K20Z VS K20A Honda engines. Differences and similarities

The K series engines from Honda are four-cylinder, four-stroke engines that were introduced in 2001. This engine replaced the Honda B series.

Some outstanding features of the Honda K series engines include roller rockers on the cylinder heads that reduce friction, DOHC valve trains, a computer-controlled system (ECU) that controls ignition timing-based sensor input, a distributorless ignition system, and much more.

Out of all Honda K series engines, the most popular ones are K20A and k20Z. These two engines are known for their great performance, reliability, and huge tuning potential.

Unfortunately, most people are not able to tell the difference between these two engines. If you are one of them, then today you are in the right place.

The main difference between these two engines is that the K20Z is turbocharged, meaning it produces a lot of power throughout the entire rev range, unlike K20A which is naturally aspirated and thus only powerful at high revs.

Below is a detailed comparison between K20A and K20Z Honda engine types.

What is the K20A engine?

The k20A engine is a four-cylinder, four-stroke engine that was originally designed for the Japanese domestic market. The K20A engine was the first Honda K series engine to hit the market way back in 2001.

It is an incredibly powerful engine that is capable of producing up to 221 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 159 lb/ft torques in stock form. It is also important to note that the k20A is a naturally aspirated engine that not only makes it reliable but also offers a better driving experience.

Other impressive features of this engine include high compression pistons, a more rigid crankshaft, an improved 4-2-1 header, a PRC intake manifold, a 54nm exhaust system, and dual valve springs.

What is the K20Z engine?

The K20Z engine from Honda is a turbocharged four-cylinder four-stroke engine that was produced from 2005 to 2015. This engine is incredibly powerful and can produce up to 210 horsepower at 7800 RPM and 194 lb-ft in stock form.

The K20Z is a modified version of the K20A and features a modified intake system, more dynamic camshafts, a new exhaust manifold, and the same PRB intake manifold.

This engine has the traditional performance VTEC cams on the intake and exhaust cams. The 2-liter engines also feature variable Valve timing technology, but it is only applied on the intake side.

Differences and similarities between K20A and K20Z engines

These two K series Honda engines have similarities and differences. In this section, we will discuss the similarities and differences between these two engines to help you make an informed decision.


  • They are both from the K series Honda engines
  • They are both four-cylinder, four-stroke engines
  • They both have a 2L displacement
  • They both combine VTEC and VTC
  • They are both performance engines
  • They both use an open deck aluminum block design which is lighter and offers much better thermal than cast iron.
  • Both engines are equipped with a piston oil squirter and forged crankshafts


It was initially introduced in 2001It was launched in 2006
It is a naturally aspirated engine, meaning it revs super high to produce peak horsepowerIt is turbocharged and produced a lot of power throughout the entire rev range instead of just the peak.
Does not produce a lot of low-end torqueIt produces a lot of low-end torque
It has variable lift camshafts on both the exhaust and intake camshaftIt uses variable lift on the exhaust camshaft
Equipped with a standard exhaust manifoldFeatures a more compact integrated exhaust manifold that increases the turbo spool up
Produces up to 221 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 159 lb/ft torques in stock formProduces 210HP  at 7800 RPM and a torque of 194 NM at 6200 RPM

How much horsepower does a K20A have?

K20A engine produces up to 221 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 159 lb/ft torques in stock form.

What Honda/Acura models have K20A engines?

The Honda/Acura models with K20A engines include:

  • 2002-2005 Honda Civic Si
  • 2002-2006 Acura RSX
  • 2002-2005 Honda Civic SiR
  • 2003-2006 Honda Civic 2.0 I-VTEC
  • 2003-2005 Honda Civic Type S

How much horsepower does a K20Z have?

K20Z Produces 210HP at 7800 RPM and a torque of 194 NM at 6200 RPM

What Honda/Acura models have K20z engines?

  • 2007-2009 Honda CR-V
  • 2008-2012 Honda Accord
  • 2009-2010 Acura TSX
  • 2013- 2015 Acura ILX 

Final verdict

K20A and K20Z are arguably the most reliable four-cylinder, four-stroke engines that Honda has ever made. They are incredibly powerful and produced a great amount of horsepower and torque thus ideal for motorists who love the thrill. They also have great tuning potential.

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