Once upon a time in a valley not so far away, diesel cars were the oddity among the American car landscape. Sure, GM tried to make a few diesel options in their cars without much success, but the real successful cars came from Europe where diesel cars we in the mainstream, especially for service vehicles like taxi cabs. The diesel Volkswagen Rabbits and Mercedes sedans of the late ‘70s and ‘80s were marvels for their fuel economy, but were criticized by many in the U.S. for their noise and soot that came out the tailpipe. Many decades later with new clean diesel and quiet fuel rail technology and a surge in the need to be environmentally friendly, the new 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI is definitely worth considering.

2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI

The numbers on paper compared to the standard gas model seem to less than satisfactory, but you have to remember that a diesel is different beast than a gasoline engine. The standard Golf five-cylinder engine delivers 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque compared to the 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. More over, the gasoline model reaches 0-60 in about 8 seconds with the diesel following close behind at 8.6 seconds. Continuing our comparison, the gasoline model will achieve fuel economy of 23/30 city/hwy as compared 30/42 city/hwy for the diesel. All the sudden, the diesel starts to look good, even when diesel fuel is 10 cents higher than the cost of regular unleaded.

What about the noise? Well, that is an interesting thing, the reviewers over at TheCarConnection.com feel that the diesel engine noise that does come through (even though it is greatly reduced from the diesel’s of the past) is actually more engaging than the noise of the gasoline model. They also comment that the diesel seems “only a touch slower than the gas-powered Golf, with quicker in-city feel.” In fact, TheCarConnection.com editors like the TDI so much they claim it's the “most entertaining green car” they have driven yet.

So if you are in the market for any of its competitors: Honda Civic, Kia Forte or Kia Soul, then be sure to give the 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI a look too. Be sure to roll on over to TheCarConnection.com to read the Bottom Line Review.