1. Audi A3 TDI
Not so long ago I did a full review on the new 2010 Audi A3 TDI. I went over how it had 140 hp and 236 lbs.tq. from its 2.0 liter turbo diesel and that power was transmitted to the front wheels, as there is no Quattro system available yet. I then went on to say to how the ride is firm with a decidedly sporty feel, but is in no way uncomfortable and that acceleration was a bit lacking.
Then I praised the mileage, as this is where the clean diesel really shines and is really the only reason I would opt for this engine. How does 30 city / 42 hwy sound? Combine that with the 15 gallons fuel the A3 holds and you’re talking a minimum of 450 miles per tank in city driving. Nice right!
2. 2010 BMW 335d
The BMW 335d is another car that I’ve had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of. First off, you’d never suspect that this was a diesel powered automobile. It doesn’t sound like one, feel like one or perform like one. Mash the gas on the 335d and you’ll be rewarded with some very brisk acceleration numbers to the tune of 0-60 in a tick under 6 seconds. This is mainly due to the 425 lb.tq. that this thing pumps out at 1750 rpm. Seriously, it’s fast, and with a EPA rating of 23 mpg city and a highway figure of 36 mpg, you’ll easily be cruising for 500+ miles before you’ll need to gas up.
3. 2010 Volkswagen Jetta/Golf TDI
What we have here is the same fuel efficient 140 hp and 236 lbs.tq. 2.0-liter turbo diesel from the Audi A3 but in a brand new inexpensive wrapper. Actually, the wrapper of choice in my opinion would be the new 2010 Jetta SportWagen as opposed to the Golf, but that’s just me. Maxed out it’ll run just upwards of 30k, but for all that green you’ll get more room than the Audi A3 and in my opinion, a better looking ride while still getting 30 mpg city and 41 mpg hwy… seriously, how can you beat that? The key is finding one, as these suckers are selling like hotcakes.
4. 2010 Mercedes Benz ML350 BlueTECH
We’ve already got three good cars on the list, so I figured it was time to throw in a few SUVs. First up is the ML350 BlueTECH clean diesel from Mercedes Benz. It runs a 210 hp V6 that puts power down through a seven-speed automatic transmission. This is good, because thanks to the 400 lbs.ft of torque that the V6 puts out, that transmission helps get the big Benz to 60 mph in about 8 seconds. At just under 5000 lbs. the big M-Class is no lightweight, but thanks to that BlueTECH mill under the hood it still manages to get respectable economy with 18 mpg city and 25 mpg hwy. It also happens to be the cleanest diesel engine on the planet.
5. 2010 BMW X5 xDrive35d
Here we have the BMW X5 xDrive35d. It features the same beefy twin turbo, 265 hp 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder that powers the 335d. Like the above Mercedes the BMW is a bit on the chunky side weighing in at 5111 lbs, this however doesn’t stop from sprinting to 60 mph in under 7 seconds. Mileage is rate at 18 mpg city and 26 hwy. Good numbers for just big boy. The only downside to both the BMW and the Mercedes would have to be the size. Both are a bit cramped in the interior, but if you can deal the lack of space you’ll have one great SUV on your hands if you decide to go down this road.