Best diesel cars of 2011, served up

Remixed CC Flickr photo courtesy of culinaryfool.

Wondering about the best diesel cars in the US?

In America, diesel powered cars have always been like…eating a boiled egg & plain toast for breakfast. You get everything that you need, but there’s no exciting bacon, or soul-warming sausage gravy.

But now, car makers are really starting to expand their, uh…menus.

Now, you can have a Mercedes E350 BlueTEC with a big serving of German-luxury strudel. Or you could get a plate of VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI, with a side-order of practicality.

The choices really are amazing. But, what are the best dishes on the menu? What do the critics really order, when they’re paying for the meal?

Let’s find out…

 

Best Luxury Diesel Car of 2011

So today’s most expensive diesel luxury vehicle is the Mercedes GL350 BlueTEC, but does that mean it’s also the best? It does have a trick 4WD system, and all of the leather, wood and toys that you would expect in a Mercedes Benz. (And what ever happened to the promised Mercedes S350 4MATIC BlueTEC diesel car, anyway?)  Think of it as a Denny’s skillet special: heaps of potato, sausage, mushrooms, onions, Canadian bacon, and cheese. Lots of cheese.

While that would be a great way to start the day, you’re going to need a nap by 10:30.

No, to find the best oil-burning luxury car of 2011, you’re going to have to look at the back of the menu: down at the bottom, next to the a-la-cart list, you’ll find the Audi A3 TDI:

Audi A3 clean diesel TDI 2011

This hip little wagon features a perfect blend of luxury and sport. Its torquey little TDI provides just enough oomph for those occasionally spirited drives. And the interior is typical Audi – which is to say; it’s niiiice.

Plus, it’s a wagon, so you can carry stuff. And with a starting price of $30,250, it’s a luxury bargain.

MPG: 30 city / 42 highway.

The 2011 Audi A3 TDI breakfast comparison: a Monte Cristo

 

Best Fuel Efficient Diesel Car of 2011

This year, the economy trophy goes to the Volkswagen Group and their 2.0 liter Turbo Diesel powerplant, the TDI, which can achieve 30 MPG in the city, and 42 on the highway…no matter what car it’s propelling. And by the way, that’s the crappy EPA estimate of their gas mileage. Check out the eye-popping real life mileage people are getting.

You’ll find this thrifty little gem under the hood of four cars, ranging from compact to wagon:

2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI ($23,225),

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI ($22,995),

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI ($24,995)

…and the just mentioned 2011 Audi A3 TDI ($30,250).

We covered the Volkswagen diesel models together in depth here.

Sorry, I can’t think of a breakfast comparison for this one.

Wait!

The Golf is like a Rootie Tootie Fresh & Fruity combo; the Jetta is like a sausage, egg & cheese croissant; the Jetta Wagon is like maple and brown sugar oatmeal, with some warm Vermont maple syrup on top. And of course, the A3 TDI is our Monte Cristo.

Hungry yet?

 

Best Looking Diesel Car of 2011

2011 clean diesel Jetta TDI car

There’s actually several 2011 diesel cars that look nice. But the winner is the redesigned 2011 Volkswagen Jetta Clean Diesel TDI.

VW’s aggressive new front end blends well with the Jetta’s clean body lines, making it look (slightly) aggressive, yet civilized. It’s the kind of car that mom can drive everyday, but when she parks behind dad, he might actually want to take her car.

Like our choices? Disagree? Are you driving one of these? Leave a comment!

Chris May 10, 2011 at 2:03 am

I drive an 05 Vdub Passat Tdi. I’m 19 years old and it is my dreamcar. I have saved for it for years and finally bought a beautiful car, installed subs in it and it is my baby. I gets an average of about 34 mpg and runs smoothly, fast, and not too loud (although it still sounds like a truck). I like that about it, though because then people know its a diesel. I wish there were more choices in diesel, but for now, this is the sexiest car I could want/afford that is available in diesel.

TDI 2010 May 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I drive the TDI Jetta 2010 and she is a great machine. Not loud when you are inside, but she has a characteristic diesel engine sound outside. 42 mpg is my average over 22k miles. I drive a lot of highway. I can squeeze 47 mpg easy on my highway trips if I wanted to drive 58.

Perspective. My boss, a multi millione drove my TDI and he went right out and bought one, scrapped his Range Rover. He can buy anything, yeah, it is that nice.

Mason June 3, 2011 at 8:39 am

Have a Golf TDI travel 600-750 miles/week, mostly interstate at 75-80 MPH and average 44 mpg and over 600 miles per tank. MPG creeps up the more miles I put on my car. Drove about 70-75 one week, got close to 50 MPG.

Joe June 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

What about the 335d? Performance and fuel economy.

Steve September 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I agree with the 335d suggestion. After comparing widely, I chose the BMW 335d in August. What an amazing car! Best combination of beauty, luxury, incredibly fun and powerful performance, and fuel economy that I could find. Should not be left off a list like this.

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