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 |  May 24 2013, 1:09 PM

5. 2010 Jetta TDI – 34 MPG Combined

05-2010-Volkswagen-Jetta-TDI

Topping Toyota’s mass-market hybrid sedan is a modern clean diesel. Predictably this oil burner is from Germany; if you don’t know by now the Jerries have a predilection for these engines. Flying the diesel banner is the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, a family car that’s a bit smaller than the Camry but also a whisker more efficient.

Of course compression-ignition is the foundation of this car’s powertrain. The Jetta’s 2.0-liter unit puts out 140 horsepower with 236 lb-ft of torque.

In city driving the little Vee-Dub falls to the Toyota’s high-tech powertrain offensive, delivering “just” 30 miles per gallon, compared to 31 for the electrified Camry. But open roads are the diesel engine’s natural habitat. Just look at all the oil-burning big-rigs clogging up the nation’s highways. Interstate jaunts net an impressive 41 MPG in the Jetta, handily beating Toyota. The car nets a combined score of 34 miles per gallon.

  • C7

    Nothing I want.

  • Nathan Kendall

    I’ve always thought the Insight was a cool little car.

  • DollarsnSense

    I don’t believe that there ever was a 2012 Mercury Milan…

  • craigcole

    Thanks for the heads up! We corrected the date, noting that the last year for Mercury’s Milan was the 2011 model year.

  • Hightech

    I have a 2006 Insight and the lifetime average is 61.8 MPG after 300,000 miles still going strong, (and it’s the CVT automatic)

  • Kate Bennet

    Honda CRX HF at 44 combined is #3, #4 would be the Honda Civic VX with 43 combined, #6 should be the Geo Metro at 40 combined.

  • Troy

    Why is there a Grim Reaper in the picture of the Mercury Milan? I get that is was the last year for that car, but it’s still a little creepy if you’re not expecting it….or is it just me?

  • ColumWood

    I think it’s self explanatory “If you’re opposed to the stench of death surrounding this discontinued brand you could always go with the more popular Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ; they’re a lot more alive”