10. Volkswagen Passat TDI M/T – 31 city / 43 highway / 35 combined
“Trade-offs” are not the exclusive province of hybrids, PHEVs and EVs. In the mid-sized VW Passat TDI’s case, you get a larger, more upscale car tied in its 35 mpg combined score with #10 and #9. We’re making it last place because diesel costs more more per gallon, diesel may emit somewhat more CO2 per mile, the car itself costs more, and this is about savings after all.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, and this rating is for the 6-speed manual, whereas the model with DSG automatic loses 1 mpg combined.
Depending on who you talk to, Volkswagen’s oil-burning Passat might deserve higher rankings as it’s a highway traveler extraordinaire known to beat its EPA ratings at times. In fact one record for fuel consumption record was set for with one at 78 mpg, and another record was set for most miles per tank and 84.1 mpg.
MSRP for 2014 VW Passat TDI starts at $26,675.