There's a running joke among auto writers that the perfect car would be a diesel-powered, rear-drive wagon with manual transmission and no power accessories whatsoever. It would only be available in brown and would somehow be as fun to drive as a Mazda MX-5 Miata. Makes total sense, right?
The list of finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year has been announced, and in a genuinely bizarre twist, there's only one hybrid and no electric vehicles among the five contestants, despite the arrival of cars like the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S. Taking the place of the EVs are a pair of diesels, repping a technology that last won a Green Car of the Year award in 2009, when the Audi A3 TDI took the title. No diesel was in the running for last year's award.
BMW still hasn't released official fuel economy numbers for its diesel-powered 2014 328d, but now, those mileage ratings have been posted on the EPA's FuelEconomy.gov website. As expected, the 328d is quite an efficient little machine, with the rear-wheel-drive sedan good for 32 miles per gallon in the city and 45 mpg highway. That even bests the 30/42 mpg of the smaller Volkswagen Jetta TDI.