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New cars: Volkswagen Jetta TDI

What the critics say about the $22,640 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

The New York Times
Until recently, “fuel economy often didn’t make the top 10” when car buyers were asked about their priorities. But now cost-cutting is on everyone’s mind. This “high-mileage masterpiece” officially gets 41 mpg highway—a mark matched among non-hybrids only by the two-seat Smart. On a recent test drive, it did even better, averaging 48 mpg. Who knew “driving a steady 60 mph could be so gratifying?”

Los Angeles Times
This is the first “hyper-clean” European diesel to be certified in all 50 states. No smoke, no smell, no “exotic post-combustion exhaust treatments.” The styling of the car is much less advanced—“nonprovocative right down to its brake shoes.” While the TDI may have “the erotic appeal of a chilly bedpan,” cars don’t come much greener.

Car and Driver
This four-door, front-wheel-drive diesel doesn’t advertise its greenness. The 140-hp engine sprints to 60 in 8.1 seconds, and “massive torque” makes passing relatively easy. In recognition
of the TDI’s advanced technology, the feds are even “offering a $1,300 income-tax credit.”

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