02. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI ticks off a lot of the important family car boxes: a roomy interior for a compact sedan, a comfortably sprung ride that doesn't give up in the corners and a high level of standard features. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI's ace in the hole, however, is found in the engine compartment, where buyers will discover a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel four-cylinder unit paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. This motor generates 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, but more importantly it also provides an outstanding 30-mpg in stop and go driving and 42-mpg on the highway. These figures give the Jetta TDI exceptional efficiency for a family vehicle, helping to keep costs down at the pump and extending highway range dramatically compared to the gas-powered version of the car.