How does it stand with the gold-standard of engines in the C/D class?
Patchy is the answer. Opel and Citroen still offer V6s, a diesel 3.0 and a 2.8 petrol respectively. Elsewhere it is a story of decline, staring in the middle of the last decade.
Ford offered a pint-sized V6 in their Sierra and in the Taunus long before that. Peugeot had a pleasant V6 in their refined and elegant 406. Opel routinely offered a V6 in the Vectra and still do so. Others in the C/D class never really tried. The Mazda 626 had a V6 in 1992 but not since then have they tried anything larger than a 4-pot (but did give the Xedos6 a six-cylinder). Honda has majored on 4-cylinder engines and VTEC jiggery pokery. Citroen installed a V6 in late model Xantias and in the first series C5 and still do. That would be to offer comfort to the horse-box drawing classes, I suppose.
Let’s take a further look at the decline…
The 6-cylinder mass market car is on the way out it would appear. Ford read the runes and stopped fitting a V6 when the Mondeo changed over in 2006 to the current edition. They also were the first to quit the D-sector when they stopped making the Scorpio. Renault threw in their V6 towel in 2007 when the current Laguna bowed in. Peugeot waited until 2010 when the unlovely 508 took up the reins from the 407. The outgoing Passat still comes with the option of a rather excessive 3.6 litre V6 and that’s your lot.
If you want V6 power, look elsewhere. But don’t go down to Mercedes if you want a 6 in a C. Fours are all they have. If you really want V-6 power in a Benz you’ll need to stump up for an E-class. And the six is a vanishing element of the BMW 3 range too. That’s a bit of pity as if there really was a reason to choose a BMW 3 over better-value propositions from Ford and Opel it was the allure of a lovely in-line 6.
So, doesn’t that Opel Insignia look even better than ever? Or if you want to have a diesel and some slightly different road manners, choose the Citroen.
It would appear that emissions, efficiency and cost are driving the V6 over a cliff. I would not wager a whole lot of money that Opel will still offer a V-6 when the Insignia is replaced.
The decline of the V6 – timeline
Honda Accord – not offered in living memory. The Chinese get a V6 though.
Mazda 6 – not offered since 1992, with the 2.5 L KL-G4 and KL-ZE V6 engines.
Ford Mondeo – not available, ended 2006 with 204 PS.
Renault Laguna – ended 2007, with 207 PS
Peugeot 407 : ended 2010 – with 211 PS
VW Passat – ending 2014, 299 PS
Citroen C5 – still available as diesel. 214 PS
Opel Insignia – still available, 2.8 litre V6 with 255 PS.