Nissan LEAF named on Ten Best Engines list

Ward's Ten Best

First ever electric motor named to ten best list

While the Nissan LEAF has no engine, it still nabbed a spot on the Ward’s Automotive Ten Best Engine’s list for 2011.

It is likely that you have never heard of Ward’s Automotive Group before now. Many haven’t. In their own words “Ward’s has covered the auto industry for more than 80 years”. In a rough comparison, Ward’s is to the engineering side of the industry as J.D. Power is to the consumer side of the industry. Very well respected, but they aren’t widely known to most non-engineering types.

Each year, for the past 17, Ward’s has published a list of the 10 best engines, with a few limitations thrown in. For instance, for the 2010 list, powertrains needed to be new or improved, and in vehicles with a sticker price of no more than $54,000. Don’t want any 16 cylinder Bugatti powerplants to ruin it for the rest of us.

So what makes for a 10 Best powerplant?

“We have something for everybody on this year’s Ward’s 10 Best Engines list,” says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward’s AutoWorld magazine. “It’s the most diverse mix we’ve ever had, as well as the most technologically advanced.”

“The one thing they have in common is they all are stand-out performers in their own way and sell the value proposition of the vehicles they power,” Winter says.

Here is just a little of what Ward’s had to say about the LEAF powerplant:

“What’s remarkable about the LEAF is how much it feels like a conventional car…”
“Range anxiety is a hurdle…but an electrical socket – ubiquitous in the developed world – is all that is needed…”
“As a propulsion system, it truly deserves recognition.”

As a side note – the Nissan VQ series V6 engine – found in current Nissan and Infiniti products as diverse as the Nissan 370Z, Quest minivan, and Infiniti M37 – was one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 14 years straight, due to continued improvements in power, efficiency and refinement. No other manufacturer could make that claim.

For more about the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list, click on the link below.


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