This Audi turbo diesel better accelerate, because I’m at an L.A. stop sign getting ready to merge with traffic coming off the freeway. I touch the accelerator and quickly reach the speed limit with no worries about the oncoming traffic. The new Audi beats the mileage of many hybrids and provides acceleration and tight handling. Yes, it also stopped on a dime when I hit the breaks.
The Audi A3 gets the best mileage of any diesel in the United States with 42 mpg highway, 30 city, and 34 mpg combined. It even outperforms the popular VW Jetta TDI. The Audi adds some premium touches over the VW with the same drive system, but uses new materials to reduce vehicle weight, making the Audi the new diesel mileage champion.
Today at the LA Auto Show, the 2010 Audi A3 TDI was named Green Car Journal’s 2010 Green Car of the Year®.
This is the second year in a row that a clean diesel has risen to the top in Green Car Journal’s annual award program, a remarkable showing considering the competition. This year’s stellar field of nominees also includes the Honda Insight hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid, and, along with the clean diesel VW Golf TDI, a high fuel efficiency hatchback that runs the same 2.0-liter TDI engine that powers last year’s Green Car of the Year® winner, the VW Jetta TDI.
The Audi’s 34 mpg is no match the 50 mpg of the 2010 Prius; the Audi A3’s 6.2 tons CO2 EPA annual emissions is no comparison to the Prius’s 3.7 tons CO2. For people who heavily drive highways, they may find the mileage difference small. The jurors making the award were impressed with Audi advancements.
Green Car of the Year® jurors appreciated the Audi A3 TDI’s styling, appointments, and 42 mpg highway fuel efficiency – a 50 percent improvement over the gasoline A3 variant. Plus, this compact luxury car’s quiet, 50-state certified clean diesel engine delivers substantial torque starting at a low 1,750 rpm, contributing toward a spirited and fun-to-drive nature.
The Audi A3 is a premium car with an array of distinctive features. Among these are 17 inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, and a standard S line exterior sport appearance. Inside, the A3 TDI’s interior offers a driver-focused design with standard leather upholstery, aluminum accents, 10 speaker concert sound system with SIRIUS satellite radio, and split 40/60 fold-down rear seats. Easy load accessibility is provided with the A3’s rear tailgate.
This year’s Green Car of the Year® jury includes six environmental and automotive experts plus a smaller number of Green Car Journal editors. Invited jurors include Dr. Alan Lloyd, president of the International Council on Clean Transportation; Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA; automotive expert and television host Jay Leno; and automotive icon Carroll Shelby.
This 5-door Sportsback was fun to drive, well appointed, and comfortable for 5 passengers, while saving at the fuel tank.