Why the world’s best engines are smaller than ever
First, the official list and the vehicles they're most often found in:
- 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)
- 2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW Z4/528i)
- 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i coupe)
- 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Chrysler 300/Jeep Wrangler)
- 2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Edge)
- 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
- 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Buick Regal GS)
- 1.6L DOHC I-4 (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
- 2.0L Skyactiv DOHC I-4 (Mazda3)
- 3.5L DOHC V-6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)
Instead of size, automakers have been pushing toward tinier engines to save fuel, while using tech bits like direct injection, super- & turbocharging and other tricks to keep power steady. Yet there's only one hybrid on the list — a reflection that many hybrids push for fuel economy at the expense of good driving — and no diesels, a slight the oil-burning community will not appreciate.
Also missing: Any engines from Toyota, Honda or Mercedes, three companies that have suffered their share of misfortune as of late, some of it self-inflicted. And all the vehicles powered by this list are quite popular. Having a top engine won't redeem a terrible car — but it's a requirement for building a great vehicle.