The old saying in the automotive world was “there’s no replacement for displacement” but the engines of today, especially those using turbocharging or supercharging are proving that theory to be inaccurate. We see engines with only six cylinders or four that can now bring in more than 300 horsepower and still give us the fuel mileage we want. With the emissions regulations gaining a global strictness we can admire the technology that has gone into getting good power and mileage from vehicles that have less displacement than even a soda bottle that we might have with lunch.
Smart 0.9-liter Turbocharged Three Cylinder – This engine powers one of the smallest cars on the road to give us the perfect balance between light weight and a small displacement to give us an engine that works great and still gets the job done. With only 89 horsepower and 100 lb.-ft. of torque the Smart Fortwo can reach sixty mph in 10.1 seconds which isn’t blazing fast, but it’s enough to get the job done. The fuel mileage is an amazing 32 city/39 hwy mpg and as a car that is mostly used in the city that is one of the highest city numbers on the market today.
Ford 1.0-liter Three Cylinder EcoBoost – This engine has been added to the Focus and Fiesta to be the choice of many when they want to have the fuel mileage they need for the daily commute. This engine gives you 123 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque, which is a huge jump from the Smart engine, and can be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The mileage returned from this engine is 30 city/42 hwy to give you a fantastic feeling on the highway that can be perfect for your driving needs and give you the power you want to have at least some fun when driving.
Mitsubishi 1.2-liter Thee Cylinder – This is one of the few small engines that doesn’t have turbocharging, which means it doesn’t add a power boost and it does pay for this power shortage by only offering you 74 horsepower and 74 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the engine you can expect to find if you purchase the Mitsubishi Mirage and it certainly gives us the fuel mileage return we are looking for from these small engines as it comes in with 37 city/44 hwy mpg for us to enjoy and make full use of on any road.
FCA 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo Four Cylinder – FCA is the parent company that has many of our favorite brand names under its umbrella. These include Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Jeep and many others. If you purchase the Fiat 500 you can expect to see this tiny engine powering your ride while providing you with 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque. In a car of this size this engine gives you the power to have some fun on the road when you want to and it returns a respectable 28 city/34 hwy mpg for you to make full use of and enjoy.
GM 1.4-liter Four Cylinder Turbo Ecotec – This is the new engine that will make its way into the new Chevrolet Cruze models we see for 2016. This engine is rated at 153 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque to make driving a Cruze, Sonic or Spark a lot of fun when it makes its way into the other models. Using the six-speed automatic transmission you can enjoy 40 mpg on the highway when you take on the task of driving and showing your family and friends what a great engine this can be on most roads.
GM 1.4-liter Four Cylinder Ecotec – This is the naturally aspirated version of the engine from GM that doesn’t provide any turbocharging. This will be found in the base version of the Chevrolet Spark and have a CVT attached to it. While the power output drops significantly to 98 horsepower and 94 lb.-ft. of torque the fuel mileage is excellent at 30 city/41 hwy mpg. This engine will certainly make it even easier to enjoy driving the small hatchback from Chevrolet that is cute in a way but packs a solid punch when it comes to fuel savings.
Volkswagen 1.4-liter Turbocharged Four Cylinder – This engine doesn’t stand on the high numbers for fuel mileage as some of the previous models do, but it adds a good deal of power from a small model. This is the engine you will find in the VW Jetta, providing you with 150 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine makes it possible for you to enjoy the fuel mileage of 28 city/32 hwy mpg to be a way you can drive and know you have some good power and a respectable level of fuel mileage to give you the drive you want to have.
MINI 1.5-liter Turbocharged Three Cylinder – This has to be the largest displacement for three cylinders on the market today, but it does offer what you want. The power comes to a level of 134 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. Found in the MINI Cooper this engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission to give you 28 city/32 hwy mpg but it can also use a six-speed automatic transmission and bring in 27 city/31 hwy mpg which gives you a small engine that offers the power you need even if the fuel mileage doesn’t reach forty.
Honda 1.5-liter Turbocharged Four Cylinder – Honda has done this engine up right and it makes its way into a car that has been gaining admiration and winning awards for several months now. The Honda Civic is where this engine makes its home as it’s mated to a CVT and provides 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque while providing you with 31 city/42 hwy mpg. For those Civic lovers who want to enjoy their Civic with a manual transmission, this engine will be offered with one but the numbers for fuel mileage have yet to be released for us to discuss.
Toyota 1.5-liter Four Cylinder – The Toyota Yaris will enjoy this engine powering its wheels in a naturally aspirated way. Although a turbocharger would give a great bump in power the Yaris will have 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque for us to enjoy from this small displacement engine. You do get to have the fuel mileage of 30 city/37 hwy when you purchase a Toyota model with this engine aboard. With the recent move to have Scion models rebadged as Toyota cars we may see this engine show up in more of their small cars than before.