I was not surprised to see the average mpg function cued up on the display screen when I hopped into the Golf TDI. This car puts up some pretty impressive fuel economy numbers, and it's natural to want to see just how well your doing. (For the record, I got just under 30 mpg on my short drive through town, and then 39 mpg the next day on an Interstate cruise out to the airport.)
For anyone with a long commute who is looking to get really great fuel economy, the Golf TDI has to be a top choice. It starts with the innate goodness of the Golf: superb chassis tuning, comfortable cabin, excellent packaging. Then add the excellent drivability of the 2.0-liter TDI engine, with its robust, easily accessible torque, and seamlessly integrated turbo. The only issue is that, as we discovered with our long-term Jetta TDI, the clutch take-up and throttle calibration mean you have to work to keep from stalling the TDI; the dual-clutch gearbox (despite its extra $1100) is really the way to go, unless your driving is all highway.
Joe Lorio, Senior Editor