1.6 EcoBoost engine
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Ford 1.6 EcoBoost vs 2.0 EcoBoost Engine Guide

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

By now, the Ford EcoBoost engine series has established itself as one of the top modern platforms. Featuring small displacement I4s and V6s, turbochargers, and direct injection, the EcoBoost engines deliver solid performance while returning good fuel economy and reduced emissions. In this guide, we discuss the 1.6 EcoBoost vs 2.0 EcoBoost including specs, performance, upgrades, and reliability.

Ford 1.6 vs 2.0 EcoBoost History

Ford’s EcoBoost line of engines have been around since 2010, and Ford uses them in vehicles all around the world. In 2010, Ford introduced the first three in the EcoBoost line: The single-turbo 1.6 and 2.0 liter inline-4 engines, and a twin-turbo 3.5 liter V6 engine. Of those, only the 3.5 V6 appeared stateside, as the others were only used for the European market. However, due to Ford’s ownership in Volvo up through 2010, several Volvo models used a version of the 2.0 EcoBoost in 2010 in the United States.

Beginning in 2011, Ford introduced the 2.0 EcoBoost to America, and in 2013 the 1.6L engine followed. Ford put the 1.6 EcoBoost inside the Fiesta ST, Fusion, Escape, and Transit Connect van, as well as the Volvo S60 and V60. They gave the larger 2.0 to more than a dozen models, including several Land Rovers, Volvos, and Lincolns. 

Of the two, the 2.0 is more performance oriented and makes more horsepower, but the 1.6 is no slouch either. Ford Europe created a high performance variant of each engine, which Ford USA put inside the Fiesta ST and Focus ST, respectively. The 1.6 Fiesta ST pushed out 197 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, while the 2.0 Focus ST made 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. 

Ford stopped using the 1.6 EcoBoost stateside following the 2019 model year, but has kept the 2.0 EcoBoost in production for multiple vehicles. In 2015, Ford updated the 2.0 EcoBoost to make it more efficient and powerful, boosting horsepower and fuel economy. The future looks bright for the 2.0, and it’s possible Ford will bring back the feisty 1.6 someday soon. 

Ford 1.6 vs 2.0 EcoBoost Specs

EngineFord 1.6 EcoBoostFord 2.0 EcoBoost
Engine FamilyFord EcoBoostFord EcoBoost
Volvo Engine CodeB4164T3; B4164TB4204T6; B4204T7
Model Years2011-20192010-2024
Displacement1.6 liters (97.4 cid)2.0 Liters (121 cid)
Compression Ratio10.0:19.3:1-10.1:1
Head/Block MaterialCast Aluminum AlloyCast Aluminum Alloy
Bore & Stroke3.11 x 3.20 in (79 x 81.4 mm)3.4 x 3.3 in (87.5 x 83.1mm)
Fuel SystemDirect InjectionDirect Injection
Valve Train16V DOHC (4 v/cy)16V DOHC (4 v/cy)
Horsepower Output178-197 horsepower203-252 horsepower
Torque Output177-202 lb-ft of torque221-270 lb-ft of torque

Ford 1.6 EcoBoost vs 2.0 EcoBoost Design

Both the 1.6 EcoBoost vs 2.0 EcoBoost have a lot in common with each other, though they are based on different engines. Ford based the 1.6 on their Sigma series of engines, and the 2.0 on the Mazda L-engine. Both engines have aluminum alloy engine blocks and cylinder heads, but very different dimensions. The 1.6 EcoBoost has a bore and stroke of 3.11 x 3.20 in (79 x 81.4 mm), and is undersquare. While the 2.0 EcoBoost measures 3.4 x 3.3 in (87.5 x 83.1mm), and is oversquare. This is reflective of the different blocks they are based on.

Both blocks are open-deck, meaning they have improved cooling but not the best durability when heavily modified for big power. On the 2.0 EcoBoost, Ford integrated the turbocharger into the exhaust manifold, but they are separate on the 1.6. The turbos are also different specs. They are both BorgWarner, with the 1.6 getting the KP39 and the 2.0 the K03. 

Internally, both engines use similar materials. Both engines have cast iron crankshafts; forged steel, powdered metal, I-Beam connecting rods; and hypereutectic aluminum pistons. Compression sits at 10.0:1 on the 1.6 and 9.3:1 on the first generation 2.0 EcoBoost. They both have dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) valve trains with Twin Independent-Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) technology for improved power and fuel economy. 

The Volvo EcoBoosts

Volvo, in conjunction with BorgWarner, created their own version of the 1.6 and 2.0 EcoBoost engines. They called these the 1.6 GDI and 2.0 GDI, to indicate the use of gasoline direct injection.  These appeared in the 2011–2015 Volvo S60, V60, V70, XC60, and 2012–2015 Volvo S80. Volvo used several different engine codes, including multiple codes for some.

The 1.6 Volvo GDI with 150 horsepower is the T3 or B416T3. The 1.6 Volvo GDI with 180 horsepower is the T4 or B4164T. In contrast, the 2.0 Volvo GDI with 203 horsepower is the B4204T6, and the 2.0 Volvo GDI with 240 horsepower is the T5 or B4204T7. Starting in 2014, Volvo replaced the T5 engine option with another 2.0 liter turbo I4 non-EcoBoost. 

On the Volvo T4 1.6 EcoBoost GDI, the engine had an interesting overboost function. This briefly increased the max torque from 177 lb-ft up to 202 lb-ft, and was the result of increased boost pressure. This was only available on the higher-spec T4 version of the 1.6 EcoBoost. Volvo stopped using the 2.0 GDI after 2013, and retired the 1.6 GDI after 2015. 

Ford 1.6 vs 2.0 EcoBoost Reliability

Previously, we’ve looked at the common problems and reliability of the Ford 1.6 EcoBoost and 2.0 EcoBoost engines. We’ll just summarize below, but if you want some more in-depth, check out our 5 most common Ford 2.0 EcoBoost problems guide and common Ford 1.6 EcoBoost problems guide. Alternatively, you can also watch the YouTube video below for the 2.0 EcoBoost.

The 5 most common problems for the 1.6 EcoBoost are timing belt failure, coolant Intrusion, engine overheating, carbon build-up, spark plugs & ignition coil failure, and throttle body failure. Overall, the 1.6 EcoBoost is a decently reliable engine, but one of the less-so out of the EcoBoost series. There have been a few lawsuits and recalls related to the 1.6, and some owners have experienced severe failures. It’s not an unreliable engine, but it is also not as robust as the 2.0. 

The 5 most common problems for the 2.0 EcoBoost are coolant Intrusion, cracked exhaust manifold, turbo/boost control solenoid failure, low-pressure fuel pump failure, excessive carbon build-up, throttle body failure, and head gasket failure. Compared with the 1.6, the 2.0 EcoBoost is a much more reliable engine. Though it does have some common problems, overall it has stood up well over the years. The Gen 2 engines improved on several of the failures of the Gen 1, and is a pretty good power plant.  

1.6 and 2.0 EcoBoost Performance & Upgrades

From the factory, Ford definitely made the larger 2.0 EcoBoost the more powerful engine of the two. Depending on the year and model, the 1.6L engine pushes out 178-197 horsepower and 177-202 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the 2.0 EcoBoost pumps out 203-252 horsepower and 221-275 lb-ft of torque. 

The most powerful 2.0 EcoBoost was inside the 2013–2018 Ford Focus ST, and pushed out 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. This was good for a zero to 60 mph time of 6.3 seconds, with a ¼ mile time of 14.9 seconds @ 94 mph. In comparison, the 1.6 EcoBoost inside the 2012–2019 Ford Fiesta ST was rated at 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. This was good for a zero to 60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, and a ¼ mile time of 15.0 seconds. 

As you can see, even though the 2.0 EcoBoost made more power, performance on the street was actually pretty similar. The larger 2.0L engine has better midrange and top-end, but the 1.6 performed very admirably. 

Ford 1.6 EcoBoost vs 2.0 EcoBoost
Credit: Numobeer/Wikipedia – Ford Fiesta ST 1.6 EcoBoost Engine

Top Upgrades

  • Tune
  • Intake
  • Downpipe
  • FMIC
  • Fueling

The top 5 best Ford 2.0 EcoBoost performance mods are tuning, performance intakes, downpipes, front mount intercoolers (FMIC), and alternative fueling. While these are in no particular order, we’d probably recommend going with tuning first. Tuning can add 5-15% more horsepower and torque without any hardware changes. Performance intakes are also great mods for adding horsepower, and FMIC are very useful for those living in hot climates.

For those with the Focus ST, 2.0 EcoBoost downpipe upgrades are also great mod choices. The downpipe connects to the turbocharger, and is one of the most restrictive parts of the exhaust system. Upgrading the exhaust usually involves replacing the stock catalytic converters with high flow cats, which adds a lot of horsepower and torque. Focus ST upgraded charge pipes are also relatively inexpensive mods that can improve airflow while adding minimal power.

For the 2.0, we also have guides for the 5 best Ford Maverick upgrades and the 5 best Focus ST performance mods.

For the 1.6 EcoBoost, we don’t have any upgrade guides, but we do suggest the same mods. Upgrading the tuning, intake, downpipe/exhaust, intercooler, and fueling are the top ways to improve power. You would be surprised how well the 1.6 holds up against the 2.0 when modded, and they can even rival some larger displacement V8s.


What’s the difference between the 1.6 EcoBoost vs 2.0 EcoBoost?

The 2.0 EcoBoost is larger, more powerful, and more reliable than the 1.6 EcoBoost. However, both engines are capable of solid performance and Ford has used them for many years in many models.

Which is better the 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.0 EcoBoost?

The 2.0 EcoBoost is larger, more powerful, and more reliable than the 1.6 EcoBoost. However, both engines are capable of solid performance and Ford has used them for many years in many models.

How much horsepower do the 1.6 and 2.0 EcoBoost engines make?

The 1.6 EcoBoost produces 178-197 horsepower and 177-202 lb-ft of torque in America. The 2.0 EcoBoost makes 203-252 horsepower and 221-275 lb-ft of torque in American models.

Are the 1.6 and 2.0 EcoBoost engines good?

Both the 1.6 and 2.0 EcoBoost engines are capable of solid performance and can be considered reliable.

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