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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
01 November 2005

EPA, Department of Energy recognize New Beetle, Golf and Jetta as fuel economy leaders

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Diesel versions of the New Beetle and Golf are the highest fuel economy models in their respective vehicle classes, according to the 2006 Fuel Economy Guide, recently released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Additionally, the Volkswagen New Beetle, Golf and Jetta hold four of the top ten positions for best fuel economy, according to the EPA.

In the 2006 Fuel Economy Guide, the diesel New Beetle leads the subcompact car class for both manual and automatic transmission, with 37/44 (city/highway) mpg for the manual and 35/42 mpg for the automatic. The diesel Golf leads the compact car class for manual transmission, with 37/44 mpg.

The EPA also released released data about the overall top ten fuel economy leaders. The three Volkswagen models ranked third, fourth, sixth and seventh in the overall top ten. In third are the New Beetle (diesel, manual) and Golf (diesel, manual), both with 37/44 mpg. The Jetta (diesel, manual) ranks fourth with 36/41 mpg. Ranked sixth are the New Beetle (diesel, automatic) and Jetta (diesel, automatic) with 35/42 mpg. The Golf (diesel, automatic) is sixth with 33/44 mpg.

Volkswagen is the leading manufacturer of diesel vehicles in the United States. Approximately twelve percent of Volkswagen’s U.S. sales are diesel versions. Diesel engines typically get thirty thirty-five percent miles per gallon than conventional engines. New advancements in diesel technology have improved the performance of diesel engines, while making them cleaner and quieter.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen of America and its affiliates employ approximately 3,000 people in the United States and are responsible for the sale and service of Audi, Bentley, and Volkswagen products through retail networks comprising in total more than 900 independent U.S. dealers.

source: Volkswagen of America press release


Alright, as anyone who has put the EPA fuel economy ratings under any scrutiny has no doubt noticed by now, they're off. Way off. Just look at this recent Consumer Reports article, and notice that in the new 2006 EPA Fuel Economy Guide (PDF), which states that they've downward adjusted their results by 15% to compensate for variance between tests and real-world driving.

That said, when, for example, the Honda Civic hybrid beats out the Volkswagen Golf TDI in the compact car class, 49 city/51 hwy to 37 city/44 hwy, but you substitute the Consumer Reports numbers, it turns out the Golf is the winner. The Honda Civic hybrid now gets 26/45 and the Golf TDI 29/54. What I'm getting at here is that, despite the laudable fact that Volkswgen landed four of the top-ten spots in the 2006 EPA Fuel Economy Guide, I think that if the EPA ratings were based on reality, Volkswagen's TDIs would have rated even higher. See? The Civic got 47% less real-world fuel economy, and the Golf got 22% less. While the TDIs still got less real-world fuel economy than in the EPA tests, the other class-leaders likely got even less.

That said, we fuel-economy fans at newbeetle.org, VWVortex, TDIClub, etc. can outdo even the optimistic EPA tests by a great margin. I pull in a solid 30 MPG in the city in the Passat TDI (done crunching the numbers, not looking at the trip computer), and 40 MPG in the Beetle TDI, and that's nothing compared to what some of enthusiasts have gotten.

Diesel Inside
359 Posts
Yeah, in mixed driving in my TDI Beetle I have averaged 44 over about 10,000 miles that I have had it so far. I can get 50 with mostly highway driving...but the highway sections in my commute usually are filled with other cars so I can't capitalize.

EPA numbers are only good for comparison between cars...not for real world usage numbers.
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