It is a VW diesel that won the award. Specifically: VW Jetta TDI. The LA Award winner was chosen by "Green Car Journal." There was a Ford Fusion in the competition. The little VW diesel sells for about $22,000.
Diesel is more efficient than burning gasoline and creates less pollution using modern diesel tech. In some European countries diesel cars are encouraged by taxation policies. Nearly half the private vehicles in Europe are diesel. In the U.S. nearly all heavy equipment and large trucks are diesel, but few pick-ups or private autos. This could be a signal thatg will start to change.
The five finalists: Jetta TDI, BMW's 335d diesel sport sedan, Ford Motor Co's Fusion Hybrid passenger sedan, GM's Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, and smart fortwo mini car.
The Jetta gets 30% better mileage per gallon than gasoline-burning cars of the same size. However, diesel does cost more in most of the U.S. That includes biodiesel. The car went on sale in U.S. three months ago and is constantly on back order.
Here's the Jetta's official English-language website. The TDI gets about 40 MPG on the highway according to official stats.