Choosing the best between a naturally aspirated V6 and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is a common debate — since so many vehicles have switched from the former to the latter in recent years. You can now get a turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant in full-size pickups, like the Chevrolet Silverado, and in high-performance muscle cars, including the Ford Mustang. Even the ultra-tough 2019 Jeep Wrangler currently touts one of these small-but-mighty turbo motors.
Of course, this isn’t a popularity contest. So we dug deep into the data to see if the increasing number of small turbos is really providing the combination of power and fuel-economy benefits they’re supposed to have compared to their V6 counterparts. We go beyond output and efficiency to consider factors like price, reliability, and towing power. Overall, which is best — a V6 engine or a 4-cylinder turbo engine?