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PBS' MotorWeek Honors Volkswagen Jetta TDI as 2009 Drivers' Choice "Best of the Year"

CHICAGO, IL (February 12, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — Setting the pace for a new era of clean diesel in America, Volkswagen's Jetta TDI was named MotorWeek's "Best of the Year" 2009 Drivers' Choice Award winner for delivering eco-friendly performance, fuel-efficiency and pure driving entertainment, all in a mid-priced family sedan. The honor was announced at the 101st edition of the Chicago Auto Show.

"Having the Jetta TDI clean diesel awarded MotorWeek's "Best of the Year" 2009 Drivers' Choice Award is a tremendous honor for the Volkswagen brand," said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America. "This award is testimony that drivers agree the 2009 Jetta TDI clean diesel provides an environmentally responsible choice, and a spirited and passionate driving experience."

"The Jetta TDI has no peer this year," said John Davis, MotorWeek host. "It is the best of all worlds rolled into one vehicle. It's clean, powerful, fun to drive, roomy and comfortable, and it also happens to be very affordable. If history is any judge on past Volkswagen diesels, you can also add extremely reliable and durable to the list."

Recognized as the best overall among winners in 13 categories, the Jetta TDI is the first 50-state legal diesel car available in the U.S., and the first diesel to win a "Best of the Year" Drivers' Choice Award. It also took top honors as "Best Eco-Friendly."

The entire list of winners will be featured on MotorWeek beginning February 13th on PBS (check local listings) and on cable's SPEED beginning February 16th. MotorWeek's Drivers' Choice Awards have been presented annually since 1983, and are among the auto industry's most prestigious honors. The Drivers' Choice Awards and MotorWeek are nationally sponsored by cars.com.

Among the other winners, Japanese automakers dominated the utility and family car segments. Honda scored a double with the Fit earning "Best Small Car," for epitomizing the trend toward tall, fuel efficient subcompacts, and the Pilot drove away with the "Best Large Utility" title. The Subaru Forester was named "Best Small Utility" for seamlessly combining the dynamics of a car with the versatility of an SUV, while the Mazda6 was singled out as "Best Family Sedan."

Proving luxury and high performance don't have to come at a premium price — or from Europe — MotorWeek recognized the brand new, and highly affordable Hyundai Genesis as "Best Luxury Sedan," while Cadillac's CTS reigned supreme for the second year in a row as "Best Sport Sedan."

The MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards are unique for their consumer focus and represent the definitive list of best automotive picks for a range of lifestyles. More than 150 cars and trucks were evaluated based on performance, fuel efficiency, technology, practicality and dollar value. The winners represent what MotorWeek considers to be the best in each class.

2009 Drivers' Choice Awards Winners:

Best Small Car · Honda Fit
Best Family Sedan · Mazda6
Best Minivan · Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country
Best Convertible · BMW 1-Series
Best Luxury Sedan · Hyundai Genesis
Best Sport Sedan · Cadillac CTS
Best Sport Coupe · Audi A5/S5
Best Performance Car · Nissan GT-R
Best Small Utility · Subaru Forester
Best Large Utility · Honda Pilot
Best Pickup Truck · Dodge Ram 1500
Best Eco-Friendly · Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Best Dream Machine · Chevrolet Corvette ZR1/Ferrari California

About MotorWeek

MotorWeek is one of the nation's leading sources for automotive industry news, new car information and driving entertainment. The award-winning series, seen nationwide on PBS, SPEED and V-me, is produced by Maryland Public Television. For more information on MotorWeek and the Drivers' Choice Awards, visit motorweek.org.