The Wards 10 Best Engine voting process for the 2016 model year is in the books, and there are tons of new engines and a few repeat winners. With electric vehicles becoming more commercial, it’s no surprise that there are three electrified powertrains on the list this year.
BMW made its way onto the list this year, but unlike last year when we saw the i3’s electrified powertrain make the list, it’s the 340i’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine that made it. Voters loved this engine’s punchy powerband and 25 mpg during intense testing.
General Motors actually gets two trophies this year, as its 3.6-liter engine’s 335 horsepower and 24 mpg during testing impressed the editors at Wards. Also impressing the judges was the Volt’s powertrain, which includes a retuned 1.5-liter generator and electric drive unit that allows for up to 53 miles of electric-only power and got 44 mpg overall on a 227-mile-long road trip.
Ford got in on the Wards fun once again this year, but this year’s award-winning engine is almost the polar opposite of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost unit that won last year. I am, of course, talking about the 5.2-liter monster that powers the Shelby GT350 Mustang. This engine cranks out an incredible 526 horsepower and has an insane 8,250 rpm redline, which both contributed to it winning the award.
On the other side of the automotive realm is the new Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder that pairs with a 67-horsepower electric for a system total of 202 horsepower. This powertrain allows the Sonata to travel 27 miles on electricity only after a 2.7-hour charge from a 240-volt charger (nine hours on 120-volts). Wards editors noted fuel economy numbers ranging from 41 to 80 mpg.
Surprisingly, Nissan’s 3.5-liter V-6 VQ engine made the list. The 3.5-liter V-6 that powers the 2016 Maxima impressed editors with its great midrange punch and up to 30 mpg.
Despite the scrutiny diesel engines have been under, the Ram’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel remains a top performer and a top seller in its class. This, and the fact that it remains unmatched in the industry, are just a few of the countless reasons Wards has placed this engine on its top-10 list for the third straight year. Its 420 pound-feet of torque and 24 mpg in real-world testing helped out too.
Subaru’s 2.0-liter Boxer engine of WRX fame also repeats on the 2016 list, thanks to its 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Also impressing Wards’ voters is just how great this car was to drive every day.
The brand-new Prius’ powertrain gets in on the list too. This model rolls in with a 95-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder that combines with two electric motors that produce another 71 horsepower. Editors also noted its smoother and sportier drive than the last generation, plus its 61 mpg in real-world driving doesn’t hurt either.
Rounding out Wards 10 Best list is the new XC90’s T6 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder. This engine delivers a stout 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, thoroughly impressing voters. What’s more, its power delivery felt more like a V-6 to the voters, and it delivered up to 24 mpg in real-world testing.
There you have it, Wards 10 Best Engines for 2016. Let us know in the comments whether you agree with all of winners or not.