It’s become something or an article of faith among the mainstream media in this country that the only environmentally friendly automobile is Toyota’s Prius. True, the Prius and its fiendishly complicated and expensive hybrid powertrain is an innovative piece – innovative and accomplished enough, in fact, to be named our 2004 Car of the Year. But I’ve just spent the past five days in a car that not only trumps the Toyota for driver appeal, but arguably does a better job of saving the planet.
The car? Audi’s new A3 1.9 TDIe, developed to meet the proposed 2012 EU CO2 emissions target of 120 grams/kilometer – roughly equivalent to 52mpg on the highway here in the US.
What’s more, the little Audi’s freeway manners are so good, it would make a great long distance cruiser, easily capable of eating the miles on the Interstates across Wyoming, Texas or Montana in giant, loping strides. Because you can expect to go 650-700 miles between fuel stops you’ll make better time than almost anything else on the road.
The Prius is a car that does its best work standing still in traffic, when the gas engine shuts down. It’s not quite as efficient as the Audi in almost any other operating condition, especially freeway cruising, and it’s nowhere near as much fun to drive. So, Toyota hybrid or Audi diesel? If you like driving, and really want to cut your carbon footprint, it’s a no-brainer.
Source: Motor Trend