What makes a good engine?


Asked by Sep 16, 2016 at 08:28 PM

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I'm looking into purchasing my first personal vehicle. I would like a midsize-
large SUV preferably as I have one small person and my husband would like
more offspring, but he isn't a car guy. Anyway, we are purchasing used and I
am having a lot of trouble deciding because I don't know much about
vehicles. I like the Nissan Murano, Chevy Equinox and the Ford Escape are
my top 3 for things I want in a vehicle. But does anyone have an insight on if
these are alright choices? Are they reliable? If not, what makes for a "good
engine", like I don't know what a "5.3L engine" is and if that is good or bad,
Is flex fuel good? I'm looking to buy a vehicle no older than about 6/7 years.
Please help! D:

Sick and tired of looking at vehicles

8 Answers


First, you have to figure out what are you going to use the car for? Do you want top fuel economy , towing capacity, etc.. The engine must be matched for the car's weight, etc. I would stay away from flexible fuel......I've heard that they are problems.

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They make small SUV's with a hybrid battery.... And, Chevy Equinox vehicles have been known to leak water inside the cabin..... Ford Escape made a hybrid. Nissan is somewhat INCONSISTENT in quality, be careful.

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I agree with Mark, go with the Escape, best out of your list.


5.3L indicate the engine's displacement, in other words how big it is. Most vehicles in a specific class will have comparably sized engines. The Murano, Equinox and Escape are all decent vehicles, each with their strengths and weaknesses. That said, I would put the Nissan Rogue in the same class as the Equinox and Escape with the Murano being bigger. Whichever car you find that you want to buy have it checked out by an independent mechanic. If the dealer won't allow you to do so then move on to your next choice. Many cities have companies that do on-site used car assessment inspections which are ideal if the dealer is uncomfortable with the vehicle leaving their lot. For example my insurance carrier insists that I be in the car whenever a prospective client is diving the car which would rule out them taking the car on their own to get inspected.

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Best Answer Mark helpful

Thank you everyone! :) Your answers are informative and helpful, thank you! So, as a followup, buying a used vehicle, what is considered "Too many km" for the escape? How do you know when a vehicle has too many km, because every engine is different, right? Does someone else want to do my car shopping for me? I am exhausted with all this car shopping....


I would place a greater emphasis on time than mileage. They're both important, but, all else being equal, choose the newest vehicle you like in the best condition and YES, have an independent mechanic check it out... Once you own the car, you own any problems that come with the deal.

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But buying a used vehicle, how do you determine what is too many km? What do you mean by greater emphasis on time? My max is $10,500 for a vehicle. I'm sorry if I am sounding stupid! Thank you for your patience...


12,000 miles is the lower end of normal, but, even cars with 15,000 miles per year are still perfectly fine. Again, be more concerned with the maintenance . Can they provide you with receipts of the work done or produce a service record from the garage they used. Look at the overall condition, ask to let you have it checked out by your mechanic. If they flinch, walk away. Look carefully at the interior of the car. Cars that are trashed inside is a dead giveaway that the owners don't care. A five year old car with 70,000 miles in great condition is better than a ten year old car with 65,000 miles, with less documentation. The newer cars have more safety features on them like vehicle stability control, side air bags, etc.

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