Sometimes it can be tempting to go for the larger or more powerful power-plants car manufacturers offer, but why do that when you have these ten great motors?

10.) BMW N52


BMW is a company known for their high performance inline six engines. Even though the N52 wasn’t one of those high performance motors and is no longer in use, don’t think that it can just be forgotten. Used in the mid-2000s up through 2011, N52 delivered power in that classic linear BMW fashion for base model cars throughout BMW’s lineup for many years.

Suggested By: jpaulus, Photo Credit: BimmerFest

9.) Porsche 991 3.4


Who needs the larger 3.8 liter flat-six when Porsche offers the already fantastic 3.4? At a 0-60 difference of only a .3 of a second, I’m not quite so sure the 3.8 is worth the extra $15000 on the price tag.

Suggested By: BRyan31122, Photo Credit: Porsche

8.) GM 2.0T Ecotec


The sixth generation Chevrolet Camaro will be hitting rental car fleets dealership showrooms soon. This means that GM will be pushing for their 2.0l turbocharged inline four Ecotec motor to prove itself and deliver sales numbers the team back in Detroit can be proud of. I don’t think they have anything to worry about though. This base model engine puts out more torque than its mid-range opponent.

Suggested By: Stig-a-saw-us-wrecks, Photo Credit: Cadillac

7.) Jaguar F-Type V6S


From the time I’ve spent in V8 Jaguar F-Type’s, I can tell you that the 500+ horsepower that it puts out is way more than what the car needs to have any reasonable amount of fun. From the V8 to the V6, the F-Type does not lose any character. The V6 is still a very appropriate motor for the car, and delivers the perfect amount of power to keep the driver busy on some back roads. Not to mention it’s the only engine that Jaguar will give you a manual with in the F-Type.

Suggested By: TheStigSpanishCousin , Photo Credit: truedelta

6.) Mercedes-Benz E-Class BlueEFFICIENCY


Mercedes-Benz is one of the few brands that markets their diesel options for less than the petrol equivalent here in the United States. I don’t think I have to explain why diesels are better. If you don’t mind carrying a little AdBlue around, why not opt for all that torque?

Suggested By: gcodori, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

5.) BMW F22 N20


BMW’s N20 can be found in the base, current-generation 2-Series sold in America. It’s a turbocharged, inline-4, dual overhead cam motor that has been made to replace the less efficient N52 inline-6. The 235i’s inline-6 has an amazing soundtrack and a bit more power but to those who have driven both, the N20 feels more at home than the inline-6.


Suggested By: SennaMP4, Photo Credit: BMW Blog

4.) FCA MultiAir 1.4L


The Jeep Renegade’s base engine is shared with cars through Fiat-Chrysler’s lineup. Though the 160 horsepower that it’s equipped with might not sound like much, when mated with a manual (which is your only option in America), the Renegade is an extremely fun little soft-roader.


Suggested By: As Du Volant, Photo Credit: Jeep via Jalopnik

3.) C7 Corvette LT1


Though the LT1 might not be such a secret, it is greatly well-fitting motor in the base Corvette Stingray. It’s not too much and it’s not too little. In the C7 Corvette, power is instant and when you need it, fuel efficient. The C7 Corvette’s LT1 has cylinder deactivation which allows for some extremely fuel efficient driving.

Suggested By: macanamera , Photo Credit: Chevrolet

2.) Toyota 3S


Used in a ton of cars for a long time, including the Celica, MR2 and a bunch of race cars. Say what you want about Toyota, but they make great engines and always have.

Suggested By: DCV, Photo Credit: Wikipedia

1.) Subaru FA/FB


The Subaru FA and FB motors have quickly taken over the majority of Subaru’s current lineup, and for good reason. The motors seem to be more reliable than the rod-knock loving EJ series, they are definitely more efficient and when hooked up to a turbo, the FA comes out of its horizontally opposed shell to show just how capable it really is.

Such is the case in the 2015 Subaru WRX, Forester XT, JDM Levorg and JDM Legacy GT. In these cars, from early on in the powerband, you can get on the throttle and it will pull you directly to redline as soon as the turbo catches and boost is able to build. If only Subaru would throw a higher output verson of that motor in the current generation USDM STi, then I’d be a happy camper.


Suggested By: SubaruForester, Photo Credit: Scion

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Top Photo Credit: Cllackr via Wikipedia