Wards 10 Best Engines For 2016 is Equal Parts Performance, Parsimonious

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Three hybrid powertrains and three performance powertrains bookended Wards Auto’s top 10 engines, which was released last week.

The list included repeat winners such as the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 3-liter six, Subaru’s turbo flat-four and Nissan’s veteran VQ 3.5-liter V-6. Appearing for the first time was BMW’s replacement for its N55 turbocharged, 3-liter straight six as well as General Motor’s LGX V-6 — which appears in several Cadillac models and in the new Chevrolet Camaro — with cylinder deactivation.

Volvo’s twin-charged 2-liter four and Ford’s famous flat-plane crank V-8 from the Shelby GT350 made the list for the first time in 2016. Volkswagen’s engines were excluded from consideration this year because of the company’s admission that its diesel engine cheated through emissions tests.

The list of winners, according to Wards:

• 3-liter Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 340i)
• 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 ( Chevrolet Camaro/ Cadillac ATS)
• 1.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder/120-kW Drive Motor ( Chevrolet Volt EREV)
• 5.2-liter DOHC V-8 ( Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang)
• 2-liter DOHC 4-cylinder/50-kW Drive Motor ( Hyundai Sonata PHEV)
• 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 ( Nissan Maxima)
• 3-liter Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 ( Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
• 2-liter Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. Boxer ( Subaru WRX)
• 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder/53-kW Drive Motor ( Toyota Prius HEV)
• 2-liter Turbo/Supercharged DOHC 4 cylinder ( Volvo XC90)

Aside from the aforementioned mills, Wards awarded the significantly improved Chevrolet Volt engine and all-new Toyota Prius engine among its 10 best. Both hybrid powertrains were lauded for their real-world mileage delivery and efficient power. Hyundai’s plug-in hybrid powertrain in its Sonata PHEV, which made its first appearance this year, made the list as well.

Subaru’s turbocharged FA engine, which appears in the WRX but not the WRX STI, is the other return winner for 2016 alongside Ram’s EcoDiesel — the only oil burner on the list.

Oh, and Volvo can add to their long list of awards after their turbocharged/supercharged 2-liter four was honored.

Notably absent from the list were any engines from Mazda, Honda’s 1.5-liter turbo from the Civic and Mercedes’ turbo four in the CLA/GLA.

Wards said they would consider engines such as Audi’s coming e-Tron, Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter TSI, Lincoln’s turbo 3-liter V-6 and Jaguar’s 2-liter diesel for next year’s competition.

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on Dec 14, 2015

    Is there a new motor that doesn't receive an award from Wards?

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Dec 15, 2015

    Does the ATS get the new 3.6? GM seems really set on having the Camaro kill the ATS coupe. In all trims, if you can live with the bunker interior the Cmero is a much better buy.

    • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Dec 15, 2015

      Yes all 3 RWD based 2016 Cadillac sedans ATS/CTS/CT6 get the new 3.6 engine in 335/285 ratings guise. I have driven a new 2016 CTS with the new 3.6 and the difference between the old LFX is immediately noticeable.

  • Bobbysirhan I suppose this explains why almost everything that makes a GM product function has been Chinese for several years now.
  • Kevin 35 grand if a 2 door but not a 4 door!
  • Kevin 35 grand USD for a 57 wagon that still needs lots of work such as spindles body work and what ever else maybe 25 but 35 no thanks I'll stick with what I have. Floor pans replaced and whatever else my 68 chevelle I paid $4800.00 USD 20 years ago and is all original.
  • FreedMike Needs a few more HP to really spice things up...
  • Oberkanone Absolute insanity on our public roads! A danger to society. Bravo Dodge!