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I've been considering (that includes reading, personally trying and comparing) the VW TDI family (primarily the Golf 4-door, but also the Wagon and sedan).

This will replace a robust and reliable but getting-long-in-the-tooth Mazda 6 with 150K sweet miles on it. I DO have a long commute! The TDI is tempting due to available DSG (so the wife can drive it too, unlike my 3-pedal Mazda), and the mileage, of course. But I've also driven the GTI and I do realize the TDIs( all?) are substantially inferior in terms of overall driving feel, power etc etc. The cost (purchase and ownership) differences ARE rather obvious, of course.

Talk me into or out of it (and which model year? I'm averse to ANYTHING with the torsional rear suspension like the 2011 sedan! and Wagon?).

Great forum you folks have here :thumbsup
Maybe someday I'll be an active, contributing member! Unless I go join vwvortex for the GTI, or the mazda3forums (with a base 3 hatchback!) instead.
 

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The TDI will hold resale much better and the Golf will keep the IRS. The tax credit ends at the end of the year.

TDI are very good highway cruisers. The powerband is low so it makes for a more relaxed driving experience. The GTI will definitely be more powerful and the mazda3 is a pretty good car too. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these choices.
 
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