Turbocharging, hybridization and supercharging have become a new standard for the modern-day car industry. Forced induction has made newer engines smaller, lighter, and more importantly less harmful to the environment and your bank account.
The best-turbocharged hatchback title is contested between the new VW Golf 8 GTI and the Hyundai Veloster N. Both of these are competitively priced, are fairly new, fun to drive, and also offer superior reliability.
The best turbo sedan title is contested between the lovely Volvo S60 and the newly released BMW 3-series. The Volvo offers a more mature experience, and the BMW 3-series has always been one of the best sedans money can buy.
If you are in the market for a great turbocharged SUV, the Porsche Macan is a great compact SUV option, and the Audi Q8 is one of the most desirable larger turbocharged SUVs on the market. There are plenty of amazing options, but these two are surely class-leading.
Best turbocharged hatchbacks
The hatchback platform has come a long way in recent years, especially when it comes to technology, luxury, and comfort. Powerwise many newer hatchbacks can be bought with more than 400hp on your disposal, which is plenty enough for almost every car enthusiast.
And the newly released VW Golf 8 GTI exactly that. This German hatchback legend retails for $28k, and it offers a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 cylinder with 228hp and 258 lb-ft. Packed with a modern-looking exterior and interior, the GTI is well set up to look fresh in the upcoming years.
And the Hyundai Veloster N costs $33k, but the N30 offers 275hp and 260 lb-ft. It also comes equipped with an exciting automatic transmission, and a nicely done interior and exterior. The reliability of the Veloster is also fairly dependant, and so is the interior and cargo space.
If you opt either for the Golf or the Hyundai, you are not going to make a mistake. It does seem like the Golf might be a better option due to a more affordable price, and the ability to choose between a manual and an automatic.
Best turbocharged sedans
Sedans have always been some of the best all-around cars money can buy, especially the more compact sized sedans like the BMW 3-series. The 3-series has become fairly large, but still not as large as some mid-sized sedans like the Audi A6, BMW 5-series, or the Mercedes Benz E-Class.
The 3-series retails for about $42k, but it does offer most of the technology found in its bigger brother, the 5-series. The 3-series is a sporty sedan with a large variety of engine and trim options, and pretty much every engine on offer is reliable and fairly fuel-efficient.
The Volvo S60 costs a few grand less compared to the 3-series, but it doesn’t seem like the stylish Swede offers any less luxury and comfort. If you pair that with punchy engines and a maximum safety star rating, the S60 seems like a great option.
The Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class are also great options, but these two do not offer such levels of both comfort and sport as the 3-series does. No matter the case, a compact sedan is plenty spacious for most people, and the larger mid and full-size sedans seem a bit too expensive considering the useable features on offer.
Best turbocharged SUVs
SUVs are slowly becoming the most popular cars on the market, and the SUV market is rapidly becoming infested with a bunch of new SUV brands and models. Car manufacturers who have sworn to only develop sports cars have also recently joined the SUV market due to the market being so popular.
Some brands like Ford are even considering completely abandoning the sedan market altogether because the sales are not as convincing compared to SUVs. Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and many others brands have recently revealed an almost quadruple the amount of newer SUVs compared to newer sedan models.
And in such a competitive market, the Porsche Macan seems to stand out due to its premium badge, amazing build quality, and Porsche reliability. The $53k price tag is indeed steep, but a $50k brand new Porsche was not a genuine possibility a few years ago.
The Audi Q8 is a definitive SUV of the late 2010s and early 2020s. The BMW X6 was the pioneer of this segment, and later Mercedes followed with the GLE Coupe, but neither of these two are as popular as the Q8. If you pair that with amazing technology and engines, $70k might not seem so unreasonable after all.
Is a turbocharged engine more affordable to own?
A turbocharged engine needs less fuel, but it does need more maintenance. A turbocharged engine is also usually less expensive to insure compared to a similarly punchy naturally aspirated engine, but it does use more oil.
At the end of the day, almost all newer cars are indeed turbocharged. This means that the entire industry is slowly embracing forced induction, which means that the levels of development and general sophistication of production are pushing the industry forwards, and it also cuts the price down in the process.
Are turbocharged cars faster?
Turbochargers are not designed for acceleration and top-speed improvements primarily, but the effects surely do point in that direction. A 2.0L Mercedes turbo 4-cylinder offers upwards of 400hp, and some 5.0L naturally aspirated V8s from a few years ago offer comparable power.
But the Mercedes turbo-4 is a lot lighter, smaller and it also offers better fuel efficiency. So yeah, turbocharged cars are indeed faster compared to a naturally aspirated engine. The peak power a turbo engine can make spans in thousands of horsepower, and the newly released 830hp Ferrari 812 C is the most powerful N/A car on the planet.
Are turbocharged engines more reliable?
In the earlier days of turbocharging, the reliability suffered. But after a few decade’s worths of development, it seems like some mainstream manufacturers indeed offer reliable turbo engines. No matter the case, a naturally aspirated engine is probably going to be more reliable due to a simpler construction.
But the marginal increase in reliability does not outweigh all the other benefits a turbo engine offers. And that is why a turbocharged engine is slowly becoming the default engine of the 2020s. And before electric and hybrid cars start taking over, the turbocharger is king.