The Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion was named the Green Car of the Year at the What Car? Green Awards, a UK awards ceremony. The diesel Golf achieved over 70 miles per imperial gallon at the ALD Automotive/Total ECO 10 MPG Marathon, over a 360-mile two-day course. The MPG figure is about 62 MPG in U.S. gallons. Carbon dioxide emissions are 99 g/km (158 grams per mile).
Steve Fowler, Editor in Chief for What Car? said of the award, “The Golf is a well deserved award winner: carbon dioxide emissions are a paltry 99 g/km making it exempt from road tax and its average fuel economy is 74.3 mpg. So, as well as being impressively green, the Golf is classy, well made, practical, safe, brilliant to drive and an affordable long-term investment.”
The Golf Bluemotion uses a variety of technological enhancements. These include a Start/Stop system, regenerative braking, hill hold, longer gear ratios, low rolling resistance tires, and a multifunction computer showing recommended gear changes for greater fuel economy. The Start/Stop system turns the car off when it is sitting rather than keeping the engine idling.
The car emits about one third of a pound of carbon dioxide per mile. What Green Car rated the 2009 Toyota Prius at 72.2 MPG, and 89 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Their rating of a plug-in Prius was even lower, at 100 MPG, and 67 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
What was not mentioned in the referring articles is that the diesel engine in the Golf can be run on biodiesel, which reduces emissions even further.
“A 1998 biodiesel lifecycle study, jointly sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Agriculture, concluded biodiesel reduces net CO2 emissions by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel.”
A Prius does not use a diesel engine, so it can’t burn the less polluting biodiesel fuel. Diesel engines can also be converted to use waste vegetable oil.
The car is not available in the United States. A diesel Golf in the U.S. is rated at 42 mpg.
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