Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rollin' in the Golf TDI - 45 mpg on B99

Trying to save the planet with the car you buy? Forget hybrids and get a diesel. A co-worker of mine just bought a 2000 VW Golf TDI. This stylish little bugger is getting 45 mpg on B99! That makes the Prius look kind
of sad considering the additional technology required for similar fuel efficiency.

Obviously, the VW Golf will reduce my co-worker's carbon footprint by using less fuel than the average vehicle, but running it on B99 will further reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by about 40%. Combine that with conscientious vehicle usage and this is about as green as an internal combustion engine can get.

If I was primarily a city driver, I'd look for a small passenger diesel like this one (expect to pay about $6000 for a VW Golf good condition). Another good choice is the 1996 VW Passat Wagon - I've heard these get up to 55 mpg!! These are excellent choices for commuter vehicles, especially if biodiesel is available in your area.

Of course, if you are desirous of a little more freedom, range, or further reduction (?) in carbon footprint, the SVO option is available, but tends to make more sense in larger vehicles (like a truck). Otherwise the trunk space gets appropriated for the vegetable oil tank. In any case, these vehicles can be found in Autotrader or a quick Google search. Try Craigslist for older models.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Phillips