Picking your preferred engine option for a new car used to be a relatively straightforward process. In most cases, you'd choose a larger, more powerful engine if you were looking for a little extra "oomph" and willing to trade some fuel efficiency in the process. However, modern vehicles have complicated this process, and many crossovers now offer several options that some buyers may find confusing.
If you're in the market for a new crossover, this guide will help you understand the engine options available to you.
Base Options: Full Gasoline Engines
Most crossovers still come with a base gasoline engine, sometimes with multiple upgrades available. While manufacturers used to provide more power by using motors with more cylinders and more displacement, modern cars often take a more refined approach. In most cases, manufacturers can now gain more output from smaller, more efficient engines by using turbochargers.
For example, many manufacturers now use 3- or 4-cylinder engines for both base and upgraded models. These motors are relatively small by older standards, yet they utilize forced induction to produce power comparable to many past 6-cylinder or larger engines. When considering these options, you'll find familiar MPG (miles-per-gallon) estimates provided by the EPA.
More Efficiency: Traditional Hybrid Models
If you're looking for more fuel efficiency, hybrid engines are another option. These engines behave like standard gasoline engines, although they include one or more additional electric motors/generators to provide extra power and efficiency. Hybrid cars have regenerative braking systems that automatically recharge their high-voltage batteries as you drive.
The goal of a typical hybrid design is to increase your overall fuel efficiency. You don't need to worry about charging these vehicles, and you can treat them as you'd treat any other car you may have owned in the past. If you're looking at your hybrid options, note that you'll see MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent) since the car's efficiency can't be measured purely based on the gasoline engine.
Best of Both Worlds: Plug-in Hybrids
Finally, plug-in hybrids allow you to enjoy the efficiency benefits of an electric vehicle with the range of an internal combustion engine. Unlike traditional hybrids, which can usually only run for a few miles on the electric motor, plug-in hybrids can last longer. Some plug-in hybrid crossovers can go nearly 40 miles on electric power alone.
If you have a short commute or spend a lot of time driving in-town, plug-in hybrids can potentially save you a lot of money on your fuel costs. On the other hand, the benefits might be less apparent if you mostly do long highway driving. By keeping your particular driving style in mind, you should have no trouble finding the perfect engine for your new crossover.
For more information visit a dealership such as one that sells Ford vehicles.