Originally Posted by aj555
BMW had 4 engines win at the international best engine of the year contest. The N54 was one of them.
The International Engine of the Year Award has very little to do with reliability. The contest is judged by a panel of automobile journalists from around the world on various parameters such as performance and fuel economy. If you look at the past winners, they usually award breakthrough designs that push the state of the art in terms of HP/liter or MPG for a given HP. The N54 was a very innovative engine which employed a lot of new technology and great performance at the time of release. Having owned one for the last 5 years and done a lot of research on the motor I can vouch for the fact that it's reliability while good is nowhere near world class, particularly during the first couple of years of production. There's a reason all the higher production number models use the N55 other than fuel economy and cost of course. It is the more reliable motor.
More on the scoring details:
In every category, the panelists judged each shortlisted engine using their subjective driving impressions and technical knowledge, and took into account characteristics such as fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability. The jurors each had 25 points to award to their five favourite engines in each category. A maximum of 15 points could be allocated to an engine, and the minimum was one point. An engine could not be tied for the top spot.