I have long had a fondness for Volkswagen hatchbacks, dating back to the diesel Rabbit I bought in 1981 that was the first car I ever purchased. Even though that car wasn't exactly the paramount of performance or reliability, its hatchback body style was extremely versatile - and it gave 50-plus mpg on the freeway.
Fast forward to the 2010 Golf TDI. Today's Golf has the same basic body architecture that the Rabbit/Golf has had for more than three decades, which is a testament to its ultimate practicality. But the diesel engine is where VW has made the greatest strides. Granted, you likely won't see the same 50-plus mpg I got in my old Rabbit, but today's diesel engines are light-years ahead of where they were three decades ago in both refinement and reliability. The Golf TDI is a vehicle I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to someone who wants a practical, efficient vehicle that will also provide some amount of driving satisfaction.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor