VW’s Jetta TDI, a winning diesel option for cost-conscious green drivers

By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

An expectation met is rare enough. An expectation surpassed is a culturally appropriate winter solstice celebration miracle.

So imagine my surprise and delight when reading the miles per gallon readout on the trip computer of the 2009 Jetta TDI during a recent holiday drive over the river and through the woods. The display reads: 43.7 mpg. That’s significantly above the Environmental Protection Agency estimate of 40 mpg in highway driving.

And we weren’t doing any of that 55 mph, coast-down-hills, hyper-miler sort of driving. We were zipping along at 70 mph or so, singing loudly along with the Christmas tunes provided by the satellite radio.

That sort of fuel economy apparently isn’t a fluke. Volkswagen hired a third party, automotive evaluation company AMCI, to test the real-world fuel economy of the Jetta TDI and found it performed 24 percent better than EPA estimates, getting 38 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.