and from autoblogThe VW Jetta TDI clean diesel proves you don't have to purchase a hybrid to get good fuel efficiency. In fact, on a recent marathon PM economy test, we achieved 32 mpg city in a new Jetta TDI. Better still, the Jetta delivered 45.4 mpg on a similar all-highway PM fuel-economy testâ€”beating even the EPA highway mpg rating of the Prius. But the most impressive aspect of the TDI isn't its fuel-saving ability. It's that torque-rich and nearly silent rush of power. Shift the Jetta's DSG twin-clutch transmission into Sport mode, and this smart gearbox automatically downshifts on long grades. You never get the feeling you've compromised acceleration for fuel economy. In fact, this car is actually fun to drive. Best of all, the Jetta TDI is eligible for a federal tax credit of $1300. That buys an awful lot of diesel fuel.
This is the time of the year for awards, as pretty much all of the 2009 models are out in the open and journalists have had a bit of time to digest each and every model against its competitors. Such is the case at Popular Mechanics, which has just released its annual Automotive Excellence Awards. This year, as you might imagine, an emphasis is being placed on fuel efficient vehicles, and our friends at PM realize this fact and have handed out an award for fuel efficiency. The winner? Volkswagen's Jetta TDI, the first 50-state legal diesel vehicle sold in the U.S. since the latest and most stringent set of emissions regulations have been implemented. The Jetta was compared directly with the fuel economy leader, the Toyota Prius, and the editors found that the Jetta was nearly as efficient as its rival on the highway along with being more fun to drive in their eyes. Next year, the Jetta will have tough competition in the form of a brand-new Prius along with a new Insight hybrid from Honda. Let the games begin!