• Oct 31st 2008 at 8:05AM
  • 5
Click above for high-res shots of the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

This is the time of the year for awards, as pretty much all of the 2009 models are out in the open and journalists have had a bit of time to digest each and every model against its competitors. Such is the case at Popular Mechanics, which has just released its annual Automotive Excellence Awards. This year, as you might imagine, an emphasis is being placed on fuel efficient vehicles, and our friends at PM realize this fact and have handed out an award for fuel efficiency. The winner? Volkswagen's Jetta TDI, the first 50-state legal diesel vehicle sold in the U.S. since the latest and most stringent set of emissions regulations have been implemented. The Jetta was compared directly with the fuel economy leader, the Toyota Prius, and the editors found that the Jetta was nearly as efficient as its rival on the highway along with being more fun to drive in their eyes. Next year, the Jetta will have tough competition in the form of a brand-new Prius along with a new Insight hybrid from Honda. Let the games begin!

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The sweet spot is the Sportwagen TDi.

      But you'll pay more for diesel (currently $1/gallon more here)

      If the Prius had a wagon version...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Imagine that. A car burning a fuel that's 15% denser than gasoline was "nearly" as efficient in terms of miles per gallon as a larger vehicle burning gasoline on the highway, not so much in the city, and costs about the same. Let's break out the party balloons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        alright man, the prius is not that much bigger, and besides why can't you accept that there might be an alternative to a Prius, im tired of hearing the 15%.. blahblahblah, when you buy a gallon of diesel its the same volume as a gallon of gasoline, otherwise why would it be called a gallon. I'm sure in PM's article they addressed the city issue, and for people who live in cities and dont drive long distances, prius makes sense, otherwise, look at an alternative and see how it stacks up for you
        • 6 Years Ago
        "alright man, the prius is not that much bigger"

        It is bigger. And despite the density difference, it does better on the highway, and does a lot better in the city. And costs about the same. Summary: Prius wins hands down.

        "when you buy a gallon of diesel its the same volume as a gallon of gasoline otherwise why would it be called a gallon"

        So? How about we run cars on gallons of beryllium slurry? You'd get hundreds of miles per gallon that way, because beryllium. Of course, beryllium is *highly toxic*...

        All gallons are not created equal. Volume does *not* represent the amount of something that you're burning; mass does. You may buy it by the gallon, but that's only relevant for fuel price or range comparisons -- not fuel consumption or environmental impact comparisons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Jetta TDI is available in station wagon form, unlike the Prius. The station wagon will carry way more than anything with comparable highway mileage.
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