This is a slightly rephrased question that has been asked over and over as the number of cylinders have increased and decreased. During the fifties and sixties when the V8 engines were king people would often claim they had more endurance than four or six cylinder engines. The fact is the number of cylinders have nothing to do with endurance any more than what color your car is. Materials, design, tolerances, cooling ability and lubricants are much more important in determining the endurance of an engine than the number of cylinders.
Regardless of which engine you decide on, how you use the vehicle and maintain it will make the biggest difference of its endurance. Regular scheduled oil changes performed at the manufacturer’s suggested intervals will help to reduce engine damage caused by friction. Make it a habit to check all fluid levels on a regular basis including coolant, oil, transmission and brake fluid levels. If any levels are low fill them immediately, not doing so will result in engine damage.
Whether your engine is four or six cylinders your active participation in it’s maintenance and care will make the real difference in its endurance. Take the time to talk to friends and family to see which brands of engines they’ve had the best luck with. There are some brands that due to engineering have shown a pattern of lasting significantly longer or shorter than other brands in all cylinder configurations.