Audi AG

2.0L TFSI I-4 turbo 211 hp (A4)

+ Small package, massive potential

- Mileage always can be better

= 4-cyl. benchmark

3.0L V-6 TDI 225 hp (Q7 TDI)

+ Diesel works well in big CUV

- Specs clobbered by BMW diesel

= Moves like stampeding buffalo

3.0L TFSI V-6 333 hp (S4)

+ 24 mpg in 4.9 seconds

- Exhaust note needs more spice

Special Report

Ward’s 10 Best Engines

= Don’t even miss the V-8

BMW AG

3.0L I-6 turbodiesel 265 hp (335d)

+ Move over, hybrids

- Gotta top off the urea tank

= Best 6-cyl. diesel ever

3.0L I-6 turbo 300 hp (135i coupe)

+ An engine for the ages

- Must wait for new version

= Sitting on laurels this year

Chrysler LLC

5.7L Hemi V-8 376 hp (Challenger R/T)

+ Exhaust note sweet as lullaby

- Can Chrysler afford any updates?

= It’s not you, it’s us

Ford Motor Co.

2.5L I-4 HEV 191 hp (Fusion Hybrid)

+ Better tech, less pricy than Escape HEV

- MPG still trails Prius

= No-compromise hybrid

3.5L EcoBoost turbo V-6 365 hp (Taurus SHO)

+ Rivals V-8 specs

- Pudgy platform hamstrings fuel economy

= Ford delivers the goods

3.7L Duratec V-6 273 hp (Lincoln MKS)

+ Runs on regular unleaded

- Barely better than original 3.5L Duratec

= Needs more power, refinement

5.4L supercharged V-8 540 hp (Shelby GT500)

+ Highway fuel efficiency up 2 mpg

- Who said 500 hp wasn’t enough?

= Pampalona bull run

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

2.5L turbo H-4 265 hp (Subaru Legacy GT)

+ Turbocharger smartly moved closer to exhaust

- Raspy idle offputting for some

= Cure for the common car

2.5L H-4 170 hp (Subaru Outback)

+ Good base engine for small ute

- Meager specific output of 68 hp/L

= Different, in a good way

General Motors Co.

2.4L DI I-4 182 hp (Chevy Equinox)

+ Terrific bread-and-butter engine

- Can GM produce enough of them?

= A very pleasant surprise

2.8L turbo V-6 300 hp (Cadillac SRX)

+ New larger compressor adds 20 hp

- Enough power for Cadillac CUV buyers?

= Old-school turbo lag

3.0L DI V-6 270 hp (Cadillac CTS)

+ Proof that downsizing works

- Smaller engine, less power

= Newly bred for workhorse duties

3.6L DI V-6 304 hp (CTS Sport Wagon)

+ Still a proud achievement

- Mileage just doesn’t stack up

= Caught standing still

5.3L Vortec AFM V-8 326 hp (GMC Sierra)

+ AFM improves mileage, slightly

- How long can pushrods survive?

= Even T-Rex faced extinction

6.2L AFM V-8 400 hp (Chevy Camaro SS)

+ A voice like butta

- Never close to 25-mpg highway rating

= Nice to have you back, Camaro

Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

1.3L I-4 HEV 98 hp (Insight)

+ Capable of high mileage

- Rarely runs only on electricity

= Call of the mild

3.5L V-6 271 hp (Accord coupe)

+ It’s refined, versatile and strong

- Numbers lag the competition.

= Still stout, but a little tired

Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.

2.0L turbo I-4 210 hp (Genesis coupe)

+ Kudos for downsized offering

- Not enough Tau magic rubbed off on it

= Strong, but unrefined

3.8L V-6 306 hp (Genesis coupe)

+ Runs with premium V-6s

- Premium V-6s suddenly out of style

= Floats like butterfly, stings like bee

4.6L Tau V-8 385 hp (Genesis sedan)

+ Small V-8 at head of class

- Needs more applications

= New V-8 paradigm

Kia Motors Corp.

2.0L I-4 156 hp (Forte)

+ Trumps rival I-4s, at least on paper

- Fails to raise the bar

= Pound for pound, a great value

Mazda Motor Corp.

2.0L I-4 167 hp (MX-5)

+ Induction Sound Enhancer for sporty exhaust

- Not demonstrating huge improvement

= Needs more power to go with sound

Suzuki Motor Corp.

2.4L I-4 185 hp (Kizashi)

+ Good effort, impressive numbers

- Old-school port injection

= Still needs tweaking

Tata Motors Ltd.

5.0L DI V-8 375 hp (Land Rover LR4)

+ Dazzling technology, refinement

- Who can afford one?

= Too patrician

Toyota Motor Corp.

1.8L I-4 HEV 134 hp (Prius)

+ Monumental technological achievement

- Takes the fun out of driving

= Benchmark efficiency

2.5L I-4 179 hp (Camry)

+ Does its job

- Not as impressive as big-brother 2.7L

= Tastes like chicken

3.5L DI V-6 306 hp (Lexus IS 350)

+ Sophisticated fuel injection strategy

- No one needs both belt and suspenders

= Evolution has stalled

3.5L V-6 275 hp (Lexus RX 350)

+ Competent, quiet, high-volume V-6

- Tiny improvement over four years

= Competent but dull

3.5L V-6 HEV 295 hp (Lexus RX 450h)

+ Exhaust-heat recovery system quickens warmup

- Hard to quantify gain over last RX hybrid

= More tortoise than hare

4.6L V-8 310 hp (Tundra)

+ Nice to see focus on smaller V-8

- Trip computer lacks MPG calculator

= Fine effort

Volkswagen AG

2.0L I-4 turbodiesel 140 hp (Jetta TDI)

+ Torque in all the right places

- As regulations loom, will diesels survive?

= Saving fuel can be tons of fun