Volkswagen Golf (U.S. vs U.K.)
Golf S (U.S.) 1.8t 170hp ($19,895)
Golf S (U.K.) 1.0t 83hp ($23,743)
The 1-liter turbocharged three-cylinder sold in Europe has 129lb-ft torque at low revs. It has diesel like torque which should help it feel flexible around town and on the highway. This engine only comes with a five-speed manual gearbox which is the proper way to go with this engine. We find it quite interesting that despite it being more expensive than the U.S. version, this engine has really low running costs and still seems decently kitted.
BMW 3-series Sedan (U.S. vs U.K.)
320i (U.S.) 2.0t 180hp ($33,450)
318i (U.K.) 1.5t 136hp ($33,124)
The 318i sedan uses the same engine from the Cooper trim that’s sold here. It’s a 1.5 turbo three-cylinder which is great in the Mini Cooper Hardtop 5-door. It’s an interesting option for the entry-level 3-series considering that it’s a larger vehicle, but the rear-wheel-drive platform should make it more fun to drive.
Mercedes CLA (US vs UK)
CLA 250 (US) 2.0t 208hp ($32,700)
CLA 180 (UK) 1.6t 122hp ($32,577)
We do complain about how Europe gets better product than us, but with an engine like this and a price tag as steep as ours. We should be happy this CLA 180 stayed in Europe, however with stricter emissions standards coming. We too could be seeing less is more aspect of new engines. The turbo really does give low-end torque so it shouldn’t feel too weak but a 86hp drop won’t go unnoticed.
L (US) 1.5-liter 106hp ($16,375)
Active (UK) 1-liter 69hp ($16,079)
The Yaris sold here gets 37hp for $296 more than the UK version which has only 69hp. The standard 5-speed manual gearbox should help make it feel peppy around town. Running costs on the Euro version should be way lower than the US version in theory, but if we had this engine here. You’ll have to really thrash it to keep up with traffic and that means that you won’t be driving it as economically as it should be driven.
25t (US) 2.0t 247hp ($35,725)
20d (UK) 2.0d (diesel) 163hp ($36,412)
Jaguar already offers a fantastic diesel engine here for about $2-3k more than the 2-liter turbo. The diesel engine we get is also a 2-liter but pumps out 180hp instead of the more efficient 163hp found in this example here and it also is the base engine for those in the UK. We loved the 2-liter diesel engine that was offered in the Passat here because it had such high torque at low revs and never felt underpowered. The XE here may not be to everyone’s taste considering that it’s near $40k with only 163hp but with such a premium feeling interior and the looks of a Jaguar. It’s basically a win – win when you think about it.
Honda Civic Hatch
LX (US) 1.5T 174hp ($19,700)
SE (UK) 1.0T 127hp ($24,021)
The trend we are starting to notice here is that turbocharged three-cylinders are starting to make a comeback in Europe. The 1-liter turbo three cylinder offered in UK could serve as a great engine option in the Honda Fit to rival the Ford Fiesta Ecoboost three-cylinder engine. Also, it would be quite an interesting option against the Focus here as well. We know that the 2-liter is plenty efficient, but if Honda ever did decide to bring the Civic Hybrid back. This engine coupled with an electric motor would be a great start.