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2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year

Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year

For all of you sitting on the edges of your seat waiting for the announcement of the 2009 Green Car of the Year awarded by Green Car Journal at the LA Auto Show, you'll be happy to know it went to the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The Jetta TDI is a fuel economy monster registering 50 MPG returns while avoiding environmentally dubious battery packs and high gravity snobbishness. The other contestants (the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, the BMW 335d, Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid, and Smart Fortwo) will now have to hang their headlights in shame. Press release below the jump.

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Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year
Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year
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Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year
Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year
Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year
Illustration for article titled 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Announced As 2009 Green Car Of The Year

VOLKSWAGEN’s JETTA TDI NAMED 2009 Green Car of the Year® LOS ANGELES - Nov. 20, 2008 - Volkswagen’s milestone 2009 Jetta TDI has been named Green Car Journal’s 2009 Green Car of the Year®, besting competitors that included a pair of advanced hybrids, a clean diesel sport sedan, and a trendy fuel-efficient microcar. This is the first time that a clean diesel model has been awarded the title Green Car of the Year®. Green Car Journal has been unveiling the Green Car of the Year® winner at the LA Auto Show every year since it initiated the annual award in 2005. “The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI epitomizes what the Green Car of the Year® honor is all about,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. “It raises the bar significantly in environmental performance with its EPA estimated 41 mpg highway fuel economy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and extremely low tailpipe emissions. This is all the more impressive when you consider the Jetta TDI is a clean diesel, achieving the kind of fuel efficiency offered by gasoline-electric hybrids but in a more affordable way.” Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI features a 2.0-liter, turbocharged direct injection engine featuring the latest in diesel injection and emissions technology that allows it to meet strict emissions standards in all 50 states. Although its mission is to provide buyers a comfortable and fuel efficient five-passenger family sedan at an affordable $21,990, there’s a bit of performance in the bargain because of this clean diesel engine’s abundant low-end torque and the Jetta’s well-tuned suspension. This Volkswagen’s new-generation diesel powerplant is also exceptionally quiet for a diesel, reflecting just how far advanced diesel technology has come in recent years. A jury of environmental and automotive experts selected the 2009 Jetta TDI from the field of five finalists that also included the BMW 335d, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, and smart fortwo. This jury is comprised of nine jurors including Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; automotive expert and Tonight Show host Jay Leno; automotive icon Carroll Shelby; and four Green Car Journal editors.

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DISCUSSION

theeastbaykid-old
theeastbaykid

I've always felt that there's a lot "they" aren't telling us about clean diesel. First, the crutch explaining the lack of Euro diesels in the states was that everyone pictured a 1979 300D clattering and smoking down the road, despite the fact that that was 30 years ago and to most young people, a 300D might as well have been a Model T. The second explanation was that the U.S. didn't have the low-sulfur diesel available in Europe that is easier on particulate traps and other modern diesel smog controls—we've now had that fuel for over two years, and big diesel players like BMW, Honda, and Toyota are all no-shows in the U.S. Then, here in ultra smog-tough California, some recent Mercedes and VW diesels were not smog certified even though they were sold in the other 49 states. And finally, the big-hoopla Acura TSX diesel release has been put on hold because they can't get the automatic to pass smog.

Clearly, there's more going on behind the scenes than the average person is aware of, and the end result is that in the U.S., and especially in California, clean diesel still isn't *quite* a mainstream reality (with this Jetta TDI being an obvious footnote). Regardless of how you feel about the Prius (and other gas hybrids), the stark reality is that you have been able to buy one in California since 2001 and use it as a normal car, when you haven't been able to do the same with an oil-burner.