I know people love to pick things apart like vultures, so I'll back myself up on a couple of points I made before.
1) 2 door vs 4 door, I say 4 door for insurance purposes. I don't know about all insurance companies, but around where I am, any 2 door car is automatically considered a sports coupe. Even if it's a 1996 Plymouth Neon. This is a selling point to me, because if I own a car, I don't want to pay my life away just to keep it on the road (as keeping it on the road is the #1 most important part of driving it).
2) I'm somewhat hard pressed to say a 2 door has less flex than a 4 door. For exotic sports cars, they have a frame designed to soak up the power of whatever behemoth is powering it, however a 4 door sports car (I'm at a lack for examples, so I'll just say beemers and audi's) they have that B pillar right in the middle. I would consider that an important part of structure for the car compared to a 2 door version of the same car, which would lose that pillar and support, etc. The frame of a 2 door is stretched a little more to support the longer doors (most 2 doors I've seen that seat 4/5 have much longer doors than a 4 door car). I don't consider a door to be very structurally integral to a car. Yes, it does open/close/lock into place, but in terms of real flex, it's a moving part on the car, meaning it will have more give than a solid bar in it's place. I'm not an automotive engineer, but that's how I see it. The frame will make the difference, in any car, but I would expect 4 door cars to have better structural support than 2 doors.
3) Stock 4cyl cars are usually pretty quiet. My neon has a bit of a tick to it at idle when it's warm, but it's a pretty pleasant tick, nothing harsh like a 428 with 2" pipes. If you use the right oil, keep the air filter clean, and do regular maintenance car care, I'm hard pressed to say there would be a problem with a stock 4cyl. Granted, I don't drive automatic often at all. Less and less cars today even have 4cyl engines, so I think a lot of people are comparing cars I have in mind (VW GTIs, honda fit, chevy aveo, dodge neon, etc) for cars that actually have larger engines, like the nissan altima and most other sedans today. While a V6 might have better power, and a better sound to it (harmonically tuned or otherwise) it's also going to use more gas under most conditions. I can rattle a steady 37 out of my neon, around town, on the highway, stop and go traffic, I know people that can barely get 20 with cars with bigger engines.
I definitely agree that tires will make a huge difference...I just think that people are being a little too literal about things. A stock Ford F-150 isn't going to necessarily be a quiet car, but assuming you need that kind of truck, you're buying it for it's capabilities, not how quiet it is. If you're looking for a small 2 or 4 door sedan, sure, a 6cyl will have more get up and go, but compare it to a well cared for 4cyl, and the 4cyl will usually give better mileage and cost less to maintain in the long run.
With that said, my dad's 2003 chrysler voyager minivan with a 3.3L v6 just went 37k between oil changes, and gets him roughly 25mpg (for a 3 ton car, that's pretty good).
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.