either a right angle or an acute angle to each other, with all six pistons driving a common crankshaft.

better: more advantageous or effective

With these definitions, we can make observations of the resolution at hand:

Observation 1: The resolution does not specify one particular brand or type of Inline 4 or V6 engine. Thus, it is implied that we must look toward these engines in the general perspective and not at a specific level.

Now, to my contentions:

Contention 1: V6 engines have more advantages alone.
One of the aspects of being better is to have more advantages, and as one will clearly see, V6 engines have many more advantages than the Inline-4 engines do, which makes it fit more alongside the definition of better and making it the better engine.

Sub. 1a: V6 engines have more power.
V6 engines tend to have a stronger amount of power in comparison to the Inline-4 engines in the general. They tend to be the engine of choice for automakers because of this reason (and my opponent even concurs that V6 engines have a strong amount of power). Because they have a stronger amount of pistons and power, this makes V6 engines better for larger cars and can be made into larger models, unlike the design of Inline 4 engines, which become more unstable as they increase in size and are not appropriate enough for larger cars that require the heavier amount of power.
Sub. 1b: V6 engines have stronger stability.
"...It suffers from a secondary imbalance which causes minor vibrations in smaller engines. These vibrations become worse as engine size and power increase, so the more powerful engines used in larger cars generally are more complex designs with more than four cylinders...Four cylinder engines also have a smoothness problem in that the power strokes of the pistons do not overlap. With four cylinders and four strokes to complete in the four-stroke cycle, each piston must complete its power stroke and come to a complete stop before the next piston can start a new power stroke, resulting in a pause between each power stroke and a pulsating delivery of power. In engines with more cylinders, the power strokes overlap, which gives them a smoother delivery of power and less vibration than a four can achieve. "

Contention 2: V6 engines are improving in fuel efficiency.
Not only are V6 more efficient and powerful than Inline 4 engines, but they have shown to be improving in emissions and fuel efficiency. V6 engines are starting to become as equally fuel efficient as inline 4 engines while still maintaining the power that they have in comparison.
Debate Round No. 1


I Thank my opponent for being kind and respectful in his reply.

Firstly, Power
1.) Yes, V-6 engines have considerable amounts of horsepower more than an inline four cylinder, because of the overall bigger displacement. However, there are some V-6 engines that displace 3.0 liters and only have 190 hp. There are some 4 cylinder engines that displace 2.0 liters and have 250 hp. so yes, it mostly depends on the engine and manufacturer of engines.

2.) Stability
I wholeheartedly agree that a V-6 is more stable than that of a L4, however i believe that the maintenance of the L4, and the ease of working on it competes with the stability of a V-6. L4 engines are very stable, Unless you increase the engine size over the reccomended 2.7 L displacement. a L4 engine has four chambers lined up straight, and they are both paired to be stable. the set up is as follows:


And the pairing pattern is as follows:


This 1-2-2-1 means that the outside two cylinders are paired, and move together, while the inside two cylinders are paired and their pistons move together.

3.)Fuel economy-
I do agree that V-6 Engines are becoming more fuel efficient, but i also believe that that has something to do with the computer setup, tuning, and the type of fuel (Flex Fuel). If a v-6 engine from 20 years ago was tested against a L4 engine from 20 years ago, the L4 would have better fuel economy. Since l4 engines are only put into small cars, and small trucks, the engine does not have to pull a heavy load- allowing for better fuel economy. Bottom line, the small capacity and design of an L4 engine allows for there to be considerably better gas mileage.


On average, an L4 engine that is taken care of will last a great deal longer than a V-6 engine that is well taken care of. the simple design of the L4 allows for easy maintenance, and regular upkeep; it is harder to do so on a V-6.

Lastly, i would like to state that my Opponent's Sources are not very credible. I, Myself, do not consider Wikipedia as a credible source because of the simple biased nature of men when they prefer 1 car company over the other. I will not list any sources, because i obtain my information from working on cars. I have rebuilt my L4 engine from the bottom up, and i Also replaced a 4.3L big block V-6. From troubleshooting the different cars, the L4 is much easier to work on, contains only one head, and is a much simpler machine.

Thank you!


At this point judges, you can extend my entire case across the flow because my opponent has agreed with every single one of my points. His only rebuttal against my argument is just an extension of everything that he's said previously in his original arguement, and his rebuttal isn't really a rebuttal at all at this point. The only argumentative point that he makes against my case is that he states that my evidence isn't really credible enough in order to be considered valid for this debate (and the only evidence that he really talks about is the short bit of information from Wikipedia). The main point of a debate is to get my point across over my opponent, and when my opponent is saying that my sources aren't valid but agrees that the information that came from it is correct and explicitly says that in his case, it doesn't matter where it came from because he acknowledges it's correct (especially since he's someone who works with cars) and acknowledges the advantages that a V6 engine has over the L4. So therefore, my case is already better than his.
The main points that this knocks down in his case are his arguments about power and stability because he agrees that the V6 is better at those fields than the L4, so the judges can wholeheartedly extend those points across the flow. As for the fuel economy, as I have shown in my evidence, V6 engines are becoming pretty much as fuel efficient as L4 engines, and if there really is any kind of disparity between L4 engines and V6 engines in the matter of their fuel economy, it's because V6 engines are designed to accomodate larger cars as well (another advantage of the V6 engine). The L4 isn't suited for larger cars, as my opponent has himself stated in his rebuttal, but a V6 can certainly be placed into smaller models. Not to mention that V6 engines are coming closer and closer to being just as fuel efficient as the L4, to the point where fuel economy differences are almost insignificant, and my opponent brings up this example about V6 engines from 20 years ago or something, but his resolutions, it states that L4 engines ARE better than V6 engines, meaning that the resolution is in the present tense. Therefore, while we're looking at V6 engines in general, we have to acknowledge what the general image for V6 and L4 engines are now, and what it is now is that they are becoming more and more efficient every single day. Thus, my argument still stands about the fuel economy.
I guess that would leave my opponent's point about the maintenance of the V6 engine, but the main point of the resolution is to prove that the V6 is just as good or better than the L4. The V6 can be just as fuel efficient as the L4. It is more stable and powerful. The V6 can accomodate more cars than just the small ones. What you can clearly see is that the V6 has many more advantages than the L4 engine, and it thus fits the definition of "better" in the resolution because it is more advantageous and effective. Therefore, the judges should vote CON in this debate.
Debate Round No. 2


Legolas10100 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited this round, and I sincerely hope that everything is alright with him. Nonetheless, the debate must go on, and the judges can extend my entire argument across the flow. I will explain why the judges should vote for me.
Not only have I stayed here for the entirety of the debate, but I have proven to you that the V6 is just as good as an L4 and then some. Not only that, but my opponent essentially conceded almost all of my points, thus allowing me to prove that the V6 is indeed the better engine. Therefore, you should vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FREEDO 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited round.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate started off very well with both sides showing good knowledge of the mechanism of internal combustion engines. Pro then starts agreeing with Con's points. Con effectively refuted the resolution and I am convinced that in the present day, V6 is better. Conduct to Con because of Forfeit. Sources to Con for presenting the only sources which were reliable and also quite interesting. Con loses SG for presenting a wall of text in the second round. (SG includes presentation in my opinion).