2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

If your commute involves any amount of highway stretches, buy this instead of a hybrid. VW's created a comfortable, enjoyable, economical - and, when built as a SportWagen - practical alternative to the gas/electric hybrid.

Although I like the TDI coupled through the six-speed manual, it's quite easy to stall right off the line, tempting me to spend the extra dough on the DSG box. Either way, it's one of the smoothest compact cars I've driven in quite a while - something I revel in every time I take this car on long journeys.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

New Car Research

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