New turbocharged engines built to last?

Could use some advice please.
I am considering the purchase of a new 2016 Honda Civic CVT. Some of the features I want come standard with the turbo engine trim levels. Honda is known for making a very reliable engine and my hope is to keep the car for 10+ years. My job involves being stationed for several months out of the year in cities throughout the U.S. which involves all manner of driving conditions. Actually, I avoid heavy snow locations in the winter months. I’ve been reading that more and more cars will be running with these gasoline turbo engines in years to come. Even with proper maintenance am I setting myself up for much higher and more likely repair and maintenance costs? Is my eventual resale going to be worth significantly less because it’s a turbo? Even if I decide to sell it in 5-7 years?

Here’s a description I found of the two available CVT engines.
2016 Civic Sedan is a 1.5-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 16-valve inline-4, mated to a CVT – the first turbo’d engine on a U.S. Honda model. It will be available in EX-T, EX-L trims and Touring trims. According to Honda exec Sage Marie, this unit will produce around “30hp” more than the current 1.8L unit, which puts it to 173hp.

The other engine is a 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder for the base LX, which Marie said will be the most powerful base engine ever offered on Civic producing 15hp more at 158hp. Buyers will be able to choose between a 6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

New turbocharged engines built to last?

No, But Naturally Aspirated Engines Are. The Turbo Engines Are Made To Wring Out A Few Extra HP, Without Sacrificing Good MPG. Also, It Adds More Parts, Some Of Them Moving At High Speeds.

You can get more out of a horse by constantly kicking it in the ribs, but it comes with a price…

The real answer is that no one knows. I would suspect that Honda would not risk reducing reliability to levels more associated with Chrysler products. They probably tested the engines well before releasing them to the public. Honda and every other manufacturer are doing whatever they can to achieve higher fleet mileage that meets federal CAFE requirements. There is always a risk with new mechanical systems that something might be less than robust at first, and that is the chance you take by being an early adopter. I suspect that the risk is low given that Honda is the car company in question.

There are a lot of turbocharged cars on the market today. If you want a new car with a turbo that has been around for a while, consider a small Subaru. Chevrolet has used a turbo in their cars for a few years too. Honda is unlikely to put an untested turbocharger into a car and run the risk of ruining their reputation for reliability. As long as you follow the maintenance requirements that Honda provides, you should be fine. If you are extremely risk averse, I suggest that you get something else, like a Corolla, that doesn’t use a turbocharger.

All makers are shifting to turbos. My problem is they often don’t give the mpgs reported in the EPA tests (Ford’s ‘Ecoboost’ in particular). So no real mpg benefit, and more mechanical complexity. I’ll be looking at Mazdas next time.

My own feeling is that turbos should be a lot more reliable and have a lot better longevity than they used to. Like everything else with automotive design, once companies like Honda start incorporating them into their big sellers, the design has been pretty well wrung out and debugged… as a part of the overall engine design. While I prefer natural aspiration, if I were buying a new Honda a turbo would not be a major factor in my decision.

Funny how the old adage about “Your name will precede you” holds true. Because its Honda, everyone’s response is, “Well, surely they’ve done plenty of testing, worked out the bugs, etc”. If it were GM, Ford, Chrysler, everyone would be saying, “run for the hills, they’re going to use you for the guinea pig, etc”. Heh heh. Warren Buffet said, “It takes 10 years to build a reputation and 10 minutes to destroy it.” Hopefully Honda has taken this into account when they introduced their turbo.

That being said, count my vote for not being an early adopter of new technology. I’d be wary of the CVT transmission as well, but that’s just me.

I think that there is little risk with one of Honda’s turbocharged engines as long as the owner is careful to…
…use ONLY the grade and viscosity of oil that is specified by the mfr. (This is likely to be a pricey synthetic)

…adhere strictly to the mfr’s maintenance schedule, in terms of both odometer mileage and elapsed time

…not utilize the turbo’s boost on a constant basis.

@Red_Rover The CVT (continuously variable transmission) has nothing to do with the engine or its durability. It would be THE weak point on the car, and I would not recommend buying one if you intend to keep it long.

If a turbo car is driven sensibly and well maintained you should get 200,000 or more trouble-free miles out of the engine. But I would only buy a reliable make to start with. Not a VW turbo for example.

Do you really think the synthetic is that much more expensive then a quality mineral oil now?Good quality synthetics are available now at a reasonable price,the Turbos would would have an edge at the higher elevation living areas,but as for me,I would prefer the larger displacement NA engine,turbocharging really helps a diesel engine(seems to clean up the exhaust too,to a certain degree,though the NOX may be higher.Honda usually produces a good product.

Sure, a brand new turbo Honda will run fine. It’s new. Let’s see how it runs in 10 yrs. ask ford how their eco boost trucks will run at 10 yrs.

“You can get more out of a horse by constantly kicking it in the ribs, but it comes with a price…”

I love that. I also know that most turbo owners tend to abuse their vehicles so that adds to their quick demise. I won’t own one because they are not very reliable. Things may change but…I highly doubt it.

I suspect they will be just fine, but nobody can say for sure about a particular engine. But it’s not as if turbos are a new technology. They’ve been around for eons in some applications, and the turbos themselves seem to be quite reliable now. The engines are not all that different and most of the time the turbo is doing nothing much. If the engines wear out sooner if will probably have less to do with them turbocharged than with them being small for the vehicles they’re used in, so they spend more time working hard, I most cases with the assistance of the turbo. I suspect good, reliable engines will still be reliable. The smaller Honda fours have been no trouble at all in the Fit and will probably be similarly good with a turbo in a Civic.

All that said, if you can only get the options you want with the turbo, I wouldn’t be too concerned about buying one, but be sure you can live with how the car drives. Modern turbo engines are designed to be unobtrusive, but it is still a very different engine and won’t feel the same (or sound the same). If you often drive at high elevations, the turbo may be an excellent choice as they lose less power at elevation than do conventionally aspirated engines. There are plenty of Subaru turbos in the high elevation parts of the West.

The turbos in the Ford Ecoboost V6’s have held up well thus far. A lot of naysayers were harping on about an impending turbocharger holocaust when Ford announced that they were going to start putting twin turbo V6’s in their most popular vehicle. It’s been 5 years now and thus far the Ecoboost isn’t any worse than the other engine options Ford offers in terms of reliability.

Think about all the pickup trucks out there with turbos. How many PowerStroke, Cummins, and DuraMax engines are out there? You don’t see those blowing up by the millions.

I worked with a guy for a few years that was into turbos. He was always staying at the shop after hours working on his car. Tuning his wastegate, beefing up his intercooler, polishing his intake tract, rebuilding the turbo, scraping melted piston from the cylinder wall, etc. But that was for constant wide-open operation.

Driving a turbo as you would a regular car these days should provide you with trouble-free service as long as it’s properly maintained.

I have a problem with expensive and heavy features that I won’t use, such as turbos. But we are stuck with them, as we are with poor visibility and weird headlights. And low profile tires.

All you can do is find a make/model that minimizes those features and buy that one.

The 1.5 turbo engine will develop 30 more HP than the 1.8 NA engine. That is not much of a horsepower boost when compared to what turbos are usually asked to do, which is to boost HP by 50% or more.

This sounds like a pretty conservative increase and probably tuned more for economy than HP. That should have much less adverse affect on the engines longevity. Its still kicking the horse in the ribs, but just not kicking it as hard.

When I read the original post I suspected a slight of hand spam to call attention to the Honda Turbo . I may be wrong but if it was-mission accomplished.

The 2.0 non-turbo with a manual xmission would be the best choice, reliability and maintenance wise. It’s hard to predict though what the extra cost would be over the course of 5-6 years compared to the turbo w/a CVT. Have you checked what Consumer Reports says about expected repair and maintenance costs and predicted reliability?

The most critical contributors to engine and turbo life will be the oil change regimen and how often the foot puts the engine under boost.

The pull of a turbocharger can be a bit addictive to some so the foot has a tendency to become heavier.

There is some truth to common sense answer’s humorous comment about kicking a horse in the ribs…