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
= Don't even miss the V-8
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
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 specsv
- 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?
= Pamplona bull run
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.
2.5L turbo H-4 265 hp (Subaru Legacy GT)
+ Turbocharger smartly moved closer to exhaust
- Raspy idle off-putting 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
- Old-school turbo lag
= Enough power for Cadillac CUV buyers?
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
= Good effort
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