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Not to be outdone by Audi A3) beginning in the second half of next year.

No word on the displacement of this new EA288 engine, but the article states that horsepower could rise from 140 up to 150 and quotes a VW spokesperson who says the next-gen TDI mill should realize about an eight-percent improvement in highway fuel economy compared to the current engine. Doing the math, that suggests future VW and Audi TDI models could get up to 45 or 46 mpg on the highway.

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Volkswagen Passat TDI Mileage Record holders - award ceremony

CleanMPG.com, Gerdes spends his time squeezing the best fuel economy possible out of passenger cars and trucks, and he’s personally set records in over 100 vehicles.

For this particular world record, Gerdes and Winger visited all 48 contiguous states in 17 days, and Guinness World Records has certified the endeavor. You can read the Comments

727

Diesel

2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD

The Golf in Volkswagen history. A start/stop system helps improve efficiency over the previous generation with the new model consuming 56 miles per gallon on the EU cycle. That’s up from the 2013 model’s 46 mpg. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, though a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox is also available.

The GTD also offers buyers a few aesthetic tweaks to help separate the hatch from its less potent siblings. Those include a more aggressive front fascia, special badges and 17-inch alloy wheels. Expect to find the GTD in one of three exterior colors, including Tornado Red, Black and Pure White. Check out the Comments

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2013 Volkswagen Golf Variant

In addition to several other versions of the Jetta SportWagen here on our shores.

Volkswagen is debuting the Golf Variant with two efficient diesel engines, rated at 110 and 150 horsepower, the smaller of which is good for an impressive 71.3 miles per gallon on the European cycle (when mated to a six-speed manual transmission). The Golf Variant also gets a version of Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, making it incredibly all-weather capable.

It’s a handsome estate, and it wears the new Golf’s design language well. We can’t say for sure if this car will actually make its way Stateside, but given the fact that the current Jetta SportWagen still rides on the old Golf platform, the odds look to be in our favor.

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Just last week, when we brought you news of a new Geneva debut, the “Golf Variant.”

Odd/interesting sobriquets taken as read then, there’s a lot to like about this new small wagon from VW. The Variant will shed some 232 pounds in this generation, and will come to market with two efficient Volkswagen isn’t giving us displacement figures for either yet, but we’re told the diesels will come with outputs of 110 and 150 horsepower. The 110-hp TDI BlueMotion Varient will be good for a whopping 71.3 miles per gallon on the European cycle, when mated to the six-speed manual transmission.

The German automaker has brought along an all-wheel-drive 4Motion version of the Gold Variant to bow in Geneva, as well, and a natural gas-burning TGI BlueMotion is said to be “in the pipeline.”

No word yet has to when or how the Golf Variant will make its transition to the US market, though there’s a decent likelihood that some version of it will become our new Jetta SportWagen. Europeans can expect the Variant to appear for sale in August of this year.

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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDi - front three-quarter view

Can you name a fun-to-drive sedan with a manual transmission that can transport five adults and their luggage comfortably while sipping fuel at the rate of 50 mpg? The answer is the Volkswagen Passat TDI – a German antonym for “range anxiety.”

The past forty years have seen the Volkswagen Passat evolve from a three-door hatchback with a 1.5-liter engine (sold as the Dasher in the States) to a four-door near-luxury sedan boasting a 4.0-liter W8 a decade ago. I’m making the case that today’s reasonably priced diesel-burning 2.0-liter TDI is the best, and most sensible, Passat ever built.

  • The turbocharged, direct-injected, 2.0-liter inline-four is a little stump puller. While only rated at 140 horsepower, it delivers 236 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. Launching from a standstill – even with a full load – was uneventful and it pulled confidently under all driving conditions (even thought the acceleration numbers are far from impressive).
  • According to the EPA, the Passat TDI earns 31 mpg city and 43 mpg highway – but not on my watch. My city average was more like 35 mpg and 50 mpg wasn’t difficult to achieve on the highway at 70 mph. With an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, its cruising range is just short of the moon.
  • Curiosity got the better of me one night, so I decided to run a 100-mile highway loop between Camarillo and Goleta on Southern California’s coastal US 101. Following a few suggestions, I pumped the tires up from the recommended 32 psi to 42 psi (51 psi is the maximum on the sidewall of the all-season Continental ContiProContact tires), shut off the air conditioning and set cruise control at 60 mph on the highway. Driving at this “hypermiling” speed was painful, but it delivered an impressive 56.9 mpg according to the Passat’s computer – that’s a burn rate of just over one gallon per hour!
  • The Passat’s cabin is huge. Almost the trunk) during a long drive to a weekend tournament. Nobody complained about room, and the air vents in the second row kept the atmosphere fresh.
  • The cabin appointments on the 6MT model, Volkswagen’s SE trim, aren’t very luxurious. An upgrade to a sunroof, navigation, leather upholstery or even an iPod interface requires acceptance of the dual-clutch DSG automatic, which brings with it lower fuel economy and a less engaging driving experience. That’s very frustrating.
  • On the odd side of things, the clutch pedal transmitted an awful lot of engine vibration to the driver’s left foot and I noticed an unnerving sound of fuel sloshing around inside the tank each time the sedan came to a stop (keep the radio on and passengers won’t notice).
  • Even thought the diesel is the perhaps the wisest choice in the Passat family, Volkswagen doesn’t seem to want offer consumers any incentives to take one home. Unattractive lease and financing rates on the TDI often make its more expensive gasoline counterparts (or worse, its competitors) more attractive in the showroom. America’s wildly fluctuating (but generally costlier) diesel fuel prices don’t help, either.

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409

Diesel

Top Down In North America’s Only Diesel Convertible

2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible

Want proof that diesel is finally taking hold in North America? Look no further than this 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. For a while now, it’s become easier to understand why more automakers are opting to pair their large-volume models with diesel, but it’s only when a given technology or feature starts to infiltrate the industry’s smaller segments that we can argue that something has truly taken hold. After an agonizingly slow buildup, we’re prepared to say that the high-mileage fuel has finally come of age here, and the evidence is right under this VW’s bulbous hood.

Consider this: Diesel has become so viable that it’s trickled down to this car, a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche model. Niche number one? The Beetle is a retro-styled spinoff of VW’s volume hatchback, the TDI power, but its convertible variant never was. We’ve watched for years as Europe has played host to a whole mess of diesel droptops, but we simply can’t remember the last time one was offered here.

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