QOTD: Counting to Three?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd counting to three

It’ll not have escaped anyone’s notice that car manufacturers are well into the second cycle of engine downsizing. We’ve seen this story play out in the past, both in the Malaise Era and then in the ’80s when TURBO graphics were applied to every single flat surface (and probably some curved ones).

Last week, you lot provided some excellent creative answers to our 29 Cylinders Later game (electric cars and rotaries!). Here’s today’s question: is there anything out there you’d like to buy in today’s new car market that has more doors than cylinders?

The three-pot is making something of a comeback, showing up in small cars and crossovers as a way to juice the EPA mileage estimate … at least on paper. Frequently dipping in the throttle in any turbocharged ride will also see you dipping in your bank account more frequently for fuel costs.

Mini’s current lineup features a three-cylinder engine as its entry-level fodder, showing up in the form of a 1.5-turbo turbo making 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. It appears in several Mini models but, for this exercise, the Cooper Hardtop 4-door and Clubman (plus the adjacent Countryman) are the examples with more doors than cylinders. Forced to choose, I’ll select the Hardtop since it’s the lightest of the three.

Plenty others exist, of course. Are there any that’d you would willingly take home?

[Image: MINI]

Join the conversation
4 of 27 comments
  • Slavuta Slavuta on Mar 09, 2020

    I do not live in capitalist country to be restricted by global socialism on the number of cylinders in my ride

  • Maymar Maymar on Mar 09, 2020

    If I'd found a 3-cyl Fiesta when I bought my Mazda2, that likely would have been my choice. Other than that, I sort of like the three in the new Escape for the sake of being weird. In a few years once the discounts start setting in, a base FWD is close enough to the moderate sized wagon I wish exists.

  • KOKing KOKing on Mar 09, 2020

    I just sold a Cooper Hardtop 4dr that I ordered soon after its launch in late 2014. As it was my DD and not a track rat, its total power was adequate, and making stupid torque between 1200-4k RPM made it ideal for squirting through traffic without attracting unwanted attention. It also made better noises than the 4cyl (and thus wasn't covered up by fake noises through the stereo) and would get Prius levels of MPGs on the highway.

  • B-BodyBuick84 B-BodyBuick84 on Mar 09, 2020

    I'm probably going to catch a lot of flack for this, but if I had to buy a 3 banger 4 door, I'd get a Mitsubishi Mirage G4. My university going cousin has one and I begrudgingly admit, it does everything its supposed to while getting stupid good MPG's and handling like a off-brand go cart. Is it the quietest or smoothest thing I've ever driven? Absolutely not. but at less than 15,000 bucks, it's the only car I could buy and find it perfectly reasonable to have a 3 cylinder underhood. It should be illegal for a Sporty Mini or a CUV like an Escape to be 3 pot powered.