TFL Top List: Engines that are ready for retirement, Part 1: Import Engines [Op/Ed]

Lexus LX 570

The combustion engine has obviously had quite a bit of time to evolve. In today’s market, there are a number of features that we as consumers have come to expect from a modern engine. However, there are still quite a few cars being sold today that have engines which are about due for an update. If you are considering buying a new car, it may be smart to check and see how recent the engine is. We at TFL love to give out helpful consumer advice, so here is part one of our list containing the engines most in need of replacement.

What exactly do we mean by “in need of replacement”? There are a number of factors that contributed to the engines being on this list. Most notable is age. With old engines, you potentially lose out on a lot of benefits provided by modern engine technology. Ultimately, this leads to lower fuel economy and therefore increased operating cost over the life of the engine.

Not to say that all old engines are bad, in many cases they are some of the most reliable options available. However, if you are looking to be more environmentally friendly, a newer engine is the way to go. My point is proved by the fact that Volvo’s 2.0L ‘twin-charged’ (turbocharged and supercharged) four cylinder makes as much power as many of these engines which are much bigger in displacement and cylinder count.

I should mention that this list is in no particular order, and I’m absolutely sure there are engines I may be missing on this list. So, in the name of sound consumer advice, if you know of any old engines not mentioned in this list, be sure to drop a comment below! Now onto part 1 of the list, which features outdated import engines.

5. Subaru EJ25 H4


This engine is by far the oldest one I have found. With its first commercial appearance in 1996, this engine has been the workhorse of Subaru’s lineup for about 20 years. This engine is a 2.5L flat-four that has provided power, most notably, to the WRX and STi for some time now. This engine makes 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, which is more than double the power it originally made. The WRX finally dropped this engine in favor of the new 2.0L flat four. However, the STi still uses an engine which came out the year I was born. This engine is of course extremely reliable, but it falls behind modern engines because it uses port injection. 

4. Nissan VQ37VHR V6


Next up is an engine that is not nearly as old as that Subaru boxer. Having been in service since 2008, this engine has still been around for some time. As you may have gathered from the engine name, this is a 3.7L V6 that makes 355 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Most notably it comes in the Nissan 370Z and the Infiniti G37. Technologically, it isn’t that outdated, but an engine from 2008 is just not going to be as efficient as an engine today. 

3. Toyota 3UR-FE V8


This engine has also been around for quite some time. First introduced in 2007, this 5.7L V8 has evolved to make 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. This engine is dated mostly by its use of port injection, where direct injection would be preferable for a modern engine. Vehicles that still use this engine include the Toyota Tundra, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser, as well as the Lexus LX 570.

2. Nissan VR38DETT Twin Turbo V6


Here is an interesting motor. Originally released in 2007, this 3.8L V6 was actually quite modern for its time. Using the power of forced induction, via two turbochargers, this engine has been tweaked by Nissan to make 542 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. However, it is now quite old and seen by some as the biggest limiting factor for the Nissan GT-R.

1. Toyota 1GR-FE V6


Last up on our list is a 4.0L V6 from Toyota. With production starting in 2009, this motor makes 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. This engine has been in consistent use from the Toyota 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, and Tundra. Again this is a case of an engine that still uses port injection when we know that direct injection is a much better method of delivering fuel. 

Be sure to come back next week where I will discuss domestic engines that are getting to be long in the tooth!

While you wait, why not listen to two of the best sounding engines available on the market? We had the chance to pin the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport against our very own long-term 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Watch the video below to see what we make of these two V8 beasts: