From people-movers to performance cars, the V6 engine has found a home in all manner of different vehicles. And thanks to the relatively common use of the configuration, there are plenty of fabulous V6-powered cars on the used market – even if you’re on a limited budget.
Volkswagen Golf MK5 R32
The Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) 3.2-litre V6 is a superb engine that has found a home in numerous brilliant cars. One such example is the Volkswagen Golf R32. Only available in the range for the MK4 and MK5 Golf, the R32 was a great alternative to the GTI, favouring capacity over turbocharging to deliver 247bhp via all-wheel drive system.
The bottom end of the market is just below £5,000; good, unmolested examples are scarcely available for less than £8,000.
Audi TT 3.2 Quattro
The first-generation Audi TT looks fairly understated today, but back when it was released, it was lauded for being the spitting image of the fairly radical concept car that inspired it. The most exciting TT was the 3.2-litre V6 Quattro version, whose underpinnings and figures are nearly identical to that of the VW Golf R32. The bottom end of the market is hovering around the £2,500 mark, while the good, less used examples start somewhere closer to £5,000.
Mercedes C32 AMG
The C32 AMG is a car that can definitely be described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, with an understated look paired to a supercharged 3.2-litre V6 delivering 350bhp. It’s a rare car, and the few UK-spec examples we could find on the market were cheap at a shade under £3,000.
The Nissan 350Z was seen by many as a return to form for the Nissan ‘Z-car’ series, after the previous 300ZX grew quite large and cumbersome in its latter years. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6, the 350Z makes a wonderful sound. With 276bhp on tap, it’s no slouch in a straight line either, and handles well enough to hold its own against almost any other sports car when the roads get twisty.
The low-tide mark of the 350Z market is under £4,000, though good examples are found at over £7,000.
Ford Mondeo ST220
The Mondeo ST220 is certainly not a sleeper. While the 226bhp 3.0-litre V6 that powered the Mondeo through the front wheels is not the most powerful in this list, it is attached to a car that’s exceedingly outward with its performance intentions. And fortunately, it goes as it looks, making it a fun – if not understated – choice.
Prices for the ST220 can be as low as £1,000, but the best examples go for over £4,000.
The G37 was billed as a rival to the BMW 3 Series, and the G37 was the upper echelon of the line-up. Powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine that can also be found in the Nissan 370Z, the G37 is something of a sleeper, without being so performance-biased that you can’t use it on a day-to-day basis.
The cars are relatively rare, but good examples can be found from £8,000.