Personally, I still love the stately, unhurried power of our OG Mercedes turbodiesel. That blinding black cloud of smoke it emits when I downshift makes me feel like a giant squid making an escape. And I'm sure it's mellow sluggishness has saved me from enough speeding tickets to pay for--actually, no, there's no way to pretend an old car doesn't cost a fortune to maintain when you don't do the work yourself.
But I can see the appeal of the new-style diesels, the kind that don't smoke or rattle or embarrass you off the line. And so can the New York Times' Lawrence Ulrich. In fact, he goes on--and on and on--about the sheer, oil-burning awesomeness of the new VW Jetta TDI: "a high-mileage masterpiece." "the best mileage of any American-market car I've tested -- gas, diesel or hybrid." "virtually a road warrior [compared to the Prius, anyway]."
Sounds awesome. If only the styline were a little more distinctive, I'd be sold, too. I mean, I think I've seen new Jettas around town, but frankly, I can't tell.
High-Mileage Masterpiece [nyt]