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View Poll Results: Which one would be your pick? 1.0 litre turbo or 1.5 litre NA?
1.0 litre turbo 133 36.84%
1.5 litre NA 228 63.16%
Voters: 361. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th May 2020, 21:07   #1
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Default Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

Ever since the dawn of implementation of the BS 6 norms in India, we have been seeing a very general trend of sub 15 Lakhs cars moving towards small capacity forced induction motors from larger naturally aspirated motors, in the petrol options. So far, we have seen Hyundai Introduce the 1.0 GDI in Verna (1.6 VVT has been discontinued too), VW completely replacing all their engines with the 1.0 TSI motor and Honda thinking on similar lines to bring in a 1.0 litre Turbo motor to replace the sweet 1.5 IVTEC. While I can see the logic of these moves due to the stringent pollution standards, we as enthusiasts might actually be missing out some sweet, naturally aspirated petrol motors. While these small capacity motors are in no way bad, they do have their limitations like weak bottom end and sensitivity of fuel efficiency towards driving style. From an enthusiasts point of view, which one do you think is better? The good old 1.5 naturally aspirated motors or the new gen 1.0 litre turbos? I, personally, am hoping Honda's plan of bringing in a forced induction, small capacity motor to replace the 1.5 IVTEC never materializes!
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Old 30th May 2020, 22:22   #2
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

When we think of the 1.5 NA petrol engine - the heart only comes to the iVTec.

BUT, there were a lot many other lacklustre motors in the 1.5L NA petrol class! And it is not just the 1.0 Turbo engines replacing the 1.5 NA motors. Let us also consider the below cases -
  • Hyundai average 1.5 petrol in the Creta against the 1.4 TGDi.
  • Verna's average 1.5 replaced by the 1.0 TGDi. The engine was the highlight in the Aura and I'm sure it should be nice in the Verna as well.
  • The lacklustre 1.5 K series against the 1.0 Turbojet. (Wish it had happened - but at least we can compare as we've tasted both engines in India).
  • TATA's average petrol motors no one cared about earlier v/s the 120hp Revotron 1.2 Turbo.
  • Mahindra's Stallion series - especially the 1.2 producing 128hp and 230Nm.
  • Renault's boring 1.5 H4K petrol motor against the new 1.3 Turbo 153hp!
  • Skoda/ VW 1.0 TSi replacing the earlier lame 1.6 MPi.

One problem with the 1.5 NA petrol has been the tax slabs. Sure, Honda City was a nice machine to drive - thanks to this engine and the light body weight. But did it help other cars in the lineup, the WR-V or the Jazz for example? No, because the tax slabs make it too expensive - look no further than the Maruti Brezza petrol! And most small cars were restricted to the 1.2 NA petrol.

On the other hand - see the new Hyundai implementation of the 1.0 Turbo. It has gone into cars starting from the i10 Nios/Aura to Venue, all the way to Verna. The 1.0 and 1.2 Turbo petrols solve this tax problem = more fun across the lineup.

Turbo-petrols also have an addictive midrange and fantastic torque! I prefer this over peaky revv-happy motors, though the latter can be fun as well. And see the jump in power figures - 117bhp of the City was quite something a few years back, and now we have both our homegrown TATA and Mahindra smashing that figure with 1.2 Turbos! Hyundai -Kia and Renault/Nissan are near the 150 mark with their 1.4 and 1.3 respectively.

People do complain about the turbo-lag in some of these applications as against the more linear performance of the NA engine - but then, the world totally accepts a turbo-diesel nowadays. So, it is only a matter of time before the technology gets better or people adapt! And then there is the mod potential! As we know, a simple remap can make a world of difference in a turbocharged engine.

Overall - I'm really looking forward to this Turbo era!
And hopefully this is only just the start! Can't wait.

Honda, Toyota, Maruti - the Japanese are hesitant to join this party - and frankly I feel it is going to be their loss after all! Couldn't care much about the Maruti and Toyota 1.5 NA, and the Honda, well, hopefully retains the same character as the old motor - now that it has moved to a DOHC setup focussing on low and midrange grunt. They could have offered the 1.0 Turbo RS and left the choice to the customers instead! Anyways, the only real exception to this sentiment could be the Ford 1.5 dragon which scores against the 1.0 Ecoboost!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 30th May 2020 at 23:17.
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Old 30th May 2020, 22:48   #3
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

Voted 1.5 NA as the 1.0 turbo is a direct injection engine and on closer inspection we get to know what happens to these engines as they age and falter. As new engines these are great but in India cars are a rather long term relationship and as GTO had a thread about how owning cars for a long time would be actually end up being an economic option instead of buying a new car ,here in lies the inherent problems of GDi engines where the fuel is directly injected into the cylinder producing a lot of heat and pressure than normal which leads to accelerated degradation over time ,also adding a turbo to this equation makes it a double whammy if these engines go bad. Please check out Scotty kilmer video on the direct injection engines
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Old 30th May 2020, 23:03   #4
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

The choice between a similarly powered NA engines and turbo engines will mostly come down to a personal preference of an individual.

I prefer the addictive mid-range of a turbo equipped car compared to an 'instantly responding' NA engine. I understand some people say that you have to revv an NA motor etc. etc. not interested. I prefer the mid-range kick of a turbo equipped vehicle.

A personal dilemma which I found myself in a couple of years back was choosing among the 1.2 petrols in the B segment. I wasn't satisfied with any engine, except the K12 to some extent. Drove the 1.5 Diesels, and I was sold. Went ahead with a diesel even with a low running. With the availability of Turbo-equipped petrols, my dilemma(and the dilemma of many others) will be resolved to a large extent.

My above opinion extends to the 1.0 Turbo vs 1.5 NA.

Last edited by AYP : 30th May 2020 at 23:22.
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Old 30th May 2020, 23:17   #5
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I voted for 1.5 NA. But I feel that with most cars transitioning into automatics, the difference is becoming lesser. The autobox mostly takes care of the turbo lag and is intelligent enough to keep the engine in its power band. This is obviously not applicable to the dimwitted AMTs, but any other modern automatic is capable of masking this difference well.

Last edited by padmrajravi : 30th May 2020 at 23:20.
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Old 31st May 2020, 00:13   #6
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I'm a cheapskate- in the interest of easier maintenance, I'll mostly buy a NA engine over the TC petrol.

I don't know how these turbo petrol engines will hold up after 100k km and whether there are enough competent mechanics to handle them.
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Old 31st May 2020, 01:01   #7
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

Voted for the 1.5 NA Engine. Extracting such high power and torque figures from a small displacement Engine means that all the components are always under a lot of stress. Also the complicated design means there are many more things that can go wrong in the long run.
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Old 31st May 2020, 01:36   #8
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

Voted for 1.5 NA - Because I am old school and still believe there is 'no replacement for displacement'.
I will prefer a good NA over an equally good turbo even if it costs more to run.
Also being a sucker for refinement, I believe four cylinder NA engines have an ace up their sleeve which is difficult for turbos to match up to.

Last edited by warrioraks : 31st May 2020 at 01:39.
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Old 31st May 2020, 08:36   #9
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Default re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I say it depends on the car!

- Ford EcoSport: Prefer their lovely 3-cylinder 1.5L n/a petrol over the 1.0 EcoBoost which has turbo-lag, ordinary fuel economy & is rather complex.

- Hyundai: Would pick the 1.0 turbo over the 1.2 n/a.

- Kia & Hyundai: Would choose the 1.4 turbo over the 1.5 n/a seen in the Seltos.

- Honda City: Will reserve judgement before driving their new 1.0 turbo for India, but will say that 1.5L Vtec remains the benchmark among naturally-aspirated high-revving petrols.

- VW: 1.2 TSI over the 1.6 n/a any which day. Can't comment on the new 1.0 turbo until I drive it.

Last edited by GTO : 31st May 2020 at 08:39.
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Old 31st May 2020, 09:28   #10
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Default Re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I will pick based on the power, if a smaller engine can generate the same or more power vs a bigger naturally aspirated engine there is no harm. The whole idea of turbocharger is to help an engine to produce more power hence we can see single and even dual turbochargers in modern cars. But there is a catch here we still loose out on the way engine delivers the power.

For instance Endeavour 3.2 is able to deliver max 143kW @3000 rpm with max torque 470nm @1750-2500 rpm

The new Endeavour/Everest 2.0 with Bi-turbo(not available in India) engine is able to deliver max 157kW @3750 rpm with max torque@1750-2000

If we closely look at the power figures we can see the bi-turbo engine is having more power but at a higher rpm which means the 3.2 will be more relaxed delivering the max power at lower rpm. Same is the case with torque although it is increased but the torque band is reduced.
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Old 31st May 2020, 09:50   #11
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Default Re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I'm lucky to have the iVTEC in it's last original iteration as an SOHC which has been nothing short of legendary, be it refinement, performance, and fuel efficiency. It remains to be seen how the DOHC 1.5 in the New Honda City turns out: eager to know. I've driven the T-Jet/manual: was driving the 1.8 Elantra petrol/manual then, must say I was caught out by the lag on T-Jet and neither did I like the placement of ABC pedals on the FIAT. I've driven the Venue TGDI with the DSG which was much better due to the DSG. I've also briefly driven the Polo 1.2 TSi/DSG which was rather good, but not spacious. I've been driving only automatics for last year or so, I don't think, I'll really like to drive a manual as my mainstream car, especially a turbo petrol. I've voted for the 1.5NA.
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Old 31st May 2020, 10:09   #12
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Default Re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I have driven Vtec Honda city extensively but have voted for turbo petrol because even though you get immense thrills reving the vtec in higher rpm band ,but in day to day driving as we mostly drive the engine in mid range ,it is where the small turbo petrols shine.

So for practicality small turbo petrol.
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Old 31st May 2020, 14:34   #13
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Default Re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I would go with the larger naturally aspirated motor over a downsized turbo motor for 2 simple reasons:

The naturally aspirated motor is easier to drive smoothly even when being driven fast since the power and torque delivery are very predictable curves throughout the rev-range.

Secondly, the larger NA motor will also be a whole lot more simple and easier to maintain

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 1st June 2020 at 10:24. Reason: Corrected as requested. Thanks!
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Old 31st May 2020, 15:11   #14
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Default Re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

Voted for NA engine
I believe in indian market where people still are very much inclined to buy an engine which has less maintainence and is tried and tested . Although the scenario is changing with more and more people going for turbos but still their %age is very less.
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Old 31st May 2020, 15:12   #15
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Default Re: Petrol: Smaller turbo engine vs larger naturally-aspirated one

I never really considered the maintenance part of a small capacity forced induction motor, especially the questions of longevity of a high stress motor.

Another point i realised was from a tuner's perspective. Tuning a NA engine will be a expensive affair since due to lack of turbo, and ECU remap doesn't bring in any significant difference to the performance. Tuning a NA car would probably include a combination of turbocharging the engine, adding performance filters and free flow exhaust system, which are pretty considerable changes and highly expensive too. I heard that a simple stage one remap on a 1.0 tsi could bring the power figures close to 140 HP territory which is incredible. Considering someone having no intention to use the car for over 1 lakh KM, is it good trade off to go for a forced induction motor from a tuner's perspective?

Last edited by Fury : 31st May 2020 at 15:14.
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