In praise of larger engines

This is a view, leaving aside diesel for the moment, which I’ve long held, especially during my time in Oz when a larger car was pretty well de rigeur for the serious traveller.

Unlike the Soobie, the Chevy has a big V8 under its hood – 5.3 liters and 355 horsepower, which is more than twice the size of the Subaru’s engine and almost 100 hp stronger.

And yet, it hardly uses much more gas.

The EPA says 16 city, 23 highway – which amounts to a difference without much distinction of just 4 MPG in city driving and 3 MPG on the highway. I’ve driven several new Tahoes over the years and they also average about what what the Soobie averages.

In Oz, I was driving a Civic for the most part and it did go to all compass points of that land but it struggled – it is not a ‘loping’ car, it’s a small city buzzbox which does its designed job well. For a long trip, you want a Holden or Large Ford but preferably a Holden, called a jet on a jam tin.

And you want at a minimum, a medium capacity 6 cylinder. I found that many times when I towed the boat in and out of the water – the 6 barely did it, the 4 would never have. I’m not sure an 8 cylinder is necessary although I’ve driven them and they do shift but a big 6 is a nice machine.

Plus I’d not drive anything later than 2002/3 now, without all the later gunk and junk in it.

[H/T Chuckles]

9 comments for “In praise of larger engines

  1. dearieme
    July 19, 2018 at 13:38

    We once had a 4 litre V8 aluminium petrol engine. Golly the acceleration was good. We now have a V6 2.7 litre diesel: if anything the acceleration feels even brisker.

    The secret with the diesel was to buy a 2005 model manufactured before the failure-prone DPF was insisted on.

    I gather that electrics have wonderful acceleration.

  2. July 19, 2018 at 14:46

    And you want at a minimum, a medium capacity 6 cylinder.

    I wholeheartedly agree. 4-cylinder cars are an abomination. Small cars are an abomination. The traditional Australian family car with its 6-cylinder engine is what a car should be.

    • microdave
      July 19, 2018 at 15:07

      “4-cylinder cars are an abomination. Small cars are an abomination”

      I guess that makes me doubly abominated! But please note: I don’t live in Australia, so the extra power and comfort of a big Holden (or similar) is one I can manage without…

  3. Mark Matis
    July 19, 2018 at 15:42

    There is no substitute for cubic inches and forced induction:

    • Chuckles
      July 19, 2018 at 16:51

      A blown Chrysler Hemi is a thing of beauty.

  4. Mudplugger
    July 19, 2018 at 17:25

    A mere 5.3 litre, call that a big engine?

    My modest fleet includes one with a 6.75 litre petrol V8 – smooth as silk, but as thirsty as Jean-Claude Juncker on a bad day but, as they say, if you can afford the engine, you can afford to fuel it (but they’re not paying to fill its 20-gallon tank).

    At the entry level, I also have a 900cc 3-cylinder petrol turbo and that’s much more fun to drive, especially with the turbo turned up to max. No torque, but revs its nuts off and drinks less than a Methodist Imam.

    • Mark Matis
      July 19, 2018 at 19:41

      You’re driving with only a 20 gallon tank? Boy, you sure must have to stop a lot! My Suburban runs a 42 gallon tank. Pretty well guaranteed to outlast the bladder…

      • July 19, 2018 at 20:09

        American and Imperial gallons differ. 1.0:1.2.

        Also, smaller distances here.

  5. Mark Matis
    July 20, 2018 at 00:36

    By the way, check the injury or death probabilities should that Soobie and Chevy collide with each other. Heavier vehicle generally “wins”…

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