The 2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI is a green car, with its hybrid-like fuel economy. But the base five-cylinder Golf is below-average in this class, and the GTI does sacrifice a bit of efficiency in the name of peppy performance.
EPA ratings for the Golf TDI ring in at 30/42 mpg, whether you choose the six-speed manual gearbox or DSG automatic. Likewise, the GTI earns mileage that's respectable, at up to 24 mpg city, 33 highway--especially considering its performance.
That said, the base five-cylinder engine is far from a fuel-economy star. It does 33 mpg on the highway at best, at a time when many compacts get numbers in the upper 30s on the highway and some reach 40 mpg.
With all-wheel drive and a higher-performance engine, the Golf R is thirstier than the rest, at an EPA 19/27 mpg.