4. Golf TDI
Volkswagen has a real following for its TDIs, and the Golf is among the better sellers.
No it is not a GTI, and if you wait, VW will be introducing a GTD – essentially a diesel GTI – but even the regular TDI is a solid performer. And, it too comes in a manual transmission version, for those who can appreciate this.
Mileage ratings for the TDI’s 2.0 turbo diesel are the same for auto or manual at 30 city, 42 highway, and 34 combined. Of course suspension, wheels, and other tweaks could sharpen it close to your own personal GTD if you are so motivated.
Other alternatives in this family could include the VW Jetta TDI, or Audi A3 TDI.
Priced in the middle 20s, like all German cars, the Golf TDI is designed to handily run all day at higher than U.S. maximum speeds, and as a bonus, it excels in highway mpg.
Diesels aren’t for everyone, but for those who do groove on them, this is a healthy dose of sporty and green for your car-buying dollar.