The Best Engines of 2011
As December rolls on, it’s inevitable that the “Best of 2011” lists will begin making the rounds. For auto aficionados like us, those are fun lists to look forward to (and create!).
Today we bring you news of the highly anticipated 10 Best Engines list, put together every year around this time by Ward’s Auto. Some of this year’s choices are surprising, but what’s even more surprising is what *didn’t* make the list.
Only one hybrid mill entered the top 10—no electric-drive engines and, even more interesting, no oil burners. So what’s the engine flavor of 2011? Turbocharged!
First, the list, followed by some commentary:
- 3.0-liter TFSI supercharged DOHC V6 (Audi A6)
- 2.0-liter N20 turbocharged DOHC I4 (BMW Z4/528i)
- 3.0-liter N55 turbocharged DOHC I6 (BMW 335i Coupe)
- 3.6-liter Pentastar DOHC V6 (Chrysler 300/Jeep Wrangler)
- 2.0-liter EcoBoost DOHC I4 (Ford Edge)
- 5.0-liter DOHC V8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
- 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC I4 (Buick Regal GS)
- 1.6-liter DOHC I4 (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
- 2.0-liter Skyactiv DOHC I4 (Mazda3)
- 3.5-liter DOHC V6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)
Now, I do have to say that the reason so many turbos appear here is partly due to Ward’s criteria. Scores are based on power, technology, observed fuel economy, noise, vibration and harshness. Vehicles must be priced below $55,000. That in itself skews the results toward efficient turbos and away from the likes of Ferrari’s 6.3-liter V12 engines.
Also notable is that Ford, GM and Chrysler products show up on the list, while Honda and Toyota do not. How about that?
Chrysler’s Pentastar is a well-deserved winner. It’s not turbo- or supercharged, but it did single-handedly bring Chrysler vehicles back from the brink of irrelevance. Kudos to you, Auburn Hills.
If you’re interested in such things, Ward’s has an-depth writeup on the engines and why each was chosen. It’s a good read! Perhaps an even better read would be the best engines of the year, period. No restrictions. I’d start with the Ferrari FF‘s V12 and include the Lexus LFA‘s V10 and Porsche’s 4.0-liter I6 used in the 911 GT3 RS.
Did any notable engines get left off this list?
Used Audi A6
Used BMW Z4
Used BMW 5 Series
Used BWW 3 Series
Used Chrysler 300
Used Jeep Wrangler
Used Ford Edge
Used Ford Mustang
Used Buick Regal
Used Hyundai Accent
Used Kia Soul
Used Porsche 911