Posted: 15 Oct 2010 05:35 AM PDT
Volkswagen sold its first diesel in America in 1977. A lot has changed in the last thirty-three years, but one thing remains: If you want a cheeky, refined fuel miser, you call on the people who gave us the Beetle. Whereas most inexpensive diesels feel like the rolling equivalent of sensible shoes, the 140-hp Volkswagen Golf TDI makes no bones about its sporting bent. A whopping 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm means you’ll rarely want for tire-chirping thrust, and a small, nimble frame lets you chase down sports cars in the curves. At 42 mpg, the V-dub makes the average hybrid look like a complicated answer to a very simple question.
The Specs: 140-hp 2.0-liter I-4, 30/42 mpg, $22,354
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