The 2016 pool of 31 nominees for Wards 10 Best Engines reflects autmakers’ divergent powertrain strategies. BMW and MINI is represented by no less than four engines, split equally between the brands.

BMW i3 and its innovative powertrain made the list, along with the new B58 3.0 liter Twin-Scroll Turbocharged engine found in the BMW 340i. While the i3 delivers 127 kW of power – 170 horsepower, the new 340i features the B58 unit which is part of BMW’s new modular engine architecture, in which all engines will have 500cc cylinder displacement and will be flexible between 3,4 and 6 cylinders.


The B58 is the top-dog of its new engine family. Much like the N55, the B58 displaces 3.0 liter (though it’s technically a tad bigger, at 2.998L compared to 2.979L) and uses a TwinPower twin-scroll turbocharger, though the B48’s is also a bit bigger with a 6 percent increase in turbine wheel size and 10 percent increase in compressor wheel diameter. The B58 will also feature most of the N55’s engine technologies, such as direct-injection and BMW’s Dual-Vanos and Valvetronic systems. The engine outputs 326 horsepower.


MINI is well represented by the B38A15A 1.5 liter three-cylinder which took the crown last year. The 2.0 liter B48 unit found in the MINI JCW and the new X1 is also present on the prestigious list.

Eight WardsAuto editors drive the vehicles in October and November during their routine daily commutes in Metro Detroit. Editors score every engine based on horsepower, torque, drivability, noise and harshness mitigation, flexibility, observed fuel economy and onboard technology.

This is the 22nd year for the competition. The winners will be announced next year.

Full list of contenders:

BMW i3 / 127 kW battery-electric

BMW 340i / 3.0L turbo I-6

Cadillac ATS / 3.6L V-6

Cadillac ATS-V / 3.6L twin-turbo V-6

Chevrolet Malibu / 1.5L turbo 4-cyl.

Chevrolet Volt / 1.5L EREV

Chevrolet Colorado / 2.8L turbodiesel 4-cyl.

Chevrolet Impala CNG / 3.6L flex-fuel V-6

Chevrolet Camaro / 6.2L LT1 small block V-8

Ford Focus / 1.0L EcoBoost 3-cyl.

Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang / 5.2L V-8

Honda Civic / 1.5L turbo 4-cyl.

Honda Civic / 2.0L i-VTEC 4-cyl.

Hyundai Tucson FCV / 100 kW fuel cell EV

Hyundai Tucson / 1.6L turbo 4-cyl.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid / 2.0L DI Atkinson 4-cyl.

Hyundai Sonata PHEV / 2.0L DI Atkinson 4-cyl.

Hyundai Elantra / 2.0L MPI Atkinson 4-cyl.

Jeep Grand Cherokee / 3.6L Pentastar V-6

Mercedes C450 AMG / 3.0L bi-turbo V-6

Mini Cooper Hardtop / 1.5L turbo 3-cyl.

Mini John Cooper Works / 2.0L turbo 4-cyl.

Nissan Maxima / 3.5L VQ V-6

Nissan Titan XD / 5.0L turbodiesel V-8

Ram 1500 / 3.0L turbodiesel V-6

Smart Fortwo / 0.9L 3-cyl.

Subaru WRX / 2.0L turbo 4-cyl. boxer

Toyota Prius / 4-cyl. hybrid

Toyota Tacoma / 3.5L 2GR-FKS V-6

Volvo S60 / 2.0L T5 turbo 4-cyl.

Volvo XC90 / 2.0L T6 turbo/supercharged 4-cyl.