List: 15 Most Involving Six-Cylinder Cars

By Brandon Turkus

July 13, 2011


15: BMW 328i Sports Wagon: Wagon body doesn’t detract a whit from the basic 3er goodness, though lack of BMW’s sports suspension (optional) does. Naturally aspirated straight-six is still one of our favorite motors to flog.


14: Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track: While we love the Genesis 2.0T, opting for the 3.8 will get you a proper muscle car. Dynamic foibles like a notchy gearbox and difficult clutch drop the Coupe’s score.


13: Mercedes-Benz SLK350: The new SLK continues the nameplate’s tradition of offering pinned down handling, with good steering feel. Blasé automatic kills a lot of the fun here. Bring on the AMG!


12: Acura TL SH-AWD: Strong-revving V-6 and light, confident handling make this sedan distinctly agile. Grip for days, too. Expect an involvement score a few points higher for the brilliant six-speed manual car, as the autobox is merely good.


11: BMW 328i: Add on BMW’s sport suspension, stick with the manual gearbox, and you’ve got an all-around sedan that’s worthy of the 3-Series heritage. Naturally aspirated 3.0-liter has plenty of punch and sounds lovely.


10: Porsche Panamera 3.6: Less fast than its V-8-powered brethren, it’s true. But still a good-handling and remarkably plugged-in four-door coupe.


9: BMW 335i Sedan: The 335i continues to be a standard by which the world judges other premium sedans. Turbocharged engine is one of our favorites, but the manual gearbox should be better.


8: Nissan 370Z: Svelte, raw, and athletic, the Z is better as a package than its individual qualities would suggest.


7: Audi S4: S4’s supercharged V-6 offers not only great power, but surprising depth of character for a blown engine. Handling is grippy if a little stiff.


6: BMW 335is Coupe: Not quite an M3, but more livable and less costly, with no real shortcomings. Turbo motor offers easier real-world performance, too. The best BMW coupe off of the track.


5: BMW 1-Series M Coupe: A smaller, lighter M car means easy speed, confident cornering, and non-stop fun. At home on the track, but practical enough to be a daily driver.


4: Porsche 911 Speedster: The Speedster is as entertaining to drive as a standard 911, which is no bad place to start, but its overall specialness really has more to do with looks and heritage than with added ability. Still, massive speed and track-worthy nimbleness would make James Dean proud.


3: Porsche 911 Turbo: Faster than the speed of thought. We’re serious, it’s difficult to process this kind of acceleration. Quietness and refinement make this an amazing, daily driver supercar, but slightly hurt involvement.


2: Lotus Evora S: Extraordinary levels of driver feedback, plus a more powerful supercharged engine, plus a stunning balance of handling prowess and subtle ride, equals a damn fine GT car from Lotus.


1: Porsche 911 GT3: The rear-drive Porsche purist you’ve always dreamt of. Grip, thrust, and feedback are world-class.

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Winding Road’s inaugural Involvement Index Awards are getting closer and closer. So to whet your appetite for all the index glory that is to come, we present this list of the most involving six-cylinder cars.
The great thing about these engines number of ways they can be configured. This list features naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed engines, biturbocharged straight-sixes, and everything in between. Read on to discover the most involving cars in this six-pot showdown.