The world-famous capsule reviews of each engine nominated for this year’s 10 Best Engines competition.

Audi AG

2.0L turbocharged DOHC I-4 (A3)

200 hp/207 lb.-ft.

+ Pumping power for its size

- A little fizzy at the top end

= Proof that downsizing works

4.2L DOHC V-8 (S5)

354 hp/325 lb.-ft.

+ Only Ferrari makes a better V-8

- Gas-guzzler tax hurts on a coupe

= James Bond of engines


1.6L DOHC I-4 (Mini Cooper)

118 hp/114 lb.-ft.

+ Revs with the best of ’em

- Meager numbers for the price

= One reason why Mini gets the real money

1.6L turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mini Cooper S)

172 hp/177 lb.-ft.

+ Frisky enough hp number

- Thrashy, uninvolving

= Shoulda been better

3.0L DOHC I-6 (Z4)

255 hp/220 lb.-ft.

+ German gold standard

- Overshadowed by the turbo variant

= Always special

3.0L turbocharged DOHC I-6 (335i)

300 hp/300 lb.-ft.

+ What turbo lag?

- Why did it take ’em so long?

= One for the ages

Chrysler LLC

2.4L turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Dodge Caliber SRT4)

285 hp/265 lb.-ft.

+ Solid design, good numbers

- Held back by base-engine liabilities

= Amazing upgrade of a weak base engine

4.7L SOHC V-8 (Jeep Grand Cherokee)

305 hp/334 lb.-ft.

+ Huge power bump

- Why not just get the Hemi?

= Never quite impressed

5.7L OHV Hemi V-8 (Chrysler 300C)

340 hp/390 lb.-ft.

+ Way more refined than you expect

- Last of the Mohicans?

= Lives up to the name

Daimler AG

3.0L V-6 turbodiesel (Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec)

210 hp/400 lb.-ft.

+ Torque, torque, torque

- Scary-dead tip-in needs fixin’

= They will come

Ford Motor Co.

3.5L DOHC V-6 (Lincoln MKZ)

263 hp/249 lb.-ft.

+ Plucky midrange

- Economy good only compared with V-8

= Fine high-volume effort

4.6L SOHC V-8 (Mustang Shelby GT)

319 hp/330 lb.-ft.

+ Brawny; exhaust note to die for

- We’d still like a few more revs

= Practically perfect muscle-car motor

General Motors Corp.

2.0L turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Chevrolet HHR SS)

260 hp/260 lb.-ft.

+ Highest specific output in GM history

- Aging architecture

= Does tuner crowd care?

2.8L turbocharged DOHC V-6 (Saab 9-3)

255 hp/258 lb.-ft.

+ Smooth and torquey

- Missing about 30 hp

= Swedish nirvana

3.6L DOHC V-6 (Cadillac CTS)

304 hp/273 lb.-ft.

+ Heroic power rush

- Can be boomy

= Big-league at last

3.9L OHV V-6 (Chevrolet Impala)

233 hp/240 lb.-ft.

+ VVT a nice trick

- Tubercular

= C’mon, GM, drop the axe

6.0L OHV V-8 Hybrid (GMC Yukon Hybrid)

332 hp/367 lb.-ft.

+ No more girly hybrids

- Sales volume won’t even be a blip

= Engineering tour de force

6.0L OHV V-8 (Pontiac G8)

361 hp/385 lb.-ft.

+ How can ya not like a small-block?

- Quiet as a V-6

= No bark, weak bite

6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette)

436 hp/428 lb.-ft.

+ Is that hp number for real?

- Trouble stacking up to young guns

= Scalding

Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

2.4L DOHC I-4 (Accord)

190 hp/162 lb.-ft.

+ Absolutely sings to seven-grand redline

- Too big a car for 162 lb.-ft.

= Minimalist cool

3.5L SOHC V-6 (Accord Coupe 6MT)

268 hp/248 lb.-ft.

+ Almost premium-grade V-6

- All variants deserve cylinder deac

= Crushingly well-rounded

Mazda Motor Corp.

2.3L turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mazdaspeed3)

263 hp/280 lb.-ft.

+ Hits hard

- Torque-steers hard

= Hard to beat

3.7L DOHC V-6 (CX-9)

273 hp/270 lb.-ft.

+ Broad-shouldered power

- Not much more juice than the 3.5L

= Crossovers gone wild

Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

2.4L DOHC I-4 (Lancer)

152 hp/146 lb.-ft.

+ Decent numbers for a subcompact

- See Dodge Caliber SRT4

= There’s worse out there

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

2.5L DOHC I-4 Hybrid (Altima Hybrid)

158 hp/162 lb.-ft.

+ Fine integration

- Available in only 8 states

= Going through the motions

2.5L DOHC I-4 (Sentra SE-R Spec V)

200 hp/180 lb.-ft.

+ Sharp throttle

- Otherwise uninvolving

= Others do the cooking 4-cyl. way better

3.5L DOHC V-6 (350Z)

306 hp/268 lb.-ft.

+ Still smokes

- Still vibrates

= Still formidable

3.7L DOHC V-6 (Infiniti G37 Coupe 6MT)

330 hp/270 lb.-ft.

+ Impressive power rush

- We’d rather see displacement going the other way

= Sensational

Porsche AG

2.7L DOHC H-6 (Cayman)

245 hp/201 lb.-ft.

+ Oh, those noises

- Lotta cash for this power level

= Good thing the cars are light

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

2.5L turbocharged DOHC H-4 (Subaru Impreza WRX)

224 hp/226 lb.-ft.

+ Personality plus

- Torque too thin for a turbo

= Keeper of the flame

3.6L DOHC H-6 (Subaru Tribeca)

256 hp/247 lb.-ft.

+ Smooth enough

- Hardly economical

= Subie’s out of its element

Toyota Motor Corp.

1.8L DOHC I-4 (Scion xD)

128 hp/125 lb.-ft.

+ Sips

- Might as well be electric

= Innocuous in every way

3.5L DOHC V-6 (Lexus IS 350)

306 hp/277 lb.-ft.

+ Carries a seriously big stick

- Speaks softly, though

= Subtle but convincing

5.7L DOHC V-8 (Tundra)

381 hp/401 lb.-ft.

+ Sets the bar pretty high

- Undoes a lot of enviro work, no?

= When you insist on refinement with power

Volvo Cars

3.0L turbocharged DOHC I-6 (S80 T6)

281 hp/295 lb.-ft.

+ Thrust without fuss

- BMW does it better

= Seems like a dead end

3.2L DOHC I-6 (S80 3.2)

235 hp/236 lb.-ft.

+ All the I-6 NVH advantages

- Does it have to be sideways?

= Square peg, round hole

Volkswagen AG

2.5L DOHC I-5 (Jetta)

170 hp/177 lb.-ft.

+ Talks torque

- Japanese 4-cyls. are sweeter

= Seems 5-cyls. never get a break

Ward’s 10 Best Engines is copyright Penton Media Inc. Commercial references to the program and/or awards are prohibited without prior permission of Ward’s Automotive Group.