Ripev1, you present a common
Ripev1, you present a common conundrum these days but I will tell you that the prius is the way to go. Yes, diesel (chemically) contains roughly 30% more energy per gallon than gasoline, but also [at least lately] costs between 15% and 25% more at the pump. Your cost savings [at current prices] are relatively negligable (with comparable EPA mpgs on both cars), but maintenance costs will almost certainly be higher. In general, a hybrid requires less brake and engine maintenance due to the reduced use. Yes, a battery may need to be replaced but that is still extremely rare and battery prices are dropping fast these days. You will be a step ahead of the Golf with the Prius - honestly, I'd wait a few years if you can, when the real technology hits the playing field...
I tend to agree with Mike
I tend to agree with Mike Simpson. While diesel is a better alternative to gasoline and just as clean with the new clean diesel technologies available, it is not an acceptable resource to those of us who want to see the end of the stranglehold the oil industry has on the entire world at the moment. Why would we want to step sideways when the future looks so bright. with the release of the creation of a 40% conversion solar cell by the DOE, we have virtually unlimited energy available to us that will last for at least several billions of years. Hybrids are not even really acceptable either as they still use some form of gas. Electrical vehicles can be quickly charged at charging stations that will sprout up like trees in the future. In fact they will probably be integrated with existing infrastructure such as shopping malls, restaurants, and parking decks, virtually anywhere people will be parking for any length of time.