Each year Wards Auto picks the 10 best engines the automotive industry came up with in the past 12 months. To be eligible, the powertrain must be new or significantly improved, and it must be on sale in a production vehicle during the first quarter of 2014. Here’s the list of this year’s winners, and as you’d expect, most of them are chosen for their green credentials.
Some of the winners in 2014 Ward’s 10 Best Engines list are obvious choices, like the 1.0 liter 3-cylinder Ford EcoBoost, Honda V6 and Audi V6, but some are a bit of surprise. The best electric powertrain chosen by Ward’s Auto is the 83kW electric motor that powers the Fiat 500e. We bet that Nissan and Tesla are not happy with this.
There are also three diesel engines in the list, which is interesting. The popularity of diesel is on the rise in America, and the diesel units Ward’s has chosen here have proven their worth before; especially BMW’s 3.0 liter turbodiesel. The clean diesel 2.0 liter unit in the Chevy Cruze diesel is also a jewel of an engine.
The high-performance engine award goes to the 6.2 liter LT1 V8 from the Corvette Stingray, which is interesting because Chevy is said to be working on a new turbocharged unit for the next iteration of the sports car. Nevertheless, this V8 offers the best compromise between performance and economy – at least for an American engine.
The winning boxer unit is Porsche’s 2.7 liter flat-six that powers the Cayman and the Boxster. If Toyota/Subaru’s GT86 flat-four was a bit gutsier maybe it could have a say here. But it’s not.
2014 Ward’s 10 Best Engines Winners:
- 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-6 (BMW 535d)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
- 83-kW Electric Motor (Fiat 500e)
- 1.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-3 (Ford Fiesta)
- 2.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-4 (Chevrolet Cruze Diesel)
- 6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
- 3.5L SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
- 2.7L DOHC H-6 boxer (Porsche Cayman)
- 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Volkswagen Jetta)