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I somewhat answered this before but here is a very detailed answer with all the numbers. After reading ti carefully I can see that it has NOTHING to do with the 1 mpg bump of the Golf DSG with automatic transmission. The Audi A3 and Jetta also got a 1 mpg for 2010 and they don't get the $1700, they only get $1300. From http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/TDItaxcredit.htm

How the credit is calculated
The TDI fall under IRS Title 26, subtitle A, chapter 1, subchapter a, part iv, subpart b, § 30B(c). This states that "There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to the sum of...the new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle credit determined under subsection (c)". The credit is a determined from 2 values. The first value is calculated from how fuel economy vs. the generic 2002 city average fuel economy based on weight class. *It is NOT based off the actual 2002 model fuel economy, it's based off an IRS table based on gross weight class.

Working backwards from the numbers they must assume the 2002 Jetta is in the 4,500 lb. gross weight class. The 2002 Golf manual is in the same 4,500 lb. weight class but they must assume the 2002 Golf auto is in the 5,000 weight class. Working backwards from the numbers this places the Jetta in the 150-175% category and the Golf with automatic transmission in the 175-200% category. A 2009-2010 city rating of 30 mpg gives a 70% increase over the gross weight table class for all Jetta and Golf manual, putting it in the 150-175% category . The Golf gets an increase of 88% which bumps it to the 175-200% increase. Neither of these numbers seem correct because the 2002 Golf/Jetta TDI had gross weights of about 3900. This should put them in the 4,000 lb weight class. The manual Jetta weighed about 100 lbs. less which must be the reason why the Golf with automatic transmission got bumped up to the next weight class. In addition, the Audi A3 is bigger and heavier than a Golf so this adds to the confusion. However, working backwards from the numbers you can see that these assumptions of gross weight class are correct.

In the case of a vehicle which achieves a fuel economy (expressed as a percentage of the 2002 model year city fuel economy) of:
At least 125 percent but less than 150 percent - $400
At least 150 percent but less than 175 percent - $800 (first value for Golf TDI with manual transmission and all Audi A3 TDI, Jetta TDI)
At least 175 percent but less than 200 percent - $1,200 (first value for
only Golf TDI with DSG transmission)
At least 200 percent but less than 225 percent - $1,600
At least 225 percent but less than 250 percent - $2,000
At least 250 percent - $2,400.

The second bonus is based on lifetime fuel savings. Lifetime fuel savings is defined as, in the case of any new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle, an amount equal to the excess (if any) of:
(A) 120,000 divided by the 2002 model year city fuel economy for
the vehicle inertia weight class, over
(B) 120,000 divided by the city fuel economy for such vehicle.:
In the case of a vehicle which achieves a lifetime fuel savings (expressed in gallons of gasoline):
At least 1,200 but less than 1,800 - $250
At least 1,800 but less than 2,400 - $500 (second value for Audi A3, Jetta, Golf TDI)
At least 2,400 but less than 3,000 - $750
At least 3,000 - $1,000.

To sum it up, the Golf automatic transmission (DSG) tax credit is $1,200+500 = $1,700. Manual transmission Golf TDI and all Audi A3, and Jetta TDI $800+500 = $1,300.
 

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Nice math. I assume gross weight is how much weight the car can carry plus the weight of the car. No way a Golf ways 4500.
 

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If the Audi A3 is bigger than a Golf than it should be in the heavy weight class and get the bigger tax credit as well.
 

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The A3 must be counted in the same weight class because looking at the list, those are the only combinations of numbers that add up. No other combination adds up to 1300.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Exactly, working backwards from the numbers led me to this. Nowhere except here does it tell how and where the numbers come from and I had to work backwards to figure it out. They are what they are.
 

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The Touareg and audi Q7 weren't available in 2002 so I don't see how they calculated the numbers or how you can work backwards.
 
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