VW has the answer already. It's the TDI diesel. Man, this engine is great. It is low on power in the specs, but it feels much better with the torque from the turbo diesel. Its fuel mileage is incredible. The EPA estimates are way off. I can get in the 50's on highway driving, and in city stop and go I am getting at 38-42 mpg on avg. tThis is the best car for the money out there hands down. Since BMW won't bring over their diesel version to the USA. Until then it's VW.
It has lots of room, a huge trunk. it is solidly built, it has safety features galore, it has good windshield wipers - not those cheapy ones that Honda and Toyota use, and it has a nice dash setup and good night time lighting on the displays. I love the TDI engine, of course.
It needs a 6-speed manual transmission option. Also I'd like to see the bigger and more powerful 2.0 TDI engine option for the Jetta in the USA. The stereo is not great, actually is the weakest link in the car, imo. Other than those it's a good all around car.
I never thought I'd fall in love with a car, but the '06 VW Jetta TDI we've purchased come very close to a love affair. It takes corners on rain-slickened Oregon roads masterfully. The MPG has exceeded what was printed on the sticker, I get nearly 50 mpg!
The turbo diesel engine, sunroof, and interior layout.
I spend a lot of time driving people around and as much as I love my Beemer the gas mileage was killing me. In in effort to find something better at the pumps I starting researching hybrids, then diesels. It struck me that when I found out the in Europe around 40-50% of the cars sold are diesel that they were on to something. They are, a far superior fuel economy. I average around 44 mpg's. Hybrids get great milage too, only replacing the batteries after 100,000 miles seemed costly compared to diesels longevity. Diesels also have more future fuel options, such as Bio-diesel (google Willie Nelson and bio diesel) I'm completely happy with my VW and the 2006 model is very very nice.
The comfy interior, less visits to the pumps, great stereo, 17" wheels (option), safety features galore, nice exterior, and how it's just the right size for five people. You can not go wrong with this car!
With around 2,000 miles on our three-week old Jetta 5-speed TDI with Package Two we're getting, since day one, 48 mpg. Compared to the '78 diesel Rabbit and '81 diesel Jetta we owned years ago the new Jetta is so much more refined, comfortable, quiet and near-luxury with no penalty in gas mileage. It's powerful and I can pass on two lane roads with no drama. I have had zero issues and the dealer prep was perfect and complete. There's "value-added" in this car i.e. touch the passing signal and it blinks three times without having to hold the stalk. The center armrest adjusts for height and length. Little things that add up for a satisfying experience. I broke it in as per the Fred TDI website instructions, by the way.
Lose the satellite radio and add a mini jack input for my iPod. XM and Sirius are low-fi MP3 quality and are not suitable for listening to classical orchestral or acoustic jazz music!