For the past 23 years, WardsAuto has published a list of the 10 best engines available for the upcoming model year. In an industry where reviews are more and more dominated by instrument tests, where cars are differentiated by tenths (if not hundredths) of a second on a drag strip and by tenths (if not hundredths) of a g-force on a skid pad, Ward’s list is based on objective, but also delightfully subjective, data.
The engine in my car never has, and never will, win any engine-of-the-year awards.
The 2.5-liter V6 in my 2004 Jaguar X-Type produces 192 hp and pulls the 3,400-pound sedan to 60 miles per hour in 7.9 seconds (when the check engine light isn’t on). My last tank of premium unleaded delivered 22 miles per gallon.
None of those numbers are even the least bit impressive by current standards. The truth is, they weren’t all that impressive in 2004, either.
One thing the engine has proved to be is reliable, as a mostly trouble-free 124,000 miles have rolled by so far.
Reading about the latest list of Ward’s 10 Best Engines sure gives me an inferiority complex, though.