The 3 Best Toyota Engines You Can Buy

December 10th, 2021 by

A grey 2022 Toyota Cross is shown from the side leaving a Toyota dealer near you.

The Toyota brand is renowned for its dependability and reliability. Every component of every Toyota undergoes extensive engineering and rigorous testing to ensure that when you search for a “Toyota dealer near me,” you will find a vehicle that will live up to the Toyota name. However, there is no component that receives more attention than the engine. The engine is the heart of any vehicle, and every Toyota engine is designed to last for hundreds of thousands of miles of use while providing a level of power and efficiency that will see you through all of life’s adventures.

While most drivers are content knowing that their Toyota is built to last, some of you want to know more about the engines that power the models we sell here at Haley Toyota of Richmond. Which Toyota engines are the most powerful? Which Toyota engines are the most efficient? And what is Toyota’s best engine? We would nominate the 2GR-FKS or the A25A-FXS as Toyota’s best engines, depending on whether you are looking for traditional V6 power or cutting-edge hybrid efficiency. Alternatively, the new V35A-FTS gives you the best of both worlds with its ground-breaking twin-turbo hybrid design. But you don’t have to take our word for it – here are some details on the best engines you will find when you visit our Toyota dealership.

A white 2022 Toyota Camry TRD is shown being worked on in a mechanic's shop.

1 – The 2GR-FKS 3.5L V6

The Toyota GR series V6 engines are legendary. First introduced in 2002, these engines have powered sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks, commercial vehicles, and more. The prestigious British sports car manufacturer Lotus even selected a modified version of the 2GR-FE to power the Lotus Evora and Lotus Exige and planned on putting the engine into their 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance racer! With a pedigree like that, you know that you can count on a 2GR series engine to handle just about anything.

The latest version of this 3.5L V6 is the 2GR-FKS, which was introduced in 2017 and can be found under the hood of the 2022 Camry, Avalon, Highlander, and Tacoma. In the Camry and Avalon, it develops a maximum output of 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, while it is tuned for slightly less power in the more rugged Tacoma and Highlander. We particularly enjoy this engine in the 2022 Camry TRD, Toyota’s most performance-oriented version of its popular midsize sedan. The track-tuned suspension and reinforced body of this model let you experience all the greatness of the 2GR even if you can’t fit a two-door Lotus sports car into your life.

The 2GR-FKS version differs a little from earlier iterations of the 2GR series, incorporating some of Toyota’s latest technology for improved performance and efficiency. While the base 2GR was already a modern design, using an aluminum block and head with a DOHC valve train with VVT-i, the 2GR-FKS adds Toyota’ D-4S dual-injection technology and a simulated Atkinson cycle. This allows the engine to operate in a fuel-efficient mode with a port injection when cruising and then switch over to a performance mode with direct injection as soon as you need the added power.

2 – The 2.5L A25A-FXS

If the 2GR represents Toyota’s old-school dedication to building simple and reliable engines, the A25 Dynamic Force engine is an example of Toyota’s pursuit of cutting-edge technology. The Dynamic Force engine family includes a number of different designs ranging from simple I-3 engines all the way up to twin-turbo V6 designs. Four I-4 versions are currently available at Toyota dealers in America: the M20A-FKS in the Corolla Cross and higher trims of the Corolla, the A25A-FKS that powers the base RAV4 and Camry, and the A25A-FXS in all of Toyota’s larger hybrid models.

While the M20A-FKS and A25A-FKS are excellent engines, it is the A25A-FXS that is the most advanced and capable of the three Dynamic Force designs. While the power output of this engine is fairly unimpressive, rated for just 176 horsepower in most 2022 models, its efficiency is remarkable. First introduced in 2017 for the Camry Hybrid, this engine is a 2.5L I-4 that sports an impressive 14:1 compression ratio and is capable of 41% thermal efficiency (many older gasoline engines average around 20%, which means the A25A-FXS is squeezing nearly twice as energy out of every drop of fuel). This gives it an incredible fuel economy of 52 MPG combined in the 2022 Camry Hybrid.

The relative lack of power in the A25A-FXS is also completely unnoticeable since it is paired with some of Toyota’s most advanced hybrid systems. When the output of the gasoline engine and the electric motors are combined, these powertrains produce from 208 horsepower in the 2022 Camry Hybrid all the way up to 243 horsepower in the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid. The 2022 RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid goes even further, employing a 40 kW electric motor on each axle for a total system output of 302 horsepower. With the RAV4 Prime’s 0 to 60 time of just 5.5 seconds, this means the A25A-FXS powers the fastest SUV in Toyota’s lineup!

A white 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax is shown off-roading on rocks.

3 – The V35A-FTS

While most of Toyota’s engines have been around for a while and have proven their reliability and performance over the years, the V35A-FTS is something different. Not only is it brand-new for the 2022 Toyota Tundra, it is Toyota’s first real foray into turbocharged engines for the American market. Although Toyota has produced a number of turbocharged sports cars over the years, most famously the A80 Supra with its legendary 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo I-6, it has relied on the simpler and more robust naturally-aspirated engines for the majority of its consumer lineup. In fact, there are only two turbocharged models that you will currently find here at our dealership: the 2022 Tundra and the 2022 Supra.

While the old Tundra relied on the 5.7L 3UR-FE V8 engine, Toyota knew that it had to do something different to keep up with the latest trucks from Ford, Ram, and GM. Rather than try to tweak its existing V8, the engineers went back to the drawing board and came up with a 3.5L V6 twin-turbo capable of producing an incredible 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque – that’s 20% more torque than the old V8. However, just because it is new and takes a different approach doesn’t mean that this turbocharged engine is untested. A less powerful version of it has been powering the Lexus LS full-size sedan since 2018, and Toyota went above and beyond to test the uprated Tundra version before its release.

But the V35A-FTS is far more than simply a powerful twin-turbo. In true Toyota fashion, it is one of the most advanced engines of its kind. The D-4ST fuel injection system has been upgraded for enhanced performance, now including separate high-pressure fuel pumps for all six cylinders, and VVT-i is applied to both intake and exhaust valves. Add in the electronic turbocharger wastegates for precise control, and the result is an impressive 37% thermal efficiency. For even more power, you can opt for the i-FORCE MAX version of the V35A-FTS in the 2022 Tundra, which adds an electric motor to the transmission for an unbelievable 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque and makes this Toyota’s engine of the future.