Three electrified drivetrains make the Wards 10 Best Engines list for the second time in as many years, while all seven remaining honorees are turbocharged, illustrating the industry trend toward downsized powertrains with forced induction and direct fuel injection.
For the first time in 23 years of testing, no V-8 engines earned a spot on the Wards 10 Best Engines list, but many of the high-output turbocharged 6-cyl. engines in the competition, even some that didn't make the cut, generate enough horsepower and torque to fill the void. Two of the honorees are returning winners.
Since 1995, the competition has recognized outstanding engines and electrified propulsion systems, as well as the technology and engineering behind them. This year's field of 40 nominees include all new or significantly improved powertrains, as well as last year's ten returning winners.
The Wards 10 Best Engines of 2017:
- 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW M240i)
- 1.5L DOHC 4-cyl./Dual Motor EREV (Chevrolet Volt)
- 3.6L DOHC V-6/Dual Motor PHEV (Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid)
- 2.3L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Ford Focus RS)
- 2.0L DOHC 4-cyl./Dual Motor HEV (Honda Accord Hybrid)
- 1.4L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Hyundai Elantra Eco)
- 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 (Infiniti Q50)
- 2.5L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Mazda CX-9)
- 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Mercedes-Benz C300)
- 2.0L Turbo/Supercharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volvo V60 Polestar)
"Automakers see downsizing, turbocharging and electrification as key strategies for delivering no-compromise powertrains that also are fuel-efficient, and this year's list clearly affirms that strategy," says WardsAuto Senior Content Director Drew Winter.
WardsAuto editors evaluated the 40 vehicles in October and November, driving to and from home, work, school, the hardware store and on weekend road trips. Vehicles must have a base price no higher than $62,000 to be eligible.
Editors score each powertrain based on horsepower, torque, comparative specs, noise attenuation, observed fuel economy and the application of new technology. The guiding principles: Does the engine or electric propulsion system truly sell the car or raise the bar for its competitive set?
The winning automakers will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held January 11 in Detroit. More information on the Wards 10 Best Engines program can be found at http://wardsauto.com/engines/10-best-engines
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