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Ward's Names 10 Best Engines

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer December 2011
  • An appearance Ward's list of the top ten engines is considered a coveted prize in the automotive industry.
  • This year's list featured many smaller engines that offer new technology to boost performance while increasing fuel economy.
  • Ford and BMW each captured the most spots on the list with two apiece.

Industry analytics firm Ward's Auto recently announced its annual list of the 10 best engines currently offered in the US market. In this year's list, seven of the ten highly coveted spots went to engines featuring cutting-edge direct fuel injection technology, demonstrating a continued push among automakers to downsize engines without sacrificing performance.

Five of this year's ten best engines include just four cylinders. Among them are BMW's new 2.0-liter turbo featured in the 528i, Ford's 2.0-liter EcoBoost motor that's found in the Edge SUV, Buick's new 2.0-liter turbo from the high-performance Regal GS, Hyundai's frugal new 1.6-liter four-cylinder that's standard fare in the Accent and Kia Soul and Mazda's newly available lightweight 2.0-liter SkyActiv motor that's offered in the 2012 Mazda3.

Four of the engines included on the list were six-cylinder motors, while just one V8 warranted a sought-after spot among the best engines in the business. The six-cylinder motors that made the cut include Audi's 3.0-liter supercharged V6 from its new A6 sedan, BMW's muscular 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6 from its 335i coupe, the 3.5-liter hybrid V6 used in Infiniti's new M35h and Chrysler's highly-touted new Pentastar V6. The lone V8 featured on Ward's list is Ford's 5.0-liter powerplant that's found under the hood of the automaker's sporty Mustang Boss 302.

But while the list may be biased towards fuel-efficient four- and six-cylinder engines, Ward's certainly didn't choose motors that slouch on performance. Instead, the firm selected several powerplants that emphasize the growing trend of smaller engines that produce unexpected power thanks to new technologies like direct fuel injection.

"With so many engines featuring gasoline direct-injection and forced induction, we're pleased to have a list that is rich in technology," says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of WardsAuto World magazine. "Additionally, every engine reinforces the idea that even fuel-efficient vehicles must be fun to drive."

Now in its 18th year, the annual list of Ward's 10 Best Engines recognizes powerplants that are available to most consumers and offer state-of-the-art technology, impressive horsepower and torque, a satisfying sound and a good match with their respective vehicles.

What it means to you:

It's hard to go wrong with a car that includes an engine from Ward's annual list of the ten best.

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Ward's Names 10 Best Engines - Autotrader