Volkswagen Jetta diesel wins “Green Car of the Year”

A clean-burning diesel sedan, Volkswagen AG’s Jetta TDI, won the “Green Car of the Year” award at the Los Angeles auto show, the first time a diesel-powered car has taken the industry’s top environmental honor.

This signals that clean diesel has arrived,” said Ron Cogan, editor of Green Car Journal, the trade magazine that awards the prize.

Diesel, a conventional combustion approach long favored by Europeans, has been making inroads into the U.S. market as a here-and-now option to make engines run more economically and pollute less…

Diesel engines have also suffered an image problem in the U.S. market due to an association with the underpowered versions sold in the 1970s. The technology has been largely limited to large trucks in the United States, even though it is a perennial top seller among passenger cars in Europe.

Volkswagen’s five-passenger Jetta TDI, which boasts a fuel efficiency of 41 miles per gallon, starts at $21,990, compared with $17,340 for a traditional Jetta.

1. There is NO good reason for diesel fuel being more expensive than gasoline in the United States. Level the federal and state excise taxes – and let her rip.

2. The typical rationales about the American consumer not accepting diesel tech is total crap. A symptom of the conservatism and cowardice of American and European carmakers. Toyota was able to walk into the U.S. with brand-new hybrid tech, spend the money on advertising and build a market based on reality not myth – and now they own the leadership of the economy segment.