Out of the mainstream manufacturers in the United States, Volkswagen has pushed diesel engines the most. Its TDI models have been available consistently, and they take on a greater degree of relevance when gas prices head upward. Chevrolet is preparing to enter the market with the Cruze Diesel, and we’re hearing noises that other automakers like Hyundai/Kia are considering offering them here as well.
Diesel power is a way for companies to diversify and offer customers another choice versus more expensive hybrid models. Today, VW has announced pricing for the VW Beetle TDI that was announced in February. When it was announced, we were disappointed in the mileage figures – they didn’t cross the important (for marketing) 40 mpg barrier. Along with the Beetle TDi’s pricing information is some good news – mileage figures are up from VW’s original estimates.
VW estimates (EPA-tested figures aren’t out yet) that the manual-equipped Beetle TDI will hit 41 mpg highway and 32 mpg city. That’s up from the 39/29 highway/city quoted originally – which wasn’t as good as we thought it could be. For instance, the mid-size Passat sedan is rated at 43 mpg highway. They are both powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder that makes 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.
Despite that, the Beetle doesn’t top or meet the Passat’s figure. Poorer aerodynamics, maybe? Anyhow, the bump versus the original figures is a welcomed improvement. We had hoped they were under promising, and that turned out to be the case. Now for price tag; the base six-speed manual TDI comes in at $23,295. That is up from the standard car’s $19,795. The TDI includes standard features like Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, power windows, etc. Springing for the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox brings you up to $24,395. As for us, we’ve got our eye on the retro-cool Fender Edition.