Volkswagen grabbed one more accolade for its outstanding clean-diesel technology when the new Jetta TDI was named Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal. In presenting the award to Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen of America's CEO, the magazine's publisher Ron Cogan noted that this mid-size turbodiesel sedan (and its Sportwagon running-mate) which is clean enough to be sold in all 50 states, "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."
In making their choice, a jury of environmental and automotive experts ranked the new Jetta TDI ahead of four other finalists that included the BMW 335d, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid and the smart fortwo. It marked the first time that a diesel-powered vehicle has won the award, which has been presented annually since 2005.
The Jetta TDI sedan and Sportwagon have been on a major sales roll since arriving in dealerships in September. In addition to being the only diesel-powered vehicles sold in the U.S. for under $25,000 -- the TDI sedan opens at $22,640 and the Sportwagon at $24,640 -- these econo-oriented VW's also qualify for a $1300 federal income tax credit.