While we think that the clean diesel 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI will do well in the States, VW has just rolled out an uber-economical BlueMotion model for European markets that gets 62 miles per gallon of diesel fuel.
BlueMotion is VW's designation for the most fuel efficient model in each of its ranges, including the Passat sedan and Polo subcompact hatchback. But this new Golf BlueMotion tops even the most economical version of the last Polo.
The 62-MPG compact hatch
VW has pulled out all the stops to achieve consumption of just 3.8 liters per 100 km (which translates to 62 miles per gallon).
2010 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion, for Europe only
2010 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion at 2009 Geneva Motors Show
2010 Volkswagen BlueMotion range
Its 1.6-liter, 103-horsepower four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is paired with a long-ratio five-speed gearbox, and the car's instrument cluster recommends which gear the driver should use to maintain maximum fuel efficiency.
Start-stop and aero aids
Other economy features include a start-stop system that switches off the engine when the car comes to a stop; tires with low rolling resistance; a braking energy recovery function; and lower ride height plus some additional aerodynamic aids.
It's worth mentioning, though, that this European model has a smaller engine than the U.S. 2010 Golf TDI, which uses a 2.0-liter diesel. And, more importantly, the Euro model almost certainly wouldn't pass U.S. emissions standards, which are now the strictest in the world.
62 MPG, sure, but $32K?
It's also worth noting that the 2010 VW Golf BlueMotion is priced in Germany at € 21,650, or $32,350.
Considering that the 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI starts at $21,990, with more equipment than its German counterpart, our betting is that this model wouldn't do that well in a country where gasoline is still under $3 a gallon--and diesel fuel costs that much or more per gallon.