- Buying a used car is economical, but consider higher running costs. However, if you choose a used car with a manufacturer’s warranty and service plan, your costs will be predictable.
- When buying a used car, check for accidents, rust, worn upholstery and bald tires. The biggest risk is the engine and transmission, so prioritize engine checks, service records and mileage.
- Known for its reliability and durability, the Ford Duratec engine is a great option for used cars. It comes in various models like Duratec 20, Duratec 23, Duratec 25, Duratec 30 etc. which are used in Ford Fusion, Ford Taurus and others. The Mazda L-shaped engine is also similar and used in Mazda cars.
People buy used cars because they are cheaper. The disadvantage of a used car is that the operating costs will be higher in most cases. If you buy a used car that still has a manufacturer’s warranty and service plan, your running costs will be predictable until the warranty expires. For an older car, there is no such certainty anymore, but there are ways to reduce the risk.
The buyer must make sure that the car has not been in an accident and that there is no rust on it. Replacing worn upholstery and bald tires can be expensive. But the biggest risk in an old car is the engine/transmission.
A good used car needs a great engine
The most obvious engine check is the service record and ran 100,000 miles is usually the barrier between normal and high mileage, and the more miles, the lower the sale price should be.
When an engine has more than 100,000 miles on it, it’s only a matter of time before something expensive in it breaks. Except when the car in question has a Ford Duratec or Mazda L-series engine. They continue to run and will usually last for 220,000 miles or up to 330,000 miles.
What is a Ford Duratec engine?
The Duratec is actually Ford’s version of a series of gasoline engines produced by Ford and Mazda, with significant input from Porsche in the early 90s. The name Duratec is used generically for these engines, although the Mazda versions are called L-engines. These engines were also used by Volvo and Jaguar when Ford owned those brands. There’s even a Duratec-based V12 engine that powers the Aston Martin, but it’s not two Ford Duratec V6s welded together as is often claimed.
The original 1993 Duratec V6 quickly gained a reputation as the engine that never dies. Since then, Ford and Mazda have produced many variations of the Duratec/L-series. These included a range of I4 engines with different displacements, an I5 (Volvo) and various variants of the Ford Duratec V6. These engines are still in production today, and although they have introduced new technology over time, the Duratec engine is still the benchmark for reliability and durability.
So when you buy a used Ford or Mazda with a Duratec engine, you get a discount on the high mileage and peace of mind of a Duratec.
Here is a list of Ford Duratec and Mazda L cars that boast this reliable engine. Only engines still in production are included, but if you can find an old Ford Duratec 2.5 you should definitely check it out. Some models are currently sold only in certain regions or have been discontinued. However, they can still enter the market as used Ford Duratec or Mazda L cars.
Ford Duratec engines for search
The Ford Duratec 20 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (I4). It can be found in various Ford models and is known for its fuel economy and balanced power.
- Duratec 23 it’s the 2.3-liter I4 used in slightly larger Ford models. It offers more power than the Duratec 20, but is still very economical.
- Duratec 25 it’s the 2.5-liter I4 used in models like the Ford Fusion and Ford Escape. This engine is known for its very smooth power. Duratec 2.5 produces from 170 to 200 hp, depending on the model.
- The Duratec 30 it’s a 3.0-liter V6 that was introduced in 2012 when it was replaced by larger Duratec Cyclone engines. It was used in the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable.
- The Ford Duratec Cyclone 33 and 35 these are the 3.3-liter V6 and 3.5V6 engines, respectively. Since 2012, they have replaced the Duratec 30, offering more power and fuel efficiency. These engines are used in models such as the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable, while the 35 is used in the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.
- The Ford Duratec Cyclone 37 it’s a 3.7-liter V6, the largest of the Ford Duratec engines. This is an extremely powerful engine that can be found in powerful cars like the Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKS.
What Ford models have Duratec engines?
The Ford Focus was launched in 1999 and later included the RS hot hatch, a sedan and even a station wagon.
The third-generation Ford Focus 3 was released in 2011 with a 2.0-liter Duratec I4 engine. It was available as a five-door hatchback and station wagon. In 2014, it was completely renovated.
The Ford Focus’ long run ended in 2018 when Ford canceled all passenger cars (except the Mustang) to focus on trucks and SUVs. Ford still provides excellent aftermarket support for the Focus and a late model can be a very good buy.
Ford Fusion is a mid-size sedan. The second generation was produced between 2013 and 2020. This car offered various powerplants, including the Ford Duratec I4 2.0 and 2.5 L. Production only ended in 2020, so very clean late model Fusions should be available.
The Ford Escape is a compact SUV that is still in production. The third generation was released in 2013, and the fourth – in 2020.
The latest Escape comes with a variety of powertrains, including an I4 2.5-liter Duratec hybrid model.
The sixth and final generation of the Ford Taurus was a full-size sedan, available in supercharged power with Ford’s regular 3.5-liter V6 Duratec engine. In 2014, the Ford Taurus was updated. It was a very popular large car with excellent performance and in this role they were often used as police cars. In line with Ford’s model rationalization, the Taurus was discontinued in 2019.
Super-reliable in-line four-cylinder Mazda L engines
The Mazda L engine and Ford Duratec I4 engines are virtually identical and are used in Mazda and Ford vehicles in the US. The L-engine is a mid-sized 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a displacement of 1.8 to 2.5 liters. The L-series was introduced in 2001 and uses a DOHC inline engine, 16 valves and an aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners.
A brief overview of the Mazda L engine
- Mazda L8 it’s a 1.8-liter I4 engine that’s primarily used in non-US markets.
- The Mazda LFE it’s the 2.0-liter I4 used in models like the Mazda 3 and Mazda 5.
- The Mazda L3 it’s a 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 engine used in the performance versions of Mazda’s lineup.
- The Mazda L5 it’s the 2.5-liter I4 and the 2.5-liter I4 used in models like the Mazda 3, Mazda 6, and CX-5.
Mazda models with L-shaped engines
Mazda 3 is a bestseller of compact hatchbacks and sedans. The third generation was released in 2013, and the latest, the fourth generation, in 2019. This means that models of both generations of the following years with the legendary L-engines should be available.
The Mazda 3 comes with a 2.0-liter LFE, an L5 2.5-liter, and a turbocharged 2.3-liter L3.
The Mazda CX-9 is a mid-size crossover launched in 2006 with a Duratec-based 3.5-liter V6, later upgraded to a 3.7-liter.
The second generation in 2016 was released with a 2.5-liter L5 I4 turbocharged engine.
Over the years, Mazda’s sporty Miata was often equipped with L-series engines, from 1.6 to 2.0 liters.
Make sure you buy a Duratec motor
When you buy a used Ford or Mazda, make sure the engine says Ford Duratec or Mazda L – SkyActive in later models. This will give you peace of mind and probably save you money in the long run.