• Sep 1st 2010 at 3:57PM
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2010 Audi A3 TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Audi A3 TDI is typical of the clean diesel breed. It offers impressive low-end torque, belches out little in the emissions category and scores on the efficiency chart. The A3 also coddles both the driver and passengers with near-luxury levels of standard and optional equipment. It's small enough to allow for easy maneuverability, yet sized just right to allow ample space for four adults. With so many stellar attributes packed into a single automobile, Green Car Journal decided that the Audi A3 TDI was worthy of the honor of 2010 Green Car of the Year and decided to acquire a long-term A3 TDI in hopes that a more rigorous round of testing would show if this clean diesel was indeed worthy of the award.

Six months and 5,000 miles later, the verdict is in and Green Car Journal proclaims that the A3 TDI does so many things right that it's difficult to find a single flaw. Regarding that clean diesel engine, Green Car Journal writes:
Drop the S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic in 'drive' and press on the accelerator, and you're treated to a burst of low-end torque that presses you back in the seat, courtesy of this TDI engine's 236 lb-ft torque at the ready from just 1750 rpm.
The journal sums up the overall experience this way:
Six months of seat time in Audi's 2010 A3 TDI have done nothing but affirm the obvious value of this model. This sharp, luxury-leaning sportback typifies the clean diesel breed with its low emissions and impressive fuel efficiency – an EPA estimated 42 mpg on the highway...and better from our experience – while endearing drivers and passengers to the brand. There's simply a lot to like about this car.
Green Car Journal points out that the TDI-equipped A3, with an MSRP of $29,950, is not one of the cheapest clean diesels available, but being an Audi, its high price is justified, right?

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