We drove many incredible cars in 2016, and 2017 is shaping up to be even better with cars like the Honda Civic Type-R, Mazda Miata RF, and an all-wheel drive Dodge Challenger. To help us in our quest for all things perfect in the powertrain pit, WardsAuto.com has released its annual list of best engines. Each year, the team over at Wards spends a lot of time putting this list together.
First held in 1995, this friendly competition doesn’t just focus on engines, but the engineering behind them. Requirements state that motors must either be all-new or “significantly improved” in order to give editors reason to score powertrains around horsepower, torque, comparative specs, noise attenuation, observed fuel economy, and new technologies.
The goal is to find out whether a particular propulsion system can sell a car or raise the bar within its segment, and this year marks the first time in history that a V8 failed to make the cut. Turbocharged six-cylinder alternatives have made a legitimate argument for the replacement of high displacement, and with seven of the 10 finalists sporting a turbo, boost continues to be big business for automakers as they push for advancements in forced induction.
According to Wards’ report, in order to be eligible, all 40 vehicles tested could not cost more than $62,000. Once selected, each had to be driven by members of the editorial board during the months of October and November. Editors were then reportedly instructed to go about their daily lives in all 40 vehicles, as “driving to and from home, work, school, the hardware store, and on weekend roadtrips” allowed them to determine why a quarter of the powerplants tested were worthy of praise, before dumping the rest. Here are 10 engines that rule the propulsion roost and why you need to test them out if you plan to buy new in 2017.