With gas prices on the rise and much stricter emission regulations coming in the near future, more and more automakers are turning to four-cylinder engines to help them out. According to a J.D. Power study, 55.8 percent of new cars sold or leased in the first half of this year came equipped with four-cylinder engines. This is a 1.7 percent increase when compared to last year.
To give you a brief idea of how popular four-cylinder engines have become, in 2008 there were only five automakers with more than 90 percent small-engine penetration in the U.S. Now, that number has jumped to eleven. Five years ago, only ten automakers offered a six-cylinder as their base engine. That number is now down to three.