4 Advantages of Turbocharged Engines in Small Cars

Turbocharging has made its way from aircrafts and sports cars and under the hoods of more commercially available vehicles than ever. There are many perks to a turbocharged engine regardless of what type of vehicle it powers. 

However, there are unique advantages to a small car powered by a turbocharged engine. Let’s take a look at how a turbocharged engine makes a great small car even greater.  

More Speed and Power

Of course, the most notable perk of a turbocharged engine inside of your small vehicle is the increase in power and speed. Turbo engines have mechanisms that force more air into the engine cylinders for a quicker and more powerful ride. 

Small cars with turbo engines have a greater capacity for horsepower than engines commonly found in smaller vehicles, so they’re able to outperform their competition, especially with vehicles of comparable size, on the road. As an added bonus, though they’re powerful engines, they’re not as noisy when they hit higher power levels than naturally aspirated engines of a similar size.

Takes Up Less Space Under the Hood

Smaller cars have not been historically able to keep up with larger, more powerful vehicles because they simply don’t have the same amount of space to accommodate a larger, more powerful engine. A small vehicle with a turbocharged engine, however, benefits from the extra power relative to the total vehicle size, and can even outdrive many larger vehicles.

This means that a small, economical car that may have previously been left in the dust by their manufacturer’s sister models can keep up with them on the streets without requiring huge design adjustments to its size in order to fit a larger, and subsequently more powerful, engine inside. 

Improves Fuel Efficiency

Smaller cars are already generally more fuel efficient, but a turbo engine can increase this perk. A turbocharged engine utilises the extra power by harnessing the expelled air to spin the compressor and take in more air. Because this has an impact on the amount of waste produced by the engine, the car is able to use fuel a lot more efficiently.

Additionally, turbocharged engines are a lot less heavy than other engines of the same size because they have fewer cylinders, and a lighter vehicle is a more efficient one. In fact, turbocharged engines can get up to 20 % more fuel economy than cars with a greater number of cylinders relative to their size. 

Turbocharged engines use less fuel while in motion on the road and when idle, so the fuel economy improves under most normal driving conditions. However, aggressive driving, even in a small, turbocharged car, negates these benefits. Of course, it’s important to be mindful of your driving habits for both safety and fuel economy reasons. 

Reduces Emissions

Those who want a smaller ride for the environmental impact will be pleased to know that there are additional eco-friendly advantages of smaller cars that are powered by turbocharged engines. These engines recycle energy that is otherwise wasted in the alternative engine systems found in other vehicles. As well, a turbo engine increases the combustion efficiency so that a larger amount of waste is converted to carbon dioxide or water as opposed to harmful greenhouse gases. The fewer toxic emissions released by your vehicle, the better for the planet. 


Overall, if you’d like the smaller footprint of a more modest vehicle without sacrificing power, efficiency, and speed, a small car with a turbocharged engine is ideal. A small, turbocharged car is a great option for those who want to speed through winding roads, accelerate with ease, and park their car in a wider variety of spaces than bulkier vehicles with the same amount of horsepower. 

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