Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2015 Ford Escape - Why turbos?

Why have car manufactures gone to turbos? The cost and problems do not seem worth it in the long run. The 2.5 vs 1.5 engine in Ford Escapes is my specific question.

Primarily to meet CAFE mileage goals.


Because that 1.5 liter turbo charged engine gets the mpg’s of a 1.5 but powers the car like a 2.5 liter engine. More fuel efficient, more powerful. I’ve owned 3 turbo 4’s and all have had few problems.

1 Like

Free horsepower.


That’s your opinion, but the manufacturers don’t share that opinion.

A couple reasons;

  1. On paper MPG (what matters for CAFE numbers) is better with similar or even better performance
  2. Some countries tax vehicles by displacement. A 1.5L model will sell better in those countries
  3. Some countries tax vehicles by emissions. A smaller turbo engine generally produces less C02 than a larger N/A one.
  4. With modern twin-scroll turbos, low end torque is generous and the torque curve is flat, making the vehicle more pleasant to drive vs a somewhat larger N/A engine.
  5. Modern turbo engines are reliable. It’s not the 80’s anymore.

That’s because the automakers only have to make them last 36000 miles before it is out of their hands unless you are buying korean . there was just another post of an Escape with both gone at 75000 miles . Would not want to pay that bill. Yes we do not know the maintenance on said vehicle .

1 Like

The vast majority of turbocharger failures are caused by not changing the oil often enough, running the oil level low, or in the most severe cases; whaling the daylights out of it until it’s fried.

I’ve changed a fair number out even under warranty and coked (meaning burnt…) motor oil was always the cause of the turbocharger failure. That of course is caused by the above scenarios.

As mentioned, free horsepower. Ford’s 1.3 L engine on display at a car show here put out 123 Horsepower with a turbocharger about the size of my fist. Pretty impressive I would say to squeeze that much power out of an engine the size of a dressed turkey…

1 Like

Let me be a contrarian. The smaller turbo motors get better fuel economy on the EPA cycle, but people don’t drive like the EPA cycle. I know when Car and Driver tested Ford F150s with the turbo V6 against the 5,o non turbo V8, the turbo 6 had more power but slightly LESS fuel economy in real world driving.

I suspect the larger engine is going to last longer, not be as hard on the oil and one repair you are not going to have to make is replacing the turbo.


Im a fan of the turbo… they used to cost us an arm and a leg to get one in a new vehicle. Now we can buy cars and the word “Turbo” is not plastered all over the fenders somewhere…no Turbo badges at all… Turbo charging used to be a big big deal and car makers were proud to announce the existence of said Air pump. Rightfully so I say.

Personally i wouldn’t worry about Turbo longevity…if it was me in the ownership scenario…

However… turning a turbo loose in the hands of people who never change their oil? Oil? What oil? Those who cant understand why synthetic oil is used for Turbo’s and why? No Sireee… i wish the masses very good luck. Go ahead and abuse that oil change regime and go ahead and substitute the cheaper oil instead of the synthetic.

I will see and benefit from your car in the salvage yard soon enough…


Car manufacturers don’t care about how the average driver uses their car and what actual MPG is. What they do care about are the EPA ratings which is their report card as far as Federal regulations are concerned.


So my 1992 Ford F-150 with a 302 V-8 and manual transmission will not last forever? Are there any 4 cylinder turbos from 1992?

1 Like

Why are you putting all this personal info on an open web forum ?
@cdaquila Edit time again ?

And what does any 1992 vehicle have anything you might be looking at now ? If you don’t want a Turbo then just don’t buy a vehicle that has one.

Sure they do. Manufacturers sell SUVs because that’s what the average buyer wants. Manufacturers also have to meet federal, state and local rules.

1 Like

There are plenty of pre-92 Turbos running around. Turbochargers are perfectly reliable as long as the oil is changed regularly, oil level kept up, and the driver is not ecstatic over being in the boost constantly. I am guilty of the latter I admit.

My last SAAB (a German diplomatic car sent to the U.S.) had over 200k miles on the original turbo with no issues.

1 Like

A have a Turbo Hyundai Veloster with DI engine. Technically would not be very reliable on paper.

I am OCD with the oil change, synthetic every 3.5 K miles and at 52K miles still runs fine, no oil burning. No turbo issues either. I am sure it won’t last as long as a Camry, but then that is true with any new technology. It will take time to perfect it.

The first turbo cars were offered for salemin the early 60s. I think they’ve perfected it

92 Mazda 626 GT.

Went to the junk yard with 230,000 miles with original turbo.

And it didn’t go there because of the turbo.


The 626 GT plum fell out of my memory banks till @Tester just reminded me about it.

Wow… totally forgot about the GT

The worst turbo failure I’ve ever seen was on a Subaru which was a new car that was ferried from San Antonio, TX to OK City, OK. That’s about 475 miles with a number of metro areas to go through. I’ve driven it a number of time and it takes around 8 hours with few stops.

The Subaru of America employee who ferried the car was in a hurry to head to the airport and get out of town. I found out a few hours later when the car would barely wheeze to life. A shade over 500 miles on a brand new car and the turbocharger was absolutely barbecued. Even the paint on the hood was discolored from heat…

He made the trip in under 6 hours so he must have been in full boost mode the entire trip.