5. 2010 Jetta TDI – 34 MPG Combined
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.