• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Buying

Definitions: V8 Engine

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Josh Sadlier August 2013

Pros: Excellent acceleration and (for utility vehicles) towing capability; smooth operation

Cons: Unimpressive fuel economy

Summary: If you're shopping for a car and you see "V8" or "V8 engine" in the description, it generally means that car has an engine that's big and powerful, but not especially fuel-efficient.

V8 engines are all about power as soon as you step on the accelerator; you'll definitely feel the difference. Passing-performance is impressive with modern V8s. There's often a sensation that the vehicle will never stop accelerating, so you'll need to exercise restraint to keep your license. But V8s are equally great when you're taking off from a stop, because they have excellent low-end torque that can effortlessly shove you back into your seat and get the vehicle up to speed.

V8s are also inherently smoother than 4-cylinder engines and V6s -- one reason why they have historically been featured in luxury cars.

Also, a testament to their fundamental strength and durability, V8s are the go-to engines for most work trucks.

On the downside, V8s simply aren't that fuel-efficient. Also, if the vehicle wasn't designed with a V8 in mind, the engine may be crammed into the engine bay, which can raise repair costs because there's less room for the mechanic to work.

It's becoming more difficult to find new vehicles with V8 engines. Smaller 6-cylinder engines, often with turbochargers, are increasingly replacing V8s.

But if you're a V8 fan, don't worry, because there are many V8-powered vehicles still available on the used-car market.

What it means to you: The V8 engine is an indulgence in most passenger vehicles, but par for the course in big trucks. Your lifestyle will determine whether a V8 is right for you.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
Definitions: V8 Engine - Autotrader