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5 cars to keep your New Year's resolutions

Volkswagen Passat TDI Clean Diesel SE
Volkswagen Passat TDI Clean Diesel SE
  • Entry-level price: $26,295
  • Gas mileage:
    • City - 31 mpg
    • Highway - 43 mpg
    • Combined - 35 mpg
  • Resolution:Fly less, drive more

Flying certainly isn't what it used to be. To keep up with increasing costs and competition, airlines have turned the flying experience into a no-frills cattle call, while beefed-up airport security has become a time-consuming, frustrating tooth pull. There probably isn't a frequent flier alive who hasn't at least dreamed about traveling less by air and more by car. The Passat TDI is another serious incentive for making that switch.

When longer-distance travel is involved, highway mileage is everything. Passat TDI's 43 mpg translates into a distance of about 800 miles between fill-ups. But Passat is no econobox. Seating five adults, its seats have extra thigh support for less stress on those road trips. Bluetooth connectivity and a trip computer are standard.

Under the hood is a 140-horsepower, 2-liter turbocharged clean diesel. A six-speed manual transmission turns the front wheels.

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