The midsize sedan segment is dying in the Philippine market, and one thing is to blame for all this, the SUV and crossovers. Unlike most countries though, it makes huge sense in the Philippines for SUVs and crossovers to proliferate, no thanks to infamous flash floods that curses a tropical country every year, and no thanks to lazy people who throw trash in the wrong places, clogging up sewage systems all over the country. However, due to more stringent fuel and emission regulations around the world, a certain type of midsize sedan is suffering from a two-way brunt, the V6 midsize sedan.
The Honda Accord just bowed down recently to the world audience, and powering it are a pair of turbocharged 4-cylinder i-VTEC engines. One is a 192 hp 1.5 liter turbo used in the Civic and CR-V, and the other is a 258 hp 2.0 liter turbo used in the Civic Type-R, but detuned for less power. While the 2.0 liter turbo is down on power compared to the V6 is replaces, the torque is significantly higher in this engine, which will make it accelerate faster than the V6. The 1.5 liter turbo is mated to a CVT, while the 2.0 liter turbo is mated to an all-new 10-Speed Automatic. This spells a death to the V6 Accord not just worldwide, but to the Philippines as well. With increased market proliferation of SUVs and crossovers, and with compact sedans getting posher, bigger, and more sophisticated than ever, many people are now contented with a Honda Civic, and would rather splurge a higher amount of cash for a Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
Which leaves us with only one midsize sedan with a V6 engine in our market, the Toyota Camry. The Camry and Accord dominated the segment with its option of an opulent and powerful 3.5 liter V6 engine. It had the power to shame a Toyota 86, and the refinement to match a European luxury sedan, but alas, as the world is still convinced that the most fuel efficient way to boost fuel efficiency is by downsizing and turbocharging, the death of the V6 is anything but expected.
Too bad, as the Honda Accord had one of the best V6 engines in the market. That 3.5 liter i-VTEC V6 was buttery smooth and powerful, with 278 hp on tap, making it the most powerful in its segment. It was fuel efficient, too, as it has Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) which cuts off up to three cylinders during light throttle inputs in order to save fuel, and when placed through its paces, it made a snarly noise.
Thankfully, the new, sportier, and more exciting Toyota Camry that recently bowed down to the world still has a V6, and get this, that V6 engine produces 301 horsepower, thanks to D-4S, a similar technology found in the Lexus GS 350 and Lexus IS 350, which provided both direct and port injection in the engine for better fuel efficiency or better power delivery. Reviews note of the Camry’s V6 engine to be a gem, and in its sportier XSE trim, actually handled like a legitimate sports sedan. All we can do is hope for Toyota Motor Philippines to bring in the V6 Camry when it launches in the Philippines anytime soon.
It wasn’t just the Camry and the Accord that had a V6. Nissan also brought a V6 midsize sedan in the Philippines through the form of the Nissan Cefiro and Nissan Teana. In the late ’90s to early 2000s, having the V6 Cefiro meant that you were a somebody. People deemed you as important, and the launch of the V6 only Teana further bolstered that. Like the Camry, the Cefiro and Teana were made for comfort rather than sport, and boy was it really comfortable. The Nissan Teana boasts an ottoman front seat, and the option for heated and ventilated seats, the only one in its class to have it.
Now though, the American-made Nissan Altima is Nissan’s current midsize sedan offering, but in its 2016 mid-cycle facelift form, the V6 engine was dropped in favor of a 2.5 liter. Gone, too, was its comfortable demeanor, now marketed too as a sports sedan, with its predominantly black interior, and torque vectoring.
Back in the days, when you wanted a midsize sedan, you had two engine choices. A 4-cylinder engine which did sip fuel really well, but it means you can’t carve your way through the left lane liberally, or you had a V6 engine leaving you with the left lane all for yourself to spare. As a bonus, you were the boss of the corporate parking lot. Well, unless a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi came by. Honda Accord V6, you will be deeply missed.