QOTD: Will You Miss the V6 Mustang?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
qotd will you miss the v6 mustang

Hey, let’s give this a try again.

Do you hear that sound? It’s the collective silence of every cheerleader in America not giving a single care to the possible death of a V6-powered Mustang. Even though the automatic, drop-top, V6 Mustang is colloquially called the Cheerleader Edition, do you think Sally McJumpyskirt really cares if four or six or eight pistons are doing battle with physics under the hood? Nope.

But we’re different. We care that the V6 offers a more aurally pleasing soundtrack than the cookie-cutter 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder model. We care that, in the real world, the V6 will likely return fuel economy that’s nearly as good as its smaller, boosted cousin. We care that the tried-and-true 3.7-liter V6 is just that — tried and true.

Yet, I can’t help but not care about its death.

As soon as the new Mustang launched globally, the writing was on the wall for the V6-powered model. Ford of Europe said, “ Nein,” to the 3.7-liter ‘Stang, only importing the EcoBoost and Coyote to the land of M and AMG.

Even before that, in America, Ford was busy culling the aging 3.7-liter motor from the lineups of its other vehicles without barely a whimper uttered from automotive enthusiasts — though, let’s be real, it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about the previous Edge Sport … or the new one for that matter.

Now the six-pot lump’s duties are limited to five vehicles under the FoMoCo umbrella: the Ford Police Interceptor, Ford Transit, Lincoln MKT (which is probably not long for this world considering the fate of its platform-mate, the Ford Flex), Lincoln MKX, and the Lincoln Continental. The Lincoln MKZ will drop the engine in 2017, before the Mustang has a chance to jettison its V6 into the Huron.

I truly believe, and I think the majority of you will agree, what the V6 lacks in performance it more than makes up for in character compared to the now-somehow-premium four-cylinder. No stereo is needed to enjoy the six’s mild-mannered exhaust note, unlike the four-pot that relies on Bose to enhance the experience. Also, turbocharging isn’t a luxury anymore, especially as automakers continue to force smaller and smaller escargots down our throats, with not even the decency to season the force-feeding with garlic butter or cheese. Yet smooth-jazz NA engines are becoming rarer and rarer by the year — and we will lose another.

And yet, I still don’t care, because there still exists eight reasons for me not to care. And when that day comes, the day when Ford has the gall to build a Mustang without a throaty V8, I’ll pick up my pitchfork, walk to Detroit barefoot, and demand that Bill Ford man up.

The six? Auf Wiedersehen.

Do you care about the end of the six-cylinder Mustang? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

[Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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2 of 106 comments
  • Skor Skor on Nov 23, 2016

    Ford made a big mistake by not bringing the fine Oz Turbo I6 to Murica. The Mustang is still RWD and a long straight 6 would have fit. An I6 would probably also appeal to pick 'em truck buyers.

  • Ranchodenieve Ranchodenieve on Feb 22, 2018

    I may be prejudiced because I just bought a 2017 V6 Mustang. I bought it because it is really better than the EcoBoost or the GT in so many ways. It's really a much more balanced car. While, you can't get premium features, who cares. It's got everything you need and nothing you don't need. Power seat (Extra weight), touch screen ??, leather (uncomfortable in AZ when it's 110, rots quickly). The lack of the performance package means that I can do it right myself. Ford never supported the V6 because they knew that you could make it real world faster than the EcoBoost. Sure, you can make the EcoBoost faster in a drag race, but it's an all or nothing motor that dies at 5.5K. The V6 pulls hard to redline. Put a good suspension and 19" wheels on it and it will beat the EcoBoost for many more years. Turbos are notorious for packing it in after 100K miles and are costly to maintain. An NA motor will last forever. My 1994 stealth Cobra SVT (Lincoln MkVIII) is still on the road. Yes, the Cobra SVT actually has a Lincoln 32V DOHC motor and its IRS. The GT is front end heavy, while the lighter motors have a better front to rear balance that enhances handling. We love drag performance in the USA, but the rest of world looks at road /rally performance as fast. This is where GT or nothing comes from, but the V6 is actually real world quicker. And let's remember that the V6 is actually quicker than most of the historic Mustangs. I actually like the real sound of a good turbo motor, but I don't like the way that they drive. I have owned them (My daughter's VW EOS and a 2006 Rabbit with a Stage 2 turbo conversion). Hence, no EcoBoost for me! The new V6 Mustang is actually the perfect sports car. I'm sad that it is gone, but I will love mine forever. And it will still be on the road when most of the EcoBoosts are sitting in the boneyard.

  • Make_light I drive a 2015 A4 and had one of these as a loaner once. It was a huge disappointment (and I would have considered purchasing one as my next car--I'm something of a small crossover apologist). The engine sounded insanely coarse and unrefined (to the point that I wasn't sure if it was poor insulation or there was something wrong with my loaner). The seats, interior materials, and NVH were a huge downgrade compared to my dated A4. I get that they are a completely different class of car, but the contrast struck me. The Q3 just didn't feel like a luxury vehicle at all. Friends of mine drive a Tiguan and I can't think of one way in which the Q3 feels worth the extra cost. My mom's CX-5 is better than either in every conceivable way.
  • Arthur Dailey Personally I prefer a 1970s velour interior to the leather interior. And also prefer the instrument panel and steering wheel introduced later in the Mark series to the ones in the photograph. I have never seen a Mark III or IV with a 'centre console'. Was that even an option for the Mark IV? Rather than bucket seats they had the exceptional and sorely missed 60/40 front seating. The most comfortable seats of all for a man of a 'certain size'. In retrospect this may mark the point when Cadillac lost it mojo. Through the early to mid/late 70's Lincoln surpassed Cadillac in 'prestige/pride of place'. Then the 'imports' took over in the 1980s with the rise of the 'yuppies'.
  • Arthur Dailey Really enjoying this series and the author's writing style. My love of PLC's is well known. And my dream stated many times would be to 'resto mod' a Pucci edition Mark IV. I did have a '78 T-Bird, acquired brand new. Preferred the looks of the T-Bird of this generation to the Cougar. Hideaway headlights, the T-Birds roof treatment and grille. Mine had the 400 cid engine. Please what is with the engine displacements listed in the article? I am Canada and still prefer using cubic inches when referencing any domestic vehicles manufactured in the 20th century. As for my T-Bird the engine and transmission were reliable. Not so much some of the other mechanical components. Alternator, starter, carburetor. The vehicle refused to start multiple times, usually during the coldest nights/days or in the most out of the way spots. My friends were sure that it was trying to kill me. Otherwise a really nice, quiet, 'floaty' ride, with easy 'one finger' steering and excellent 60/40 split front seat. One of these with modern mechanicals/components would be a most excellent highway cruiser.
  • FreedMike Maybe they should buy Twitter now.
  • FreedMike A lot of what people are calling "turbo lag" may actually be the transmission. In this case, Audi used a standard automatic in this application versus the DSG, and that makes a big difference. The pre-2022 VW Arteon had the same issue - plenty of HP, but the transmission held it back. If Audi had used the DSG, this would be a substantially quicker, more engaging car. In any case, I don't get these "entry lux" compact CUVs (think: Cadillac XT4, Lexus NX, BMW X1, etc). If you must have a compact CUV, I can think of far better options for a lot less money. And, no, the Tiguan isn't one of them - it has the Miller-cycle 2.0T, so it's a dog. But a Mazda CX-30 with the 2.5T would fit the bill.