• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Buying

Definitions: Direct Injection

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Josh Sadlier

Pros: Direct injection improves both power and fuel economy by making the engine more efficient.

Cons: Costs more; engineers are still working out the kinks

Summary: If you're shopping for a car and you see the term "direct injection," it refers to a system that channels fuel into the engine more efficiently than conventional multiport fuel injection.

Direct fuel injection (DI) was invented more than a century ago, but it has only recently emerged as a trendy automotive technology. The reasons for its popularity are clear: It improves both acceleration and fuel efficiency. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?

Mostly, it is. DI engines are impressive already and getting better by the year, so there's no doubt that the technology is here to stay. And DI is available on cars of all pedigrees, so whether you're looking at a Kia Sorento or a high-end Lexus, DI will be in the mix.

However, there are some drawbacks worth mentioning.

First, there's no such thing as free horsepower and miles per gallon, so you won't be surprised to hear that DI engines cost more than comparable conventional engines.

And then there are the inevitable growing pains as engineers get comfortable with modern DI technology. Audi had some issues with carbon buildup in the engine valves, for example, and BMW was burning through a lot of fuel pumps for a while. It's still a hotly debated question whether DI engines are as dependable over the long haul as regular ones. The answer is probably "yes," but just keep in mind that it hasn't been perfectly smooth sailing for DI thus far.

AutoTrader Says

You can buy DI with confidence, as the pros outweigh the cons. But make sure you follow the manufacturer recommendations for special treatments, fuel additives, scheduled maintenance and so forth.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
Definitions: Direct Injection