2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

I really like this Jetta Wagon. Sure, the styling is a bit frumpy and the five-cylinder engine is slightly gruff and doesn't return fabulous fuel economy. Despite these issues, the VW drives really well. From its steering to body control, I can't think of another car in this price range that carries this balance of comfort, sport, and utility.

Funny, I don't love the engine but the lazy torque does make for a relaxing drive. It's a shame that VW's excellent Euro gas engines don't fit into the cost plan in the USA. Their 1.4-liter twin-charger engine would be excellent in this car. VW of America says the supply, pricing, and need for premium fuel prevents this engine from working well in the USA. I'm excited to drive the TDI version though, as we've talked about a lot lately, the price of fuel at the pumps is really going to hurt the move of diesel into the mainstream.

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