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January 6, 2020

Nissan's VC-Turbo Among Those Cited for 2020 Best Engines

As carmakers face mounting pressure to improve their fuel economy and lower their emissions, they have responded by investing in downsized powertrains. Evidenced by automotive publication Wards’s 2020 10 Best Engines list, more and more winners in this list have opted for electrified engines. As a matter of fact, only one V8 remains on the list.

The U.S.-based Wards chose the winners after evaluating 26 all-new or significantly improved engines and electric propulsion systems during everyday driving in metro Detroit, Michigan from October and November. Editors score each powertrain based on horsepower, torque, comparative specs, NVH management, observed fuel economy, and the application of new technology.

For the first time in 11 years, three inline-6s appear on the list, while four electrified powertrains make the cut for the third consecutive year. In alphabetical order (based on manufacturer), these are the recipients of the 10 Best Engines from Wards this 2020:
  • 3.0L (B58) turbo I-6 382 hp (BMW M340i)
  • 3.6L Pentastar eTorque V-6 mild hybrid 305 hp (Ram 1500)
  • 2.3L High Performance turbo 4-cyl. 332 hp (Ford Mustang)
  • 3.0L Duramax diesel I-6 277 hp (GMC Sierra)
  • 6.2L V-8 490 hp (Chevy Corvette Stingray)
  • 2.0L Atkinson I-4 212 hp total (Honda Accord Hybrid)
  • Single Motor Electric Propulsion System 150 kW (Kona EV)
  • 1.6L turbo 4-cyl. 180 hp (Hyundai Sonata)
  • 3.0L EQ Boost turbo I-6 362 hp (Mercedes GLE450)
  • 2.0L VC-turbo 4-cyl. 248 hp (Nissan Altima)

The field of nominees includes some of last year’s 10 honorees. This year’s repeat winners are the BMW 3.0L turbo I-6, FCA Ram Pentastar eTorque, Honda 4-cyl. hybrid, Hyundai battery-electric, and Nissan VC-Turbo 4-cyl.

To be eligible this year, vehicles must have a base price no higher than USD 65,000 (~ P 3.327 million).

According to Wards, the 2020 list of winners “reflects an industry that is trying to do it all with heart-pounding fire breathers, capable pickups that don’t need V8s, family cars that don’t need V6s and a battery-electric CUV that is fun to drive.”

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