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No one will do Hybrid Diesel because it's too expensive. The tech for clean diesel and hybrid both cost about the same and both are huge add on to the base price of a cheapo gas engine.

So if you wanted diesel hybrid, you would be looking at not just another $5k for the diesel OR hybrid add on, you would be looking at another $10k for both. Most manufacturers figure there is not enough of a market for that.

FWIW, hybrid usually does best in cities. Look at the Prius. Diesel will always get better hwy mileage though because it's more efficient. Look at the Jetta TDI SportVagen.

So it really depends on what kind of driving you do and which option you might choose. Me? I do mostly highway, so a hybrid would lose all of it's efficiency for me because I would always be running off that underpowered gas engine.

Also, it's not that the EPA WON'T take in to account start/stop. They just haven't figured out how to take it in to account in such a way that is reasonable to consumers. That's what those ratings are for after all... consumers.

Regarding the transmission, the more gears, the better the mileage (generally speaking). More options available to you at a given cruising speed. If VW/Porsche/Audi puts a DSG in to the Touareg, then hoorah. Great mileage and great performance. I have one in my GTI and aside from the early problems they had, they are great transmissions.

Anyway, different strokes for different folks.
 
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