2011 Mercedes-Benz E 350 BluetecEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTEC
After sitting out the diesel-powered luxury sedan field for 2010, Mercedes-Benz returns this year with the 2011 E350 BlueTEC. Power for the five-passenger midsize sedan comes from a 210-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine with 400 pound-feet of torque mated with seven-speed automatic transmission.
Mercedes-Benz, pioneer of the original diesel-powered automobile, says the 2011 E350 BlueTEC is more than just 50-state certified, “it’s state-of-the-art.” It also achieves 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway EPA-estimated fuel economy (compared with 17/24 for the gasoline-powered E350). Starting MSRP for the 2011 E350 BlueTEC is $50,900, compared to $49,400 for its gasoline counterpart E350.
2010 Volkswagen Golf TDIEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen Golf TDI
Volkswagen leads the field in numbers of diesel-powered vehicles for 2011 with a total of four. The Golf TDI is the smallest of the clean-diesel offerings, powered by a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine making 236 pound-feet of torque. Sound familiar? It’s the same engine as the Audi A3 2.0 TDI (since they share the same platform).
Available in coupe and sedan, the 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI carries a starting MSRP of $23,885 (sedan) and $23,225 (coupe), versus $19,755 and $17,995 for their gasoline variants. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the Golf TDI is 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway (same as Audi A3 2.0 TDI).
2011 Volkswagen JettaEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Redesigned for 2011 to be bigger, more affordable, and loaded with lots of standard features, the Volkswagen Jetta is also available in diesel with the Jetta TDI. With the same clean-burning diesel powerplant as the Golf TDI and same stellar 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway fuel economy, VW says Jetta TDI produces 90 percent less sooty emissions than diesels of years past.
Starting MSRP for the 2011 Jetta TDI is $22,995. Base gasoline-powered Jetta is $15,995 up to $21,395 for SEL, with EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway (SE) and 23/33 mpg (SEL). Jetta TDI may be a much better value for some families with its clean-diesel engine, high fuel economy and 13 luxury features.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDIEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI
Carrying a starting sticker of $24,995, the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI with its 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder clean-diesel engine delivers an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/41 mpg highway.
The base gasoline-powered SportWagen starts at $19,995 and gets 23/33 mpg, while the SE begins at $23,745 and achieves 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway. Be sure to see Marty Padgett’s review of the 2011 Volkswagen SportWagen.
2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDIEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI Clean Diesel Sport
All-new for 2011, the Volkswagen Touareg is available in three models, VR6 FSI Sport, V6 TDI Clean Diesel Sport, and V6 TSI Hybrid. By far, the most fuel efficient is the Touareg V6 TDI Clean Diesel Sport, with EPA-estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway, compared with 16/23 mpg (VR6 FSI Sport) and 20/24 mpg (V6 TSI Hybrid).
Consumers have plenty of choices, but the price differential is significant. The base Touareg with gasoline-power starts at $44,450 while the hybrid’s starting sticker is $60,565. The V6 TDI Clean Diesel Sport, on the other hand, begins at $47,950. See more about the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg in The Car Connection.
There’s one more point worth making about the 2011 Volkswagen TDIs. They’re not part of any investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into potential fuel-pump failures on 2009-2010 Volkswagen TDI-engine vehicles. Fine out more on the VWs involved here.
Bottom line: If you’re in the market for a diesel-powered family vehicle, these nine are certainly worth a look.