Volkswagen Spokesman Mark Gilles tells Kicking Tires that the new engine should be more responsive and offer improved fuel economy. “It’s an all-new engine, to all intents and purposes,” Gillies says. “We’re hoping that it will give a probably somewhere around 8% bump to highway [fuel] economy.”
Currently, Volkswagen models like the diesel-powered Golf and Jetta TDI return 30/42 mpg city/highway, or 34 mpg combined. An 8 percent improvement could mean that both cars will hit just over 45 mpg in highway driving. In comparison, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel gets 46 mpg on the highway, but has slightly lower city and combined fuel economy estimates.
Volkswagen notes that it has sold more than 47,000 diesel models so far this year, which includes 10,000 diesel vehicles sold last month. The automaker reports that its sales account for “nearly 78 percent of the diesel sales for passenger cars in the United States this year.”
Diesel versions of the Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Jetta and Passat currently command between $4,200 and $6,475 over their respective base models. However, a recent study indicates that lower ownership costs on diesel-powered Golf and Jetta models save their owners $5,013 and $3,128, respectively, over the course of three years.