Direction fuel injection is the way, and seven of the 10 best engines recognized by Ward's are equipped with it.
Direct injection was first utilized in turbodiesel engines over a decade ago. Recent years, though, saw high-pressure gasoline direct injection technology make inroads from luxury cars to entry-level compact cars and full-size pickup trucks.
According to Ward's, direct injection, whether deployed in diesel or gasoline engines, "has been proven to reduce fuel consumption and improve low-end torque, which makes for quicker acceleration."
"With so many engines featuring gasoline direct-injection and forced induction, we're pleased to have a list that is rich in technology," said Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward's Auto World magazine. "Plus, every engine reinforces the idea that even fuel-efficient vehicles must be fun to drive."
Ward's 10 best engines for 2011 are:
* 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)
* 2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW Z4/528i)
* 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i coupe)
* 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Chrysler 300S/Jeep Wrangler)
* 2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Edge)
* 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
* 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Buick Regal GS)
* 1.6L DOHC I-4 (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
* 2.0L Skyactiv DOHC I-4 (Mazda3)
* 3.5L DOHC V-6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)
Of the 10 engines, the only ones using conventional multi-port injection instead of the modern direction injection technology are the Infiniti hybrid, the Chrysler Pentastar and the Ford V8.