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10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars – Definition to the Power & Efficiency

BMW i8 is one of the best 3-cylinder cars that BMW introduced in 2014, famous for its powerful small engine.

Best 3-Cylinder Cars

3-cylinder cars have a number of benefits that can prove to be incredibly useful when you are in need for a car. It costs less to purchase and maintain than bigger engines, which will save you lots of money in the long run. However, there are a few problems with owning a 3-cylinder car as well. For some people, the noise and vibrations will be too much for them to handle, and they also have less power and torque than larger ones.

The modern edition of 3-cylinder cars is equipped with premium turbocharging to deliver superior horsepower and fuel economy. And if you're planning to purchase a 3-cylinder car and searching for the best model in the market, don't worry, we got you covered. We have curated the 10 best 3 cylinder cars you may consider checking.

10Smart Fortwo

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 10. Smart Fortwo

0.9-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, 89 hp

Last but certainly not least, the Smart Fortwo is another good car fitted with 3-cylinder engines. It is run by a rear-mounted, 0.9L 3-cylinder engine that delivers 89 horsepower and is dispatched by a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. It has a top fuel economy with a rating of 34 miles per gallon in the city and 39mpg on the highway. When combined, it delivers 36mpg.

It has adequate space for your needs and will surely provide you with a better quality ride. It can run a top speed of 96 miles per hour and can go from 0-60 mph for just about 10 seconds on the road. For that select minority who'll put up with the double seating and premium-octane gas consumption, the Fortwo is the absolute right choice.

9BMW 118i M Sport

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 9. BMW 118i M Sport

1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder, 138hp

As mentioned, BMW is always at the top of its game to manufacture high-end cars with 3-cylinder engines inside. That said, the company's BMW 118i M Sport is also on the premium quality level for its patrons and first-time buyers.

This BMW 118i M Sport is equipped with a 1.5L 3-cylinder engine that can make up to 138 horsepower and deliver a whopping 103kW of power and 220 Nm of torque. It has a maximum speed of 213km per hour and can run from 0-100 km in just around 8.5 seconds. The power is delivered by seven-speed twin-clutch auto transmission to the front wheels to run as speedy as it.

It is now available in the market at around $48,900.

8MINI Hardtop

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 8. MINI Hardtop

1.5 Liter 3-cylinder, 134hp

The 2020 edition of MINI Hardtop is another good car that deserves your recognition. Its small engine is as powerful and as good as other cars equipped with big engines. It is equipped with a 1.5 liter 3-cylinder twin power turbo engine, which sends up to 134 horsepower. It can run from 0-60 miles in just an hour and takes not more than 7.5 seconds, with a maximum speed of 90 miles in one hour.

Furthermore, this MINI Hardtop also comes with top fuel efficiency at 29 miles in one gallon running in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. When combined, it can run up to 33mpg. Pricing around $23,400 for a MINI Hardtop is definitely worth a bang.

7Toyota GR Yaris

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 7. Toyota GR Yaris

1.6-litre G16E-GTS three-cylinder, 257 hp

Fitted with a 1.6 liter 3-cylinder petrol engine, the Toyota GR Yaris delivers a result of 88kW and 145 Nm. This engine can send a whopping 268hp and 370 Nm of torque and makeup to 257 horsepower. It has a more fresh design and is best for someone who loves to always be on the road.

In addition, this car is rated to run from 0-60mph in less than 5.5 seconds and can run as far as 143 mph. If you wish to have an actual experience of this Toyota 3-cylinder model, then expect to shell out around $36,100-41,600.

62018 Volvo XC40 T3

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 6. 2018 Volvo XC40 T3

1.5-litre three cylinder, 156 hp

Volvo's 2018 Edition of Volvo XC4O is fitted with a robust 1.5L 3-cylinder engine, which offers up to 10% better economic fuel. This engine type comes with direct injection and uses aluminum material for its head and cylinder block. It comes with four valves per cylinder, which delivers 156 hp at 5,000 rpm and 265 Nm of torque.

This car delivers a top-notch speed of 143 miles per hour with 60 miles acceleration per hour in just a total of 6.5 seconds. It is designed with a lot of space inside and an extravagant interior, making it worth $35,900 USD. If you want a more upgraded edition of Volvo XC, wait for their upcoming models to be released this year.

5MINI Cooper Clubman

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 5. MINI Cooper Clubman

1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, 134 hp

The Mini Cooper 2019 edition is one of MINI's impressive 3-cylinder cars unveiled in the market. It is fitted with a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine, which delivers up to 134 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft of torque. It has heated front seats, an 8.8-inch touch screen inside, a navigation control app, and many more.

Apart from that, this MINI Cooper Clubman also comes with keyless entry and automatic climate control, if you need one. It can run up to 60 miles in one hour, taking you for around 9 seconds. It also comes with economical fuel with manual transmission evaluated at 25 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway. It has a total of 28mpg when combining city and highway.

It is available in the market at a price starting at $38,400 and higher, depending on some factors.

4Ford Focus

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 4. Ford Focus

1.0-litre three-cylinder, 123 hp

Another best 3-cylinder car on our list is the 2018 model Ford Focus. This compact car is also equipped with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, just like the previous Ford Fiesta, which delivers up to 123 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft of torque. It also comes with a broad array of powertrains and two body styles, with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

With Ford Focus, you can experience its full speed of 60 mph that only takes around 9 seconds. It is so commendable for its small engine, yet still able to deliver a top-tier power and strength expected from big and heavy machines. Its manual transmission is also highly elevated with more economical offers, up to 30 miles rating in just one gallon.

Pricing around $17,950, this Ford Focus is one worth buying a 3-cylinder car in the market today.

RELATED: The 10 Best Used Hot Hatchbacks of 2021 (Buying Guide)

3Ford Fiesta

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 3. Ford Fiesta

1.0-liter inline three-cylinder, 120 hp

Ever since its first release in 1976, Ford Fiesta has been its top-selling small car. It is very known for its speedy running and outstanding performance. There is already a 7th generation version of the Ford Fiesta. Arguably, this model is one of the most exquisite cars in its range, bagging the title of Car of the Year for threefold years.

The Ford Fiesta is powered by the company's very own 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine that uses four valves per turbocharger and cylinder, which can generate 120 hp and 125 lb.-ft of torque. It can run to 60mph, which will only take you lower than 9 seconds, making it one of the best economical subcompact cars. It is also available with a 5-speed manual transmission, implying that this small engine can run up to 31 miles in one gallon.

If you're looking for a classic, 3-cylinder car, this Ford Fiesta, retailing from $15,000 and above, is a worthy investment.

2Koenigsegg Gemera

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 2. Koenigsegg Gemera

2.0-liter twin-turbo three-cylinder (600hp) and 3 electric motors, combined 1677 hp

After its introduction in 2020, Koenigsegg's Gemera instantly became a crowd favorite due to its top speed of 248 mph, backed by a 1700 HP hybrid powertrain. In fact, this 4-seater car was acclaimed to be the fastest car worldwide today. It is made out of its excellent team with a hybrid technology that runs inside, using the first-class rotating force of electric motors.

The Gemera is furnished with a twin-turbocharged 3-cylinder 2L engine under its body, which is why it can deliver up to 600 horsepower. What makes this 3-cylinder twin-turbo setup work is the FreeValve that pushes it. Each cylinder is fitted with one set of exhaust valves per turbo. Besides, this FreeValve enables those valves to be nearby at lower rpm, implying that only one turbo is utilized. This allows the single turbo to cylinder better and faster. This is perhaps the most robust 3-cylinder unit supplied to a quantity-produced car. The company released this car for only 300 units last year, costing around $1,700,000.

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1BMW i8

10 Best 3-Cylinder Cars: 1. BMW i8

1.5 liter turbocharged three-cylinder (228 hp) and electric motor, combined 369 hp

BMW i8 is one of the best 3-cylinder cars that BMW introduced in 2014, famous for its powerful small engine. This version was the world's first-ever plug-in hybrid sports car with a customary gas engine feature. And although it is equipped with hybrid technology, this car still highly depends on a 3-cylinder 1.5-liter combustion engine. It is also fitted with an electric motor to deliver the best, efficient performance on the road.

Compared to other hybrid cars, this BMW i8 is built to offer more top-notch performance. This BMW i8 can also generate incredible 228 hp horsepower and 236 lb.-ft of torque to the rear wheels due to the internal 3-cylinder engine inside. It can run from 0-60 mph of just 4.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 155 mph per hour.

For a small engine to generate 230 horsepower, the 3-cylinder utilizes up to four valves in every turbocharging, cylinder, and direct injection. The 2020 BMW i8 3-cylinder is now available for around $147,500, but the price is much higher or lower depending on the store's location, color, etc.

RELATED: What Are the Pros and Cons of a 3-Cylinder Car?

[1] ^ YouTube: How Koenigsegg's Tiny Engine Makes 600 Horsepower - Only 3 Cylinders!
[2] ^ Popular Mechanics: BMW i8: We Drive the 3-Cylinder Eco Supercar
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Rank Company Country
#1 Volkswagen logoVolkswagen Germany
#2 Toyota logoToyota Japan
#3 Honda logoStellantis Netherlands
#4 Mercedes-Benz Group logoMercedes-Benz Group Germany
#5 Ford logoFord Motor United States
Rank Company Country
#1 Michelin logoMichelin France
#2 Bridgestone logoBridgestone Japan
#3 Continental logoContinental Germany
#4 Goodyear logoGoodyear United States
#5 Sumitomo logoSumitomo Japan