Not to be outdone by the rival International Engine of the Year awards, the annual
Ward’s Auto 10 Best Engines list tends to be just as respected in the industry and a place on it remains highly coveted among the automakers. The two awards are judged using very different methods and metrics, however, with the staff at Ward’s limiting eligibility to engines available in vehicles costing less than $60,000 and available in the U.S. market.
This is the 20th year for the Ward’s 10 Best Engines awards and as many as 44 different powertrains were tested. Out of the 10 winners, eight featured direct fuel injection, six came with forced induction and one was even electric.
The following are Ward’s 10 best engines for 2014:
-3.0-liter TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
-3.0-liter Turbodiesel DOHC I-6 (BMW 535d)
-3.0-liter Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
-83-kilowatt Electric Motor (Fiat 500e)
-1.0-liter EcoBoost DOHC I-3 (Ford Fiesta)
-2.0-liter Turbodiesel DOHC I-4 (Chevrolet Cruze Diesel)
-6.2-liter OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
-3.5-liter SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
-2.7-liter DOHC H-6 boxer (Porsche Cayman)
-1.8-liter Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Volkswagen Jetta)
The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 made the list for obvious reasons. Despite maintaining Chevy’s smallblock pushrod legacy, the engine features advanced technologies such as direct injection and cylinder deactivation and can return as much as 29 mpg on the highway. Not bad for a large displacement V-8 delivering 455 horsepower in standard form.
The 2013 Fiat 500e’s electric drive system was picked because of its ability to deliver quick acceleration while also regularly exceeding its claimed 85 miles of driving range.
Another engine worth mentioning on the list was Porsche’s 2.7-liter flat-six, found in the Cayman and Boxster models. The win, Porsche’s first in 11 years, was due primarily to the engine feeling much more powerful than its 275-horsepower rating would have you believe.