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Personally, I like the generation 3 4 cylinder 5SFE engine. It's not uncommon for these engines to go 200,000 miles or more with very few problems. They are also easier to work on yourself than the V 6's. If your are going to be hauling a lot of weight or pulling a trailer more than 1000 pounds, then the V 6 might be a better choice for you. YMMV.

Mike
 

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1987 Celica ST
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I second the vote for a 4 cylinder. Granted, we don't have anything we ever have to tow, but after working on a Gen2 V6 and a V6 Lumina, versus a couple of Gen4 I4's, a I4 1987 Celica, and a L5 Volvo, I don't plan on ever buying another vehicle with more than one valve bank. They are just soooo much simpler to get to things on when working on them (major DIY-er here) and cost less to repair things on (one head with head gasket job, 4 plugs with tuneup, one valve cover gasket, etc). Also, you will get better mileage out of a I4 than a comparable V6. JMHO

Tracy

EDIT - We have a 1997 Camry with the 5SFE that has close to 200,000 miles on it and she is running strong as ever. I look to get a LOT more miles out of her before having to have anything major done.
 

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The 5S-FE, is a tough engine. properly maintained, should run 300-400 K, with no major issues. 2 no-no's apply:

It won't stand an overheat.
Don't run them low on oil, you'll have a rod hanging out the front of the block.

This engine is low on power output, but very reliable.

+1 on the 4 bangers. I'm glad I don't have the V6. Tough to work on, and looks like they used a shoehorn to squeeze it in there.

IMHO.
 

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TN's Mad Chemist
95 Camry
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3,127 Posts
:facepalm: V6's are just fine to work on, and you'll appreciate the extra power. If you are willing to pay for the added maintenance and fuel consumption of the V6, I vote for a V6 but only if you are willing to pay. 4 bangers are..... boring. I drove my friends '01 5sfe and I wanted to push it over a ledge after 5 miles, just my thoughts on that.... BUT 4 bangers are lower in maintenance/fill up costs.

The fact that you are looking at a wagon tells me you are probably looking to haul, I would get a V6.

EDIT: The 1MZ-FE is easy to work on, get a Acura Legend or an RL and try working on that, then come back and tell me how hard the 1MZ is to work on :lol:
 

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Yeah I played with the 1MZ today, and it's not terrible. Maybe it's just cuz I'm skinny though.

I like the power and feel of the 1MZ. The 5sfe is weak as hell, especially for an auto.

You don't really get passing power with a 5sfe...
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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10,477 Posts
Easy.

V6 (3vz-fe for 92/93 and 1mz-fe for 94-96) if you're planning on towing, don't mind it drinking a bit more fuel, and want the extra power and zip. Yes they are a TINY bit harder to work on.

I4 (5s-fe all years) if you just want something that moves the car, and is a little bit tougher. This is a weaker 4-cyl, but you'll have a good feel for what we mean once you test drive one.
 

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As 97toycar said, the 5SFE is great UNTIL you run low on oil.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT let it run low on oil. This happens when you go 1 mile with the oil light on, and then pull over to add oil. The next day:
 

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1987 Celica ST
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In all fairness, I will acknowledge that the V6 Gen2 I worked on has a smaller engine well that the Gen3 you are looking at getting has. One thing you will most certainly have to replace (although it's a small thing and little cost) is the coolant reservoir. I have not seen a Gen3 yet that didn't start getting brittle and crumbling apart at the mounting end of it.

Tracy
 

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TN's Mad Chemist
95 Camry
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I have not seen a Gen3 yet that didn't start getting brittle and crumbling apart at the mounting end of it.
Mine is factory original:thumbsup: And it's still pliable too when I took it off a couple of days ago for something else!
 

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I HAS BOOST!!!
94 Camry SE V6 Coup
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10,728 Posts
honestly, i have NEVER had an issue with the v6 (i have only owned the 1mz motor), but it does eat a little more gas. however, if i had the extra weight of the wagon, id want the 6. when you factor in the amount of flogging the 4cyl will require to just get going, the slightly lower mileage of the v6 isnt really an issue. YES there is more stuff to break on the V6 but thats if you can manage to brake it.
 

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Great Question. This is an easy answer '96 V-6. Last year the wagon was made in the US, most features, and a better chance, if it was maintained, better reliability. Besides, the wagon weighs more than 300 pounds over the sedan and coupe. I believe it was 3200+ pounds compared to 2900+
 

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I second the vote for a 4 cylinder. Granted, we don't have anything we ever have to tow, but after working on a Gen2 V6 and a V6 Lumina, versus a couple of Gen4 I4's, a I4 1987 Celica, and a L5 Volvo, I don't plan on ever buying another vehicle with more than one valve bank.

Interesting. What about the Inline 6?
 

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A couple of other things, 6 does not use that much more fuel than the 4 and the spark plugs don't have to be replaced as often.
 

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If you ask which engine is the best for sedan or couple - I wouldn't be able to answer. But for wagon it is obvious - V6! You'll definitely need more power for wagon! Don't waste your time and money on 4 cyl!
 
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