Sure, the V-6 makes more horsepower – 270 horses to the 2.5-liter four-cylinder's 182 – but you pay for that extra muscle in ways big and small. For one, you give up six miles per gallon, and that's significant – the EPA figures the V-6 will cost you an extra $400 a year in fuel alone. Meanwhile, the four-cylinder car is a couple hundred pounds lighter, and that weight comes off the front end, nudging the overall balance 2 percent in the right direction. And since both motors use a CVT transmission, which tends to keep revs low, you probably won't notice the difference in power anyway. I love horsepower, but in this case, light weight and efficiency trump raw muscle. [$24,460; nissan.com]
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
The Interpreters We Left Behind
The Rise of Cyclocross
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.