Penton’s WardsAuto has named three diesels, a tiny 3-cylinder turbo and a battery-electric vehicle to its annual 2014 Ward’s 10 Best Engines, illustrating the importance of fuel economy as automakers develop and market advanced new powertrains.
This is the 20th year for Ward’s 10 Best Engines, a competition created to recognize outstanding powertrain achievement, world-class technologies and those rare engines or electric propulsion systems that are so compelling they help sell the vehicle.
The winners, which include eight engines using direct fuel injection and six with forced induction, emerged from a field of 44 powertrains evaluated by WardsAuto editors in October and November. To be eligible, a new or significantly improved engine or propulsion system must be on sale in a production vehicle during the first quarter of 2014. Base price is capped at $60,000, up from $55,000 last year.
The Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition pits the latest engines available in the U.S. market against the returning winners from the previous year. Usually, at least four engines that won the prior year return to the winner’s circle. This year, only two are returning winners: Honda’s 3.5L V6 and Audi’s 3.0L supercharged V6.
“We weren’t looking to throw the bums out, as they might say about an election. We were just really impressed with a flood of new powertrains,” says WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief, Drew Winter. “What was great yesterday might be less impressive tomorrow because engine technology is changing so rapidly.”
The 20th annual Ward’s 10 Best Engines (and the vehicles tested) are:
- 3.0L Supercharged DOHC V6 – Audi AG (Audi S5)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I6 – BMW AG (BMW 535d)
- 6.2L OHV V8 – General Motors Co. (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
- 2.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I4 – General Motors Co. (Chevrolet Cruze Diesel)
- 83-kW Electric Motor – Chrysler Group LLC (Fiat 500e EV)
- 1.0L EcoBoost DOHC I3 – Ford Motor Co. (Ford Fiesta)
- 3.5L SOHC V6 – Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Honda Accord)
- 2.7L DOHC H6 – Porsche AG (Porsche Cayman)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V6 – Chrysler Group LLC (Ram 1500)
- 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC I4 – Volkswagen AG (Volkswagen Jetta)