The engine size of a vehicle is one of the most important aspects of a car, as it impacts two driving variables that many consumers care about – performance and fuel efficiency.
A general rule of thumb is that smaller engines typically have lower horsepower and torque while boasting higher fuel efficiency, while larger engines typically have more horsepower and torque, but consume a lot of gasoline to generate that power.
Many drivers understandably don't want to sacrifice performance for fuel savings, and modern automobile technology means they don't always have to. Smaller engines often mean a vehicle that handles better and has less parts to service, resulting in lower lifetime maintenance costs, according to J.D. Power. Turbochargers or superchargers, when added to a smaller engine, can significantly increase a compact car's performance while maintaining high fuel efficiency.
Drivers that are averse to compact cars may want to look into vehicles with diesel engines. Modern-day diesel engines are clean-burning and provide reasonable fuel economy and plenty of horsepower and torque.