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Not to be outdone by its German counterpart, BMW received the 2010 Green Car Award from The Independent in the United Kingdom a few days after VW became the producer of both the best and greenest cars in the world at the New York Auto Show. Leave it to the Germans to be constantly searching for more success, even when their own countrymen take home the prizes.
The specific model that won the award was the 320D EfficientDynamics. Like the VW, the 320D isn’t a hybrid; it simply gets stellar gas mileage, coming in at about 68.9 mpg. The 2-liter engine puts out 161 hp, maxes out at 140 mph, and goes from naught to sixty in 8.2 seconds. Its CO2 emissions are pretty good, as well. The 320D is rated at about 109g/km.
Like other efficient gas models, this BMW sports some unique features that allow it to sip instead of slurp fuel. It has slimmer tires (reminiscent of microcars), improved suspension, and a system that eliminates vibration for a smoother ride at lower engine revs. And of course, it helps that the car is a diesel – we are getting farther and farther away from the smoke-belching trucks of our past.
And as with the VW, the 320D isn’t available in the United States, despite clamor in US markets. With Prius sales through the roof and waiting lists for the Leaf and the Volt, it seems to be clear that there’s a market for European cars with super fuel economy. Considering most of the best-selling cars in America are smaller cars that get good gas mileage, the demand is there, even with likely increased costs due to importing and such. The question remains: will the US give car buyers the quality German engineering they desire?