vw tdiLong before the International Engine of the Year awards came to prominance, I remember one engine honouring award – Ward’s 10 Best Engines. This US based annual award is organised by Ward’s Automotive Group, a provider of auto industry news, data and analysis.

Back in the 1990s, Nissan’s VQ V6 engine was a serial favourite – in fact various incarnations of the VQ powerplant has been on Ward’s list since its inception in 1994, but its 14-year run ended in 2008.

In the 2010 list are two diesels (BMW’s M57 twin-turbo and Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre TDI), proof that American’s are warming up to the black stuff Europeans are in love with. The Toyota Prius’s 1.8-litre Hybrid Synergy Drive and Ford’s hybrid powerplant from the US-market Escape are also included. The VW Group was further represented by two TFSI engines (2.0-litre and 3.0-litre), as used in the Audi A4 and S4. Hyundai’s big 4.6-litre V8 was also honoured.

Six editors from Ward’s tested 34 vehicles from 13 makers, scoring each engine on horsepower, torque, refinement, technical relevance and comparative data. To be eligible, engines must be available in a regular-production US spec model priced no more than $54,000, a price cap indexed to the average cost of a new vehicle.

See the full list of winners after the jump!

This year’s winning engines and the cars they power:

2.0L TFSI Turbocharged DOHC inline-4 (Audi A4)
3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V6 (Audi S4)
3.0L DOHC inline-6 Turbodiesel (BMW 335d)
2.5L DOHC inline-4 Hybrid (Ford Fusion Hybrid)
3.5L EcoBoost Turbocharged DOHC V6 (Ford Taurus SHO)
2.4L Ecotec DOHC inline-4 (Chevrolet Equinox)
4.6L Tau DOHC V8 (Hyundai Genesis)
2.5L Turbocharged DOHC flat-4 (Subaru Legacy 2.5GT)
1.8L DOHC inline-4 Hybrid (Toyota Prius)
2.0L SOHC inline-4 Turbodiesel (Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI)