Ward's releases annual 10 Best Engines list

3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)
  • 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)
  • 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)
  • 2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW Z4/528i)
  • 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Chrysler 300S/Jeep Wrangler)
  • 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
  • 1.6L DOHC I-4 (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
  • 3.5L DOHC V-6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)
It's that time of year, folks. No, we're not referring to the oodles of time spent shopping for the holidays, we're talking about end-of-the-year lists. Kicking things off in the automotive spectrum is industry stalwart Ward's Auto, which has just released its annual 10 Best Engines list.

Without further ado, here are the award-winners for 2012: It comes as little surprise that seven of the ten engines on the list feature the most recent advance in power and efficiency, namely direct injection, or that a full half of them are boosted with the addition of either a supercharger or a turbocharger. Perhaps more surprising is that there's only one hybrid powertrain on the list, and it's from Infiniti, not Toyota or Lexus.

In fact, there isn't a single engine from Honda or Toyota on 2011's edition of the 10 Best Engines, nor are the 1.4-liter/111kW electric motor package in the Chevrolet Volt or 80kW AC motor in the Nissan Leaf anywhere to be found – both of which were on the list in 2010. Also missing? A diesel... any diesel – and there certainly are a few options from the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen from which to choose.

Though its neither direct-injected nor turbocharged, the Pentastar V6 from Chrysler is surely worthy of inclusion, if for no other reason than its single-handed ability to transform any vehicle it's in from an also-ran to a competitive proposition.

We'll also give a shout-out to Ford, which earned two spots on the list but could seemingly have garnered another for the excellent 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the F-150 pickup. Ward's has plenty of commentary on why each engine was chosen, and you can read all about it right here. But first, have a look at each powerplant in our high-res image gallery.

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