Ford and Honda each earn two Wards 10 Best Engines trophies for 2018, while Jaguar and Kia land on the list for the first time in a year that sees mainstream brands dominating the winners’ circle.

WardsAuto editors chose the winners after spending October and November evaluating 32 engines and electric propulsion systems during routine commutes in metro Detroit. It’s the 24th year for Wards 10 Best Engines.

Other notable trends this year: No German automakers are among the winners, and the only luxury brands represented are Infiniti and Jaguar. Also, four electrified powertrains are honored for the first time in a single year.

“We’re happy to recognize great engines in luxury cars, but we’re thrilled to see so many high-volume automakers whose vehicles are more affordable for average Americans delivering truly outstanding powertrains,” says Drew Winter, WardsAuto senior content director.

“And we certainly didn’t set out to find four electrified drivetrains to honor this year,” he says. “These four belong on our list because they are extremely efficient while at the same time fun to drive.”

This year’s winners:

  • 150-kW Electric Propulsion System (Chevrolet Bolt EV)
  • 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6/PHEV (Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid) 
  • 2.7L Twin Turbo DOHC V-6 (Ford F-150)
  • 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang GT)
  • 130-kW Fuel Cell/Electric Propulsion System (Honda Clarity)
  • 2.0L VTEC Turbocharged DOHC 4-Cyl. (Honda Civic Type R)
  • 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 (Infiniti Q50)
  • 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-Cyl. (Jaguar XF)
  • 3.3L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 (Kia Stinger)
  • 2.5L Atkinson DOHC 4-Cyl./HEV (Toyota Camry Hybrid)

The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt was not available for Wards 10 Best Engines testing a year ago, but it was worth the wait to run the zero-emission compact car through our real-world gauntlet this past fall.

We now know the Bolt, available in dealerships in all 50 states, is an affordable, world-changing vehicle that delivers on the promise of electric mobility for the masses. It is quick and smartly designed, and its official range of a groundbreaking 238 miles (383 km) makes it attractive to a much wider audience, particularly those who want to do right by the environment.

Torque is more than abundant, delivering thrilling acceleration and answering our guiding question for every 10 Best Engines nominee we evaluate: Does the powertrain sell the vehicle?

That statement also rings true for the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, one of only two returning winners this year. It’s a big, seven-passenger plug-in hybrid minivan with all the bells and whistles families have come to adore, but with 33 miles (53 km) of full-electric range and levels of fuel efficiency unimaginable just a few short years ago.

By keeping the Pacifica Hybrid charged as much as possible during testing, we were able to post nearly 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km) on the trip odometer in mixed daily driving that usually exceeded battery range.

With most owners using their minivans to run errands and occasionally take a long-distance drive, we find the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to be a stroke of genius.

It’s been five years since an engine in a gasoline-powered pickup truck has landed on the Wards 10 Best Engines list. Cars seem to have the upper hand in our competition because they’re lighter, quicker off the line and more fuel-efficient.

This year was different. Ford loaned us the redesigned 325-hp twin-turbo 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 in the F-150, and our staff was blown away by its vibration-free idle, its nearly imperceptible stop/start system and especially its tomb-like silence. We’ve been in luxury cars that aren’t this quiet.

Judging by its relatively small displacement, one might assume this engine, using both direct and port fuel injection, is merely an adequate offering within the F-150 lineup. Not true. It will snap your head back if you stomp on the gas at just about any speed. No wonder the 2.7L is now the most popular engine in America’s most popular pickup truck.