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Every year, Ward’s Auto has published its 10 Best Engines list.  Considered the most prestigious award for powertrain excellence, the 10 Best Engines award is highly coveted by automakers.  The criteria include many objective and subjective factors.  They all must be available in a regular production model priced no higher than $54,000 by early 2010.  There were 34 nominees this year.  2009 winners and any all-new or significantly changed engines are eligible.  Lest you think Ward’s only includes high-powered, sports car engines, this year’s list is highly diversified, with engines of every major type and geography represented.

The list includes engines from German (4), US (3), Japanese (2) and Korean (1) automakers.  The engines have 4-cylinders (6), 6-cylinders (3) and 8-cylinders (1) and are powered by gas (6), Diesel (2) and hybrid (2) power.  They use natural aspiration (4) and turbo (5), and 1 supercharged.  5 winners are repeats from last year and 5 are new on this year’s list.

The engines have a huge range of horsepower (98 – 375) and an even larger torque range of 105 – 425 lb.-ft.  Specific output, or horsepower per liter, is considered a measure of how well the engineers have wrung power out of the engine.  A few years ago, 60-70 hp/L was considered excellent.  The lowest figure on this year’s list (54) is a hybrid, whose horsepower figure does not include the extra power provided by the battery.  The highest non-forced induction engine is 82.  The forced induction engines range from 88 – 111.

Enough of the stats!  Here are the winners this year:

Manufacturer

Vehicle

Size & Type

Horsepower

Torque

HP/L

MPG

Audi

A4

2.0L Turbo I-4

211

258

106

23/30

Audi

S4

3.0L Supercharged V6

333

325

111

18/28

BMW

335d

3.0L Turbodiesel I-6

265

425

88

23/36

Ford

Taurus SHO

3.5L Turbo V6

365

350

104

18/27

Ford

Fusion Hybrid

2.5L I-4 Hybrid

191

136

76

41/36

GM

Chevy Equinox

2.4L I-4

182

172

76

22/32

Hyundai

Genesis

4.6L V-8

375

333

82

17/25

Subaru

Legacy GT

2.5L Turbo I-4

265

258

106

23/31

Toyota

Prius

1.8L I-4 Hybrid

98

105

54

51/48

Volkswagen

Jetta TDI

2.0L Turbodiesel I-4

140

236

70

30/42

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