What do car engine names mean?

Browsing through new car information often seems a needlessly complicated task. Manufacturers love giving their cars and trim levels fancy names, which can make the whole car-buying process bewildering rather than enjoyable.

To compound the issue, many firms like to signify their engine ranges with confusing acronyms.

We at carwow understand that to most buyers, a simple “petrol” or “diesel” would suffice (Mercedes may have just figured this out too – they aim to make things simpler by revamping their naming system in 2016). So for those who struggle to tell their EcoBoost from their dCi, we’ve created a handy guide which makes things far more straightforward.

Below is a list of every volume manufacturer selling cars in the UK today, and a quick explanation of how each company names its engines. It should be noted that some manufacturers do not always give a specific name for their petrol engines. Any manufacturers who do so are noted with No Designation (N/D).

Alfa Romeo

Petrol: TB, TwinAir, MultiAir
Diesel: JTDm, JTDM

Audi

Petrol: TFSI, FSI
Diesel: TDI

BMW

Petrol: i
Diesel: d
Hybrid: ActiveHybrid
Electric: EV

Citroen

Petrol: i
Diesel: Hdi
Hybrid: HYbrid4
“e-” prefix signifies a model with stop/start

Fiat

Petrol: TwinAir, MultiAir
Diesel: MultiJet

Ford

Petrol: (N/D), EcoBoost
Diesel: TDCi

Honda

Petrol: i-VTEC
Diesel: i-DTEC
Hybrid: IMA Hybrid

Hyundai

Petrol: (N/D)
Diesel: CRDi

Jaguar

Petrol: (N/D)
Diesel: D

Kia

Petrol: (N/D), GDi
Diesel: CRDi

Lexus

Petrol: (N/D)
Hybrid: h

Mazda

Petrol: i
Diesel: d, D

Mercedes

Petrol: (N/D)
Diesel: CDI, Bluetec
Hybrid: Hybrid, Bluetec Hybrid

Mini

Petrol: (N/D), T
Diesel: D

Mitsubishi

Petrol: (N/D), MIVEC
Diesel: DiD, Di-DC
Hybrid: PHEV

Nissan

Petrol: (N/D)
Diesel: dCi
The electric-only Leaf has no designation.

Peugeot

Petrol: (N/D), VTi, THP
Diesel: HDi
Hybrid: HYbrid4
“e-” prefix signifies a model with stop/start

Renault

Petrol: (N/D) TCe, VVt,
Diesel: dCi
Electric: EV
The electric-only Zoe has no designation.

SEAT

Petrol: (N/D), TSI
Diesel: TDI

Skoda

Petrol: (N/D), TSI
Diesel: TDI

Toyota

Petrol: VVT-i
Diesel: D-4D
Hybrid: Hybrid, Plug-In

Vauxhall

Petrol: (N/D), i, VVT, T
Diesel: CDTi

Volkswagen

Petrol: (N/D), TSI
Diesel: TDI, Bluemotion, BlueTech
Hybrid: Hybrid

Volvo

Petrol: T2, T3, T4, T6, T8
Diesel: D2, D3, D4, D5

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