Feb06

Consumer Reports has taken aim at at small-displacement, forced-induction engines, saying the powerplants don’t manage to deliver on automaker fuel economy claims. Manufacturers have long held that smaller, turbocharged engines pack all power of their larger displacement cousins with significantly better fuel economy, but the research organization says that despite scoring high EPA economy numbers, the engines are no better than conventional drivetrains in both categories. Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, says the forced induction options “are often slower and less fuel efficient than larger four and six-cylinder engines.”

Specifically, CR calls out the new Ford Fusion equipped with the automaker’s Ecoboost 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine. The institute’s researchers found the engine, which is a US$795 option over the base 2.5-litre four-cylinder, fails to match competitors in acceleration and served up 25 miles per gallon (9.4 L/100 km) in testing, putting the sedan dead last among other midsize options.

The Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Sonata Turbo and Ford Escape 2.0T all got dinged for the same troubles, though Consumer Reports has found the turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the BMW 328i does deliver on its promises.

BMW’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged four gets 28 mpg in the new 328i Sedan and delivered improved mileage in the 2012 X3 SUV by one mpg, with essentially identical power and acceleration. Volkswagens using that company’s 2.0-liter turbo also return impressive mileage, though CR hasn’t tested any model variations with other engines that are directly comparable.

Source text: Autoblog, Consumer Reports

Share