- Three diesel engines are among the Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2014.
- Demarcating the extremes of the Ward's best-engines list are Ford's fuel-sipping new three-cylinder and the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette's 6.2-liter V8.
- Signifying the rapid pace of powertrain advance, eight of the year's best engines are first-time winners, Ward's said.
DETROIT — If the annual Ward's 10 Best Engines list is any indicator, 2014 might be looked back on as the "year of the diesel" in America.
Ward's Automotive Group today announced the winners of its annual 10 Best Engines competition and three new-generation diesels were named among the year's best power plants. Long a staple of the European car market, where diesel fuel costs significantly less than gasoline, diesels are beginning to take hold in the U.S. as tight new fuel economy regulations take hold in 2016.
BMW's 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel new to Chrysler's 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Ram, and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel from General Motors for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel were each named one of the year's 10 Best Engines.
And for the first time, a three-cylinder engine was a winner in the Best Engines competition, now in its 20th year. Ford's 1.0-liter three-cylinder, already highly acclaimed in Europe, powers the newest and most fuel-efficient variant of the 2014 Fiesta subcompact car.
But the 2014 Ward's 10 Best Engines list isn't totally about fuel-sippers. Chevrolet's storming 6.2-liter fifth-generation V8 for the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray blazed its 460-horsepower brand on the competition and Audi's snarly, 333-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 also was cited by Ward's as one of the year's best engines.
Rounding out the Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2014 are the 83-kilowatt electric motor for the Fiat 500e (yes, Ward's occasionally bends the definition of "engine" for special-purpose powertrains), Honda's 3.5-liter V6 (as tested in the 2014 Accord), the 2.7-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder Porsche employs in the 2014 Boxster and Volkswagen's new-generation 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that soon will see duty in a number of VW models, including the Passat full-size sedan, which Edmunds.com recently purchased for a long-term test.
In all, Ward's tested 44 engines for its 2014 Best Engines competition. Eight of the engines have direct fuel injection, six are either turbocharged or supercharged, and only one, GM's 2.0-liter turbodiesel, is a four-cylinder.
Edmunds says: If a standout engine is a priority in your buying decision, Ward's annual 10 Best Engines list is worth consulting.