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Green Car of the Year: The Finalists

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2009 BMW 335d

2009 BMW 335d

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The alt-electric-bio-fuel experts over at Green Car Journal have their finalists for the Green Car of the Year award, and a broad range of powertrains are represented in this year's talent pool.

The finalists include:

2009 BMW 335d: The 335d is BMW's first diesel in the United States in a long time; it has the speed and handling of the standard 3 Series, with 36-mpg highway fuel economy .

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Ford's first sedan hybrid (along with the Mercury Milan Hybrid) promises class-leading fuel economy and some interesting tech tweaks to help drivers learn more fuel-efficient driving techniques.

2009 Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid: GM's two-mode hybrid system, already found in its big SUVs, makes an appearance in the compact Vue crossover.

2008 Smart Fortwo: It's powered by a gasoline engine--how unconventional!--but the smart rings in 40-mpg plus fuel economy in a two-seat, parking-friendly package.

2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI: Volkswagen's new clean diesels show up in sedan and wagon bodies this year, and the TDI sports fuel economy rated in the 30s--with VW demonstrating that mileage in the 40s isn't just possible, it's easily attained.

GreenCarJournal says it picks new models that "provide real answers for new car buyers looking for a personal stake in lessening environmental impact." The car must also be in production by January 1.

The winner will be announced at the Los Angeles auto show on November 20.
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Comments (3)
  1. My vote is for the Jetta. I have friends with these who report consitently getting 49 mpg on the highway.
     
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  2. The Winner should be the JETTA TDI.
    And i say that as a BMW owner. I know the 335d is also quite fuel efficient, But BMW could have opted for the FAR SUPERIOR MPG-wise and emissions-wise 2.0 lt Diesel, which could b e competitive with the TDI.
    The 335d is a PERFORMANCE Diesel, NOT an Economy-green Diesel.
    Its highway MPG is a measly 33 MPG, measly because 3 Series manuals ROUTINELY got 33 ACTUAL MPG in the past.
    The Jetta got ACTUAL 46 MPG highway. See pop mechanics test vs the prius, which was much better in CITY, of course, but only 45 highway ACTUAL MPG.
    The also-rans two hybrids and the Smart are JOKES. The god-awful Smart (drive it ans see what POS transmission it has) is VERY inefficient for such a TINY car with an even TINIER engine.
    I will really be PO'd if the DIESEL (and the TDI in particular) does not get the well-0deserved award.
     
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  3. I have to agree with Tom and Ed, although I have not actually driven the Jetta in question pretty much all the testimony I have thus far heard falls in line with that assessment. Still, the BMW is no slouch in the fuel economy department -- didn't they win some similar award earlier this year for their efforts? And there's also the factor of who is driving these vehicles to consider if we're talking strictly MPG (didn't a Yaris somehow achieve 80 MPG in some wacky race-off recently?).
    Is it just me or does it seem like we've been inundated with "green car" awards or lists lately? EPA released their rubric of the most and least efficient cars (hybrid, diesel and regular included), which got some press...
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/bestworst.shtml
    And there's also sites like www.carfunfootprint.com ranking vehicles on environmental and aesthetic impact.
    I guess they're all different systems, though. I do like the green car award's tagline: "real answers for new car buyers looking for a personal stake in lessening environmental impact". That's a noble way of putting it.
     
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