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VW Passat TDI Dominates Smaller Cars in Edmunds.com 40-MPG Challenge

07/05/2012 (press release: CambridgePRGroup) // Canton, Conn. // Mitchell VW

Cars don’t always live up to their EPA fuel-economy rating, and with a recent influx of supposed 40-mpg vehicles, Edmunds.com was curious to see if they deliver after leaving dealerships. Editors at the auto-research site recently took six cars rated at exactly 40 mpg on the highway and tested them in the real world, including the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI, Chevy Sonic, Hyundai Veloster, Kia Rio 5, Ford Focus and Mazda3i Grand Touring. Despite being a midsize sedan facing off against sub-compacts and compacts, the clean-diesel Passat emerged as the clear victor in the Edmunds.com 40-MPG Challenge, far surpassing its EPA rating for both city and highway driving.

Edmunds.com evaluated the cars on three routes, including a country highway, a suburban area and an interstate highway. Winding through the country at speeds between 45 mph and 65 mph, a Passat TDI with an automatic transmission returned a group-best 42.9 mpg. In a suburban area of Greater Las Vegas, the Volkswagen’s rating actually improved to 43 mpg, topping its closest competitor by more than 10 mpg. When averaging 70 mph on the interstate highway, the VW Passat TDI shocked editors by netting 51.7 mpg as the rest of the field failed to even reach their 40-mpg EPA rating.

“The numbers in the 40-MPG Challenge speak for themselves, but what’s even more impressive is that the Passat TDI is a spacious midsize sedan and the rest of the test cars were either subcompacts or compacts,” said Scott Dell, general sales manager of Canton, CT Volkswagen dealer Mitchell Volkswagen. “Passat TDI buyers not only get benefits like a 795-mile range, they get standard heated leatherette seats in front and best-in-class legroom in back, so passengers will be much more comfortable on fuel-efficient road trips.”

After combining the results of its tests, Edmunds.com found that the VW Passat TDI averaged 45.1 mpg, a number significantly higher than the 35 mpg the model is estimated by the EPA to receive in city and highway driving. None of the other competitors were able to top the 40-mpg mark overall, and the Passat averaged more than six mpg more than the second place Mazda3i Grand Touring. The Volkswagen sedan remained the leader even when the price of diesel fuel was considered, with the Passat TDI estimated to cost $1,128.09 to drive 12,000 miles during a year, the least of any of the test cars.

Volkswagen currently sells six TDI models in the United States, giving car buyers several environmentally friendly choices, and the automaker was recently ranked fourth out of 50 in the Best Global Green Brands 2012 list compiled by brand consultant Interbrand. In addition to its increased development of fuel-efficient vehicles, Volkswagen was recognized for its goal to make its production facilities 25 percent greener in the next six years, including a $700-million expansion of its renewable-energy plants.

The Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2012 list was determined based on the feedback of more than 10,000 consumers in 10 countries, with each brand rated by more than 100 respondents that were familiar with their products or services. Participants ranked brands in terms of authenticity, consistency, differentiation, presence, relevance and their understanding of environmental claims.

“Volkswagen drivers are probably most directly affected by their vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but being a green automaker is about more than that,” added Dell. “You don’t have to own a Volkswagen to appreciate its push toward renewable energy and sustainability in its plants, because that’s something that we all benefit from.”

About Mitchell VW:

Driven by a customer-first mantra, Mitchell Volkswagen is a Canton, Connecticut Volkswagen dealership specializing in new and used Volkswagen sales, service and parts. With a wide selection of fuel-efficient VW models like the Passat and Golf TDI, the dealership has become a favorite stop for Hartford-area commuters. Mitchell VW’s relationship with customers extends well beyond each sale as well, with a state-of-the-art service facility run by expert technicians. Visit their dealership at 51 Albany Turnpike (Route 44) in Canton or call them at 800-763-5616. They can also be found online at www.mitchellvw.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MitchellVolkswagen.

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