A super-saving superstar: Passat TDI gets 45 mpg in Edmunds.com challenge

As phrases go, “true shocker” just begs for additional context. If it’s a reference to your kid’s report card or the latest reading on your bathroom scale, the news could go either way. So when the automotive experts at Edmunds.com referred to the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI as a “true shocker,” we just had to find out more.

The shock, as it turns out, was that the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, the largest car in Edmund.com’s 40-MPG Challenge, outperformed smaller competition like the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Turbo and the 2012 Hyundai Veloster. In fact, the American-made Passat took top honors, managing an “incredible” 45 mpg average between city and highway. Even in city driving, it averaged an impressive 43 mpg, while on the interstate portion of the test, it scored a whopping 51.7 mpg. That’s the kind of shock we can get used to.

In all, six cars—also including the Kia Rio 5, Mazda 3 and Ford Focus—were tested on a 700-mile stretch of road that runs from Fontana, California to Las Vegas, Nevada—right through Death Valley. Like all the vehicles in our TDI line, the Passat TDI runs on clean diesel fuel and emits 95% less sooty emissions than diesels of days gone by. But with TDI, you don’t have to sacrifice performance for fuel economy. In fact, the added low-end torque of TDI technology adds some serious pep, whether you’re crossing Death Valley or going across town. Either way, you may be shocked by how fun—and fuel-efficient—a TDI can be (although we prefer the phrase “pleasantly surprised”).

Tell us: what kind of mileage do you get in your current vehicle?

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