2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Well, this is certainly a diesel car that most Americans could love. It has lots of torque, of course, but also more revs than you'd expect. My biggest impression of the powertrain is the linearity of the power delivery and the elasticity of the throttle - the accelerator pedal has a lot of tension in it, which is good.

I'm also reminded of how much better the Jetta is now than the last-generation car that became America's sweetheart, before its lack of quality bit everyone in the ass. This car has much better body control, steering, and brakes than before.

Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor

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