Each year Ward’s AutoWorld magazine releases its picks for the ten best car and light truck engines of the year. The Top Ten Engines List for 2013 has recently been released. For the first time in seven years, the list featured only gasoline-powered, internal combustion engines, eschewing electric, hybrid and diesel powertrains all together.
Top Ten Engines List is gas only
That decision seems to fly in the face of the industry’s move toward less-thirsty, cleaner modes of propulsion. But Ward’s says it is not yet time to give up on the gasoline engine, with new advances coming every day to improve their efficiency.
Drew Winter, the editor of Ward’s AutoWorld, said: “We’re always excited to see the advancements being made in hybrids and all-electric vehicles. But there are still significant barriers for the average consumer to look past when considering these vehicles. The cost for most of them remains high, and the driving ranges of the battery electric vehicles will have to be extended to meet the needs of most people.”
Technological innovations like “stop-start” systems continue to improve the fuel efficiency and cost of ownership of gas-powered engines, Winder continued. “The world’s automakers are showing no signs in slowing down when it comes to making gasoline engines the best choice for today’s and tomorrow’s drivers.”
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The 2013 Ward’s AutoWorld picks for the ten best powertrains that are affordable to the average consumer are:
3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW 328i)
3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 135is coupe)
3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500)
2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Focus ST/Taurus)
5.8L Supercharged DOHC V-8 (Ford Shelby GT500)
2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Cadillac ATS)
2.4L DOHC I-4 (Honda Accord Sport)
3.5L SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
2.0L FA DOHC H-4 Boxer (Subaru BRZ)
Several engines are making repeat appearances on the list. The Audi Supercharged V-6 has appeared on three previous occasions. The BMW N55 Turbocharged six makes its third annual bow in as many years. The BMW 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is back for its second nod.
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No instrumented testing
The editors of Ward’s AutoWorld magazine made their selections after spending October, November and early December driving 40 different vehicles around the Detroit area. Each engine was rated, according to Ward’s, “for power, technology, observed fuel economy and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.” The testing was all based on individual perceptions, with no instrumented testing. All eligible engines had to be in currently-available models that cost $55,000 or less.
Ward’s AutoWorld has been reviewing and judging the top ten affordable powertrains for the last 19 years.