Motorists no longer have to feel like they are settling for cars with fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines. Four-cylinder engines powered 64.5 percent of all new vehicles built in North America during 2010. By contrast, only 20.8 percent of cars and light-duty trucks were fitted with V8 engines last year.
Four-cylinder powered models are expected to account for 46 percent of Chevrolet’s domestic fleet this year, which is up from 23 percent in 2007. Ford Motor Co. says the 4-cylinder version of its midsize Ford Fusion sedan (which otherwise offers a V6) now accounts for more than 70 percent of its sales.
“Advances in engine design and technology have made 4-cylinder engines vastly more refined, and power output has increased to where V6 engines were just a few years ago,” says Bill Visnic, analyst and senior editor for Edmunds AutoObserver.com.
– Jim Gorzelany, CTW Features