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EVs, mass-market cars dominate Wards 10 Best Engines for 2018

There isn't a German to be found on the list this year, but at least the V8 is back.


Over the past two months, WardsAuto's editorial team tested 32 different engines, including electric motors, to suss out the year's best powertrains. Now, the list is here, and it is surprising in a couple different ways.

This year, two electric powertrains and two hybrids -- all of which come from mainstream brands -- landed on the list. The electric motors come courtesy of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, while the hybrids come tucked inside the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The Bolt EV wasn't eligible last year, but the timing is good, because it's now available in all 50 states.


In fact, only two luxury automakers breached the WardsAuto 10 Best Engines list this year -- the Jaguar XF's 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 and the Infiniti Q50's 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. For the first time in what seems like a hot minute, there wasn't a German OEM on the list. It's a surprising thing, but given Mercedes-Benz's forthcoming inline-6, I imagine they might be back next year.

Last year didn't feature any V8 engines, a first in two decades, but 2018 restores balance to that part of the Force. The 2018 Ford Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V8 brings the "ain't no replacement for displacement" mantra back to WardsAuto. It stands alone, but it's a helluva engine nevertheless.

The Ford F-150 and its 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V6 is also noteworthy. It was the first time in five years that a pickup truck with a gas engine landed on the list. In a time of small-displacement I4s and electric motors, it's refreshing to see something more utilitarian in the group, even if it, too, is a small-displacement turbocharged engine.

Check out the full list of winners in the gallery below, and if you missed 'em, check out our roundups of the 2017 and 2016 lists, too.