An 8-cylinder engine in a V configuration, also known as a V8 might as well be the best engine configuration known to men, at least as far as cars are concerned. This is because a well-engineered V8 can easily do performance driving and comfortable cruising. It can also be either loud or quiet at a press of a button.
However, most V8 engines are known to require more tender love and care when compared to smaller 6-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines. This is because a V8 tends to be more powerful which in turn increases the fuel consumption and it also wears the engine down a bit faster.
Although this is true for the most part, there are a couple of really dependable V8 cars out there. The Lexus GS F is a great example of such a car and the same story goes for the amazing-looking Lexus LC 500. The Infiniti Q80 and the Ford Mustang GT are also not far off.
Even though many people believe that large European executive V8 sedans are poor when it comes to reliability, the Mercedes Benz S560 is there to prove you otherwise. However, if you desire a reliable diesel V8 truck, be sure to check out the Ford Super Duty lineup.
Lexus GS F/Lexus LC 500 – 5.0L N/A V8
Lexus is not exactly a brand known for its V8 engines, but they should be because the 5.0L/303 engine found in both the GS F and the LC500 is brilliant for many different reasons. Starting with the fact that it is still a naturally aspirated V8, so the complexity levels of this engine are far lesser when compared to modern turbo/twin-turbo V8s.
This means that this V8 sounds amazing both on start-up and full throttle. However, the best thing about this engine is the reliability because the 5.0L is often placed at the very top of the current most reliable V8 engines on the market. This comes as no surprise because it is built by Toyota/Lexus after all, and everyone knows how reliable Lexus/Toyota cars are.
Infiniti Q80 – 5.6L V8 N/A V8
Infiniti/Nissan still offers a naturally aspirated V8 for their top-of-the-line products like the Infiniti Q80 SUV. This engine has always had an above-average reliability rating, but according to many owners, if you maintain the engine as per the manufacturer’s recommendation it should easily last you a few hundreds of thousands of miles.
It’s worth mentioning that the Q80 is at the very top of most reliability charts associated with full-size SUVs, and a quality engine is vital for such success. Infiniti as a brand is also above average when it comes to reliability but it is nowhere near Toyota or Lexus.
Ford Mustang – 5.0L N/A V8
The moment you take a look at all the three V8 engines listed to this point, one thing is rather obvious. It’s the fact that they are all naturally aspirated engines. That makes perfect sense because N/A V8s are built tough and simple, and no other brand embraces that same philosophy as much as Ford does.
The 5.0L V8 found in the Mustang should also last you a few hundred thousand miles without any major issues. The engine itself is relatively cheap to maintain as well which means that if something ever does go wrong, it should cost less than a comparable V8 engine from another brand.
Mercedes S560 – 4.0L BiTurbo V8
Mercedes builds the most reliable V8 engines of the entire German executive trio, this is apparent the moment you take a look at most engine reliability charts. Even though the VAG 4.0L twin-turbo V8 is an extremely advanced engine, the 4.0L Mercedes powerplant surpasses it when it comes to reliability.
The engine in question is the staple V8 out of the entire Mercedes family, so it’s rather expected that the only V8 option is fairly reliable. You can find this engine in many Mercedes models both including AMGs and Maybach versions.
Ford Super Duty – 6.7L Diesel V8
For the last decade or so, Ford has continuously offered the 6.7L Powerstroke V8 for all of the Super Duty F-Series trucks. It’s worth mentioning that the early iterations of this engine were not all that reliable, but Ford has managed to make them some of the most reliable truck engines on the market right now.
If you maintain the engine well, you should easily surpass the 250k mile mark with this engine. Many online sources believe that if you further continue maintaining this engine properly, you should easily surpass the 300k or even the 400k miles mark.
Are V8s going to be discontinued soon?
The automotive industry is slowly but surely going towards a more sustainable business approach and it seems like this will eventually mark an end for large engines such as V8, V10, and V12 engines. V10 engines are already incredibly rare and besides the VAG 5.2L N/A V10, there are no V10s left on the market.
The previous-gen C63 is equipped with a 4.0L BiTurbo V8, but the new generation of the C63 is getting a measly 4-cylinder turbo. It’s rather obvious that the V8 is slowly dying out as the downsizing and forced induction trend keeps ramping up faster than ever.
Why should I buy a V8 car?
This question is increasingly more relevant because small-displacement engines are becoming more powerful and more efficient. On paper, it makes no sense to opt for a V8 against a well-engineered turbo 4-cylinder or an equally well-engineered 6-cylinder engine.
However, a V8 is a lot more than what’s on the paper because you can’t replicate the V8 feeling no matter how advanced a small displacement engine can be. All you have to do is test drive the V8 you are interested in, and if it does not convince you, you should not buy a V8 car.
Are V8 engines the best performance engines?
All engine sizes have their own set of benefits and drawbacks but the V8 might be the best one of them all because it sits in the middle. A smaller 4/6 cylinder engine needs forced induction in order for it to perform as a V8 does.
V10 and V12 engines might sound better than a V8, but they are incredibly heavy, and their weight does not fare well with performance. As such, a decently sized V8 like the ones found on modern McLaren and Ferrari models are the very best performance engines on the market.