Ward’s Auto Reveals 10 Best Engines for 2013 – Did Your Favorite Make the Cut?

BMW, Honda, and Ford are the big winners of the Ward’s Auto list of the 10 Best Engines for 2013. Once again, four-cylinder engines comprise half the list, six-cylinder engines take four places, and one V-8 engine survives to earn recognition, as well. Ward’s isn’t forgetting about hybrids and electric vehicles — though 11 were evaluated, none made the cut.

On the 2011 list, the powertrain of the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt made the list, but Ward’s notes that was because then they were “revolutionary and compelling.” This is Ward’s 19th annual list, which this year was open to all engines in production vehicles that are on sale within the first quarter of 2013 and carrying an MSRP of less than $55,000. Each engine was scored based on power, technology, observed fuel economy, relative competitiveness, and NVH characteristics.

See our story on the 2012 Ward’s Auto 10 Best Engines list here.

2012 BMW 3 series front right side view 300x187 imageThere were plenty of repeat winners, including the turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 in BMWs like the 335i. In a recent comparison test, we loved the 2012 BMW 335i’s engine, which helped propel the four-door to a 4.8-second 0-60 mph time — far better than the Mercedes C350 and Cadillac ATS with which it was competing. The engine in BMWs like the 128i, 328i, and X3 also received repeat recognition.

For the third consecutive year, Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6 made the list. Variations of the 3.6-liter V-6 are offered in every current Chrysler and more than half of all Dodge vehicles. A 3.2-liter variant of this engine may soon see duty in various Chrysler products, but it’s in the 2013 Ram 1500 truck where the current engine has a great impact: “It’s so good that buyers no longer have to automatically default to the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 as a viable powerplant for a full-size pickup weighing north of 4500 lbs,” we wrote in our 2013 Ram 1500 First Drive.

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that Ford uses in the Focus ST and even the full-size Taurus made the list, as did the 2013 Shelby GT500′s supercharged 5.8-liter V-8. Can that engine get the Shelby GT500 to 200 mph? Find out here.

2013 Honda Accord Sport sedan 300x187 imageWhile the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 in the Buick Regal GS earned placement on the list last year, it’s the Cadillac ATS’ turbo-four that makes it for 2013. The Subaru BRZ’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four is a new entry on the list, and the 2013 Honda Accord lineup — the Earth Dreams 2.4-liter I-4 in the Accord Sport and the 3.5-liter V-6 in the Accord V-6 — was a big winner, too. That means that the Skyactiv I-4 in the Mazda3 and CX-5, the Infiniti M35h’s hybrid powertrain, and the Hyundai/Kia 1.6-liter I-4 in cars like the Hyundai Accent and Kia Soul, have been dropped.

Given the Ward’s Auto criteria for the 10 Best Engines of 2013 list, what might you add or remove from the list? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Automaker Engine Evaluated in…
Audi 3.0L Supercharged DOHC V-6 Audi S5
BMW 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 BMW 328i
BMW 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 BMW 135is coupe
Chrysler Group 3.6L DOHC V-6 Ram 1500
Ford 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 Ford Focus ST/Taurus
Ford 5.8L Supercharged DOHC V-8 Ford Shelby GT500
Cadillac 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 Cadillac ATS
Honda 2.4L DOHC I-4 Honda Accord Sport
Honda 3.5L SOHC V-6 Honda Accord
Subaru 2.0L DOHC H-4 Boxer Subaru BRZ

Source: Ward’s Auto

By Zach Gale

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