The Four Main Types Of Car Engines

Car engines come in many different designs, all of which offer different levels of performance in different applications. There are four broad main categories of engines, all of which are significantly different from each other. Understanding the differences between these four types of engines can help you decide which type of engine is best suited for your needs.

Inline Four Cylinder

The most common type of consumer vehicle engines on the market, an inline four cylinder engine is a small, fuel efficient engine that can fit into almost any vehicle. It's small size means that it is also lightweight, which helps improve the acceleration and fuel economy of the car that it is installed in.

However, four cylinder engines are also low power, which means that they may not have enough power to move larger vehicles at high speeds. They are also not ideal for towing or for driving in rough conditions.

Inline Six Cylinder

A larger, more powerful version of the inline four cylinder engine, an inline six cylinder engine is simple to work on, fits in most cars, and provides a significant amount of power. This means that an inline six cylinder engine is ideal for luxury cars and SUVs that require more power.

However, an inline six cylinder engine is not ideal for four wheel drive cars, as it cannot handle driving over rough terrain as well as other types of engine. Additionally, it is less fuel efficient and more expensive than its four cylinder counterpart.


V6 engines provide more power than inline engines, and provide fast acceleration, high top speeds, and greater power. This means they are better suited for towing, driving in poor weather conditions, and for other, rougher driving applications.

However, V6 engines are more expensive than their inline counterparts, and burn more gas. Additionally, they weigh significantly more than inline engines, which means that fuel efficiency is further reduced.


V8 engines are V6 engines with two more cylinders added onto them. They provide significantly more power than any other type of common consumer engine, and are most commonly found in large vehicles designed for transporting and towing, like pickup trucks. They provide the best acceleration, the highest top speeds, and the most torque.

V8 engines are extremely complex when compared to other types of engines, which means that it is more likely that something will go wrong with them, and that mechanic bills will be higher for them. Additionally, V8 engines have horrible fuel efficiency, which increases their already significant cost over time. Talk to a professional like Walker Rd Automotive Ltd to learn more about different types of engines.