Dodge: What Is a Pentastar?

Everyone loves to listen to muscle cars screech, burble, and belt out supercharger whine. However, what about the entry-level Dodge Chargers, Challengers, and Chrysler 300s? Further, what about the Jeeps and Rams with a Pentastar? They might be smaller than the V8s in the Stellantis lineup, but the Pentastar is critical. 

What is a Pentastar? 

Dodge: What Is a Pentastar and what does it mean to Stellantis?
A 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine | Christopher Evans, Getty Images

Pentastar is the name of Stellantis’ flagship 3.6L V6 engine. Furthermore, the Pentastar V6 is in the majority of Stellantis’ North American vehicles. Some of the vehicles to get the Pentastar treatment include the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, and Ram 1500. 

The V6 is a workhorse with respectable figures like 295 horsepower in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Furthermore, for folks who don’t want a V8 but still want a muscle car, the Charger and Challenger are available with the Pentastar and optional all-wheel drive (AWD). However, the 3.6L isn’t the only Pentastar. Stellantis has 3.0L and 3.2L variations available in different markets. 

When did the 3.6 Pentastar come out? 

Jeep: What Is a Pentastar?
A Jeep like this one was the first vehicle to get the Pentastar treatment | Don Kelsen, Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The first Pentastar engines debuted in 2011 in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. When the powerplant came out, it filled a need for a reliable, torquey engine. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the once parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep, started equipping vehicles with it on a massive scale. By 2015, over 47 percent of FCA vehicles had a variation of the Pentastar V6. Today, the engine is present in many Stellantis cars, trucks, and vans. 

According to Car and Driver, the six-cylinder powerplant was revised for the 2016 model year. Again, Jeep would be the first to get its hands on the engine, releasing it in the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

Is the Pentastar V6 a good engine?

The Pentastar V6 engine is a reliable engine. TheDrive reported that an example from a 2014 Ram Promaster covered 626,000 hard miles before giving up the ghost. That is impressive, given the amount of mileage that the vehicle covered in a relatively short period of time. 

The six-cylinder Pentastar engine is no slouch, either. A 2022 Dodge Challenger SXT with the 3.6L powerplant produces a respectable 303 horsepower. Furthermore, many of the Stellantis sedans packing a Pentastar can achieve 19 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Not bad for a big car with a V6 engine. 

Dodge: What Is a Pentastar and what did it mean for Stellantis and Jeep?
Jeep and other Stellantis brands use the Pentastar | Marco Bertorello, Getty Images

What’s next for Stellantis vehicles with the 3.6L engine? 

Stellantis has its sights set on the future and, with it, electrification. For example, the little European market hatchback, the Alfa Romeo Mito, is likely to return soon as an electric vehicle (EV). Furthermore, even the horsepower holdouts at Dodge have announced that the future of muscle cars is electric. As a result, we can expect the gas-powered engines of Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram to move aside in favor of partially electric and fully electric drivetrains. 

While that may seem like a sad and unfortunate inevitability, future Stellantis vehicles will likely be more efficient, advanced, and even more fun. Scroll down to the following article to read about another Dodge engine, the venerable Hemi V8. 


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