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The editors at Green Car Journal have announced their picks to succeed the Chevy Tahoe hybrid as the Green Car of the Year. The five finalists for 2009 cover all the bases including hybrid, diesel and really small. The vehicles up for the award include the Ford Fusion hybrid, the Saturn Vue 2 Mode hybrid, the BMW 335d, the VW Jetta TDI and the Smart ForTwo. To qualify, the cars have to be in production by January 1, 2009. Last year at the LA Auto Show, editor Ron Cogan announced the Tahoe as the winner based the fact that it brought a huge improvement in efficiency to what was then still a huge market segment. As we now know that's no longer the case. We'll learn who the winner is in a few weeks, but for now, please cast your own vote from among these new models.

Which of the Green Car of the year finalists would you choose?
BMW 335d 287 (5.7%)
Ford Fusion hybrid 3329 (65.8%)
Saturn Vue 2 Mode hybrid 382 (7.6%)
Smart ForTwo 294 (5.8%)
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 766 (15.1%)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think in terms of total lifecycle environmental impact, the Prius still beats any of these. Just because it's not new doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered... or am I being naive?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Ford Fusion deserves much credit. 5 mpg more than the Camry Hybrid. That is fantastic. Also Ford's work in the Hybrid arena needs to be much appreciated. They have been out there in the market with a Full Hybrid since 2004. I have done my research and they DO NOT use any Toyota technology. It is very common in the Automotive business to share patent info so OEMs are not infringing on each other's technology.
        • 1 Month Ago
        While it is true that Toyota doesn't make the engine or hybrid parts for Ford, the design is remarkably similar in its arrangement of motors and planetary gears - so similar that Ford had to make a licensing agreement with Toyota to prevent a patent infringement lawsuit.
        • 1 Month Ago
        Not true. Ford and Toyota came to similar designs concurrently by different paths. Each has unique elements that are patented and the two companies actually cross-licensed their patents. No money every changed hands between the two.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm going with the Smart. Cheap and miserly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Im going wtih the Ford Fusion
      • 6 Years Ago
      This award is idiotic. So, the Ford Fusion Hybrid can conceivably be named GCOTY at the same time it makes its world debut? The whole "in production by January 1" rule is a joke. Instead of awarding the '09 prize at the end of '08, let it go out at the end of '09, once all the finalists have been on the market for a while. Until that happens, I call BS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How did they bypass the Tesla Roadster and Honda Insight? Well, they only count 2009 models that started production before 2009! Since those 2009 models won't start production until 2009 has actually started, they weren't considered.

      What about the Prius? Well, they don't really consider it a "new" model as it has been in production for several years.

      So there you have it, a set of ridiculous arbitrary rules to eliminate most of the competition to the Detroit 3, no matter how green. Somehow, BMW and VW snuck in, but be assured "green car journal" will find some way to eliminate those intruders!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow I had not seen a picture of that Ford Fusion hybrid, looks great - and I'm pretty picky!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the Fusion has the best qualities.

      The Tesla is w-a-a-y expensive, the BMW is too. The Jetta & Saturn don't do anything for me and the Smart would likely be a second car for most families. Lastly, the Prius doesn't "do" performance.

      The Fusion looks great, Ford's quality is getting on par with Toyota, the performance is supposedly good (haven't driven it) and it will hopefully be very attainably priced.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ford Fusion. Zero emissions at rest, zero fuel consumption at rest (traffic, anyone?) and at city speeds. Up to 47MPH on electric power only. That's the greenest car, in my opinion. Diesel is great for fuel economy, but still burns and still emits when you're listening to the radio stuck in traffic at 3MPH.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I fully support Sam's comments. Look underhood of a Camry Hybrid and the Escape Hybrid and see if you can find any differences..
      • 6 Years Ago
      The 2009 Ford Fusion HEV will have a much broader appeal, making it the most relevant new vehicle for the US market.
      It is well suited for city and highway travel, very modern and stylish exterior and an interior quality second to none.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Fusion is due in the same time frame as the Insight, why not include the insight. Why include diesels, I don't see much green about them. Don't get me wrong I like diesels, I've owned a couple even dating back to a Peugeot 504D, but it is a big stretch to call these things clean even in their current form. Even China will not give them green status. If manufactures can just meet the US pollution standards they call the oil burner a "Clean Diesel". Just remember there are gas cars, many of them, that are 90% or more cleaner than the standards.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because the Insight will not be in production by January 1, the Fusion will be.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The VW clean diesel is "cleaner" than most gas cars. It would be PZEV if not for the NOx. In evaporative emissions it is hundreds of times better than almost all gas cars. It produces 0.000 g/mi of particulate matter. In NOx it is about the same is every non-hybrid gas car.
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