The numbers are in and will no doubt add fuel to the Great Diesel Debate of 2008. Volkswagen is bringing a diesel Jetta back to the U.S. after a brief hiatus. The new 2.0-liter four-cylinder is more powerful - it generates 140 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque - and will be cleaner thanks to a new after-treatment system.
What price power and cleanliness, you ask? The Jetta TDI sedan will start at $21,990 - a $2000 premium over a similarly equipped gasoline-engined Jetta SE. Interestingly, that's only a $700 increase over the last diesel Jetta sold in the U.S., the not-so-clean 2006 model. A TDI SportWagen will also be available, with prices starting at $23,590. Jetta TDIs will be available beginning in August.
We recently told you about the EPA fuel mileage numbers, which come in at 30/41 mpg city/highway for models equipped with a manual transmission (VW's DSG is an option, and lowers both mileage numbers by 1 mpg). Volkswagen was apparently not happy with those figures so it asked AMCI, an independent certification company, to test the cars for real-world fuel mileage. The results are a big improvement: 38/44 mpg city/highway.
We're eager to find real-world numbers of our own in the environs of Ann Arbor.