VW Golf TDI: I’m putting my money on gas mileage

I guess I have made my decision. At least, I know which car I would buy. Now I have to wrap my head around how much the car is going to cost. When I bought my last car in December 1994, I paid $16,000 and was sure I would never again pay that much for a vehicle.

I was wrong.

The 4-door Golf TDI, in black. What are these people doing in my car?

Those $12,000 cars you see on t.v. are not the cars for me. I want torque. I want horse power. But I also want good (well, better) gas mileage.

My V6 Jetta has torque, horse power and zip, but at a mpg cost. It only gets about 28 mpg on the highway. I knew that was less than desirable when I bought it, but I thought I’d get over it.

I was wrong again.

After going through the gas crises of the 1970s I expected more from the auto industry. I expected that by now 40 or 50 mpg to be commonplace in gas powered engines.

How many times can I be wrong?

So here we are, in 2010, and the best gas mileage options are nice, conservative hybrids and electrics. I just can’t go there. I can’t rock a Prius. In fact, no one can rock a Prius.

(According to Paul Vachier’s blog, “in Europe more than 50% of the new cars sold are diesels. Almost every car manufacturer offers a diesel engine option on their automobiles.”)

So I thought the hope for better gas mileage was a pipe dream, so I went in search of the fun factor. The winner in that category was the Nissan Juke. Yes, it’s a really quirky design, but it won me over. It is way more fun to drive than the Mazda 3 and has better creature comforts than the Mini Cooper.

The thought of a diesel hadn’t crossed my mind until I read that the diesel vehicles of 2011 are nothing like they were in 1985. That whole warming up the glow plug thing is gone. And the smell. And the noise.

I needed to drive the Golf. (I had already ruled out the Jetta, it’s apparently a bad year for them, just as 2006-2009 were bad years for the Golf TDI.) To make this long story short, the Golf was great. Great acceleration, great handling, great creature comforts and no negatives about the diesel engine. I left the dealership in yet another quandary.

I drove a higher-end Juke the next day, just to make sure of myself.

I am.

I have spent 16 years driving a car that has been great but has always had my frustrated with the gas mileage. Buying the Juke would just continue that. Yes, diesel gas is a bit harder to find and about 30 cents more per gallon, but I can live with that.

Now, if the US auto industry could work a lot faster on advancements in car technology.

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3 responses to “VW Golf TDI: I’m putting my money on gas mileage

  1. I’m so happy you made your decision, Karen. My only question is: Does the efficiency of the engine cancel out that the diesel gas costs more?

  2. Funny… I was pretty sure I would purchase a Prius as my next car. (Or a suitable Honda or Subaru hybrid but I haven’t done any serious searching.) Otherwise, I can totally relate on the miles-per-gallon melancholy. :-/

  3. Carp: yes, the cost of diesel is the same as premium gas — well, at least it is in Co Mo. The Juke recommends premium, with about 22/28 gas mileage.

    Jarrin: When I see Prius, I see old people driving them! Or un-fun people! I don’t see ME behind a Prius. And Subarus don’t get good gas mileage, despite the green image they try to project. (Does Subaru have a hybrid?) Anyway, the diesel Golf is a compromise between Juke (emotional purchase) and all things more green. I love to drive. I want 0-60 in 8 seconds, not 8 days!

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