I know that mom go green has been busy researching new cars lately and is considering the VW TDI models. We are also looking to replace our older subaru outback with something more fuel efficient. My husband's car, that he commutes with, is the Jetta wagon TDI. He gets about 48 MPG on the highway. It has good storage for our family of four, since it is a wagon, but we are wondering if it will be the most comfortable for long car trips when the kids get older and taller. Otherwise we are really happy with the car's performance and reliability and are thinking we will buy a new wagon when they become available in the fall. But there are so many sides to this big purchase that we want to be sure we are making a good decision.
One of those issues is the fuel we use. When we first got the car in 2006 my husband was able to get B100 biodiesel in Tacoma, Washington for about $2.69 a gallon. The station was even subsidized by the state. He was also able to get B20 at a Seattle gas station for about the same price as regular diesel. The state of affairs for biodiesel in our area has changed quite a bit in just a few years time. The seattle station has since closed and our local station is often out of biodiesel when we go to fill up. My friend who has a Passat TDI sedan called with sticker shock the other day when it cost her nearly $6.00 a gallon for biodiesel from the local station.
We are now in the process of determining what it means to use biodiesel. I have heard so many conflicting reports on it use and whether it is a green choice at this time. I believe initially biodiesel proponents were using only recycled vegetable oil so it wouldn't have any bearing on food prices or grain shortages. But the biodiesel we buy is not recycled as far as I know. I have also heard of several folks where we live that just buy there own tank and fill up at home. I plan to research the biodiesel options and I will post my findings.
Since 2007 emission standards require the use of clean burning diesel this has become a much cleaner option. Still not ideal but at least better than before. I have heard that the worst environmental impact a car has on the earth is its initial manufacturing. So we still have a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe once the new Jettas start coming out we can actually find a used TDI that doesn't cost what it did when new.