By on December 3, 2009

But it's white!

Today, on the last day of media access to the LA Auto show, the mystic powers that be continued VAGs green run by selecting the Audi A3 TDi as the 2010 Green Car of the Year (The Jetta TDi won last year). In the running this year were the Audi A3 TDI, Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Golf TDI. According to the LA Auto Show,

The Green Car of the Year® award is a program that honors environmental leadership in the automobile field and recognizes vehicles that are readily available to consumers during the award year. Green Car Journal/ editors perform an exhaustive review of vehicle models to identify the five finalists. The winner is ultimately decided by jurors such as Jay Leno, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Carroll Shelby, Matt Petersen of Global Green USA and the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, along with Green Car Journal editors.

Interesting then that this same bunch of car czars chose the Chevy Tahoe two years ago for getting 1 MPG better than the gasoline version. Anyone feeling some Volt love in 2011?

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12 Comments on “Audi A3 TDI Named Green Car Of The Year...”

  • avatar

    Today, on the last day of the LA Auto show
    I think you meant to say “last media day of the LA Auto Show before it opens to the public”.
    That award has no merit whatsoever, it doesn’t deserve to be publicized…

  • avatar

    Here’s some Truth about the current state of Diesel, and “clean” or “green”…
    In order to meet the last shifted goalpost of CARB-mandated Diesel emissions, without resorting to urea injection, VW has had to insert a particle filter in the exhaust system. This traps particulates and then subjects them to high heat by injecting some Diesel into the cylinder during the exhaust stroke. This “post stream injection” process sends fuel into the particle filter, where it ignites and burns off the particulates. Ironically it also uses much more fuel, since there are now two injections per full-cycle. This is why older TDIs achieve 45-55 MPG, whereas the new (since 2008) TDIs barely go beyond 40 MPG.
    This “Clean Diesel” process also negates the “Already Clean Diesel” option of running BioDiesel in concentrations higher than 5%. BioDiesel has a much higher flash point than petroleum-based Diesel (D2). BioDiesel also has far more lubricity than D2 and by injecting it on the exhaust stroke BioDiesel clogs up the particle filter, and even worse, escapes the combustion chamber and into the crankcase. Newer TDI owners have reported almost instant Check Engine lights when running B20 (20% BioDiesel) and “limp mode” situations if concentrations of BioDiesel are higher.
    Older TDIs, and indeed any newer Diesel using urea injection, happily run on 100% BioDiesel, which is far more “Green” than the D2 this Audi must run on in order to function properly.

    • 0 avatar

      The use of any more then B05 in a direct injection diesel is controversial.  Biodiesel in higher concentrations contaminates the oil and results in less lubrication.  This is particularly critical in 2004-2007 TDIs with the Pump Duse or “PD” engine.  The reduction in lubrication can result in excessive cam wear and eventually expensive engine falure.

      Bio-Diesel, like all bio-fuels is not green.  They all use a lot of water and fuel in processing.  Bio is also a very poor cold weather fuel as the City of Minneapolis found out last winter when their bio powered school buses ground to a halt as the fuel turned into Crisco

    • 0 avatar

      Not exactly correct – DPF and urea serve two different purposes. DPF reduces particulate emissions, urea injection reduces NOx emissions. Many new diesels have both – the Jetta and A4 don’t need urea because their output is small enough to duck under the NOx limits without it.
      Regarding the idea that the DPF is behind the reduction in fuel economy you cited – only somewhat. The 45-55mpg VW TDIs were smaller engines with significantly less power, and they were attached to smaller, lighter cars. All things considered, the DPF’s impact on fuel economy is very moderate.

    • 0 avatar

      Chuck, you’re waaay overstating the significance of the DPF burnoff cycle.  This happens once every 600 or so miles, for a few minutes.  The impact on overall economy is almost nil.
      As TurboSaab points out, the reason for the lower economy figure is that the newer engines are bigger and more powerful.
      Can’t comment on the merits of biodiesel.  I certainly won’t risk my 09 TDI running it.

  • avatar

    Alex: V.A.G  is gone. Dead. No more. I helped launching it with great fanfare in 1978, and I was there when it was quietly buried in the early 90’s.  After many years of mandated silence, I told all about what V.A.G  stood for – or did not.  There is no more V.A.G. Aus, vorbei.  Volkswagen AG, ja. V.A.G, nein.

  • avatar

    If one of the rules is “readily available to consumers”, the Volt may not qualify due to its limited launch in CA and DC.
    As for its $40k price, it definitely qualifies as “green”.

  • avatar

    The Tahoe Hybrid gets 4 mpg combined better than the Tahoe XFE and 5 mpg better than the standard Tahoe. You forgot that Hybrid systems mostly improve city mileage

  • avatar

    A basic front drive A3 with no options (less luxury than a Jetta TDI) is 27 large.  If you want to make it a real Audi (that is, equipped with a few nice options) you’re pushing 37-38K.  Did I mention that TDI is not available with Quattro AWD?   The A3, at least in America, is a dead dog because of all this.

  • avatar

    Angela von Arlington:
    I had used B100 in my 2003 Seat ibiza with Pumpe-Düse for 48,000 km. no issues.
    It also was officially approved for B100, it was euro 3 emission.
    Later models with PD AND Euro 4 emission did not have official B100 approval, probably because of emissions, not because of any issues.

  • avatar

    Keep using B100 and stick to the service schedule and see how well your engine holds up with B100 after 160K km before you gloat about how well you are doing with B100.  Chances are you won’t get to 100k before you have cam failure.

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