Annually for the last decade, the editors of Ward's Communications have evaluated car, truck and SUV engines to determine its Ward's 10 Best Engines list. For 2004, engines from 32 different cars, trucks and SUVs were considered. Scoring to determine the 10 best was based on power, torque, noise, vibration, harshness, technical relevance and basic comparative numbers. The vehicles powered by the engines had base MSRPs less than $52,500.
According to Ward's, "Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru arm earns its first spot on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list with its high-performance, horizontally opposed 'boxer' four-cylinder, which powers the critically acclaimed Subaru WRX STi. The turbocharged boxer engine delivers one of the highest horsepower-per-liter ratings of any engine available in the U.S., making it unusually powerful in relation to its size – an attribute always appreciated by Ward's 10 Best Engines editor-judges."