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2021 Trucks With V-6 Engines

Which new V-6-powered pickup is the best?

We've seen quite an improvement in engine efficiency over the past decade or so. And this applies to both engine power and efficiency. This has allowed manufacturers to install potent V-6 engines in -ton pickups without sacrificing capability, while also putting these powerful engines in midsize trucks, while still achieving great fuel economy. Below we'll take a close look at all of the 2021 model year trucks that are available with a V-6 engine.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra

For 2021 the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are both offered with a base 4.3L V-6 engine. While the displacement is the same as the engine that GM has been using for decades, this version of the legendary 4.3L has been significantly updated to keep with the times. The engine even features direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation through GM's Active Fuel Management system.

4.3L V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.92 x 3.62

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 285 @ 5,300 rpm

Torque: 305 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

Max Towing: 7,900 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: 16 city, 21 hwy

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

2021 Chevrolet Colorado & GMC Canyon

Since introduction, the second-generation of Chevrolet's Colorado and GMC's Canyon midsize pickups have packed a potent 3.6L V-6 engine. The engine is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and is available across the full lineup of vehicles, with the exception of SL grade Canyons.

3.6L V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.70 x 3.37

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 308 @ 6,800 rpm

Torque: 275 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Max Towing: 7,000 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: 18 city, 25 hwy

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

2021 Ford F-150

Ford by far has the most V-6 engine offerings for pickups, and they are all found in the company's F-150 lineup. The company's base engine is a 3.3L naturally aspirated V-6. Following this are a pair of EcoBoost V-6 engines, a 2.7L and 3.5L, and finally the new 3.5L PowerBoost hybrid V-6. Ford's Power Boost hybrid is also among the most powerful engines ever installed in a -ton pickup, producing 570 lb-ft of torque. Ford's 2021 F-150 lineup is all-new and thus has not received EPA fuel ratings as of writing.

3.3L V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.56 x 3.41

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 290 @ 6,500 rpm

Torque: 265 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Max Towing: 8,200 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: Not Yet Rated

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

 

2.7L EcoBoost V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.267 x 3.267

Block Material: Compacted Graphite Iron

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 325 @ 5,000 rpm

Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm

Max Towing: 10,100 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: Not Yet Rated

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

 

3.5L EcoBoost V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.64 x 3.41

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 400 @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 500 lb-ft @ 3,100 rpm

Max Towing: 14,000 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: Not Yet Rated

Transmission: 10-speed Automatic

 

3.5L PowerBoost V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.64 x 3.41

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 430 @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 570 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm

Max Towing: 12,700

Max Fuel Economy: Not Yet Rated

Transmission: 10-speed Automatic

2021 Ram Trucks

While the majority of Ram 1500 buyers opt for the 5.7L Hemi V-8 engine, the company offers a 3.6L V-6 as the base engine. It's not just any V-6 either, it's an eTorque-equipped V-6. Offered with an electric motor-generator and 48-volt battery pack, the mild hybrid system is able to add up to 90 lb-ft of torque off idle. The 3.6L V-6 is standard on all trims with exception of Limited and TRX.

3.6L Pentastar eTorque V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.78 x 3.27

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 305 @ 6,400 rpm

Torque: 269 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

Max Towing: 7,710 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: 20 city, 25 hwy

Transmission: 8-speed Automatic

2021 Nissan Frontier

So, this is a bit uncomfortable. Nissan hasn't actually introduced the all-new 2021 Frontier midsize pickup yet. However, the company did install the drivetrain intended for the new model in the outgoing 2020 Frontier. This new 3.8L V-6 will provide best-in-class V-6 horsepower and torque. Naturally, as we haven't seen the truck yet, we don't have towing or fuel economy figures.

3.8L VQ38 V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.76 x 3.48

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 310 @ 6,400 rpm

Torque: 281 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

Max Towing: Not Yet Rated

Max Fuel Economy: Not Yet Rated

Transmission: 9-speed Automatic

2021 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota offers what is probably the most interesting V-6 engine of the midsize class in its Tacoma pickup. The 3.5L D-4S V-6 uses a simulated Atkinson cycle and has the ability to switch between port and direct fuel injection based on driving conditions and need. Toyota is also one of just two manufacturers to off a manual transmission behind a V-6 engine for a 2021 model year pickup.

3.5L D-4S V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.70 x 3.27

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 278 @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 265 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

Max Towing: 6,800 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: 19 city, 24 hwy, 21 comb

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual

2021 Jeep Gladiator

Jeep launched the all-new Gladiator pickup in 2020 with just one engine offering, a 3.6L V-6. For 2021 this engine is still the only gasoline option. This engine is similar to the V-6 offered in Ram 1500 pickups, however, it lacks the eTorque mild hybrid system and is rated slightly lower on both power and torque. Jeep offers both an automatic and manual transmission for the Gladiator.

3.6L Pentastar V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.78 x 3.27

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 285 @ 6,400 rpm

Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

Max Towing: 7,650 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: 17 city, 22 hwy, 19 comb

Transmission: 8-speed automatic, 6-speed manual

2021 Honda Ridgeline

For 2021 Honda gave its Ridgeline pickup a fairly substantial face-lift. Under the hood, however, the engine remains the same as it has been since the second generation launched in 2017. The single engine offering is a 3.5L V-6 backed by a nine-speed automatic transmission. Ridgeline also boasts the best standard fuel economy for V-6 midsize pickup.

3.5L V-6

Bore and Stroke: 3.50 x 3.66

Block Material: Aluminum

Head Material: Aluminum

Horsepower: 280 @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Max Towing: 5,000 pounds

Max Fuel Economy: 19 city, 26 hwy, 22 comb

Transmission: 9-speed Automatic