They’re all small cars and here we’ve got the best diesel sedans available in the market today. One is all-new for 2011 and less expensive than the model it replaces, but all have interesting twists on the value equation. From affordable to upscale, check out this collection of best diesel sedans.

  • Volkswagen Jetta TDI Reviewers are mixed on the all-new sixth-generation compact 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, available again with an optional diesel engine. VW is pricing the Jetta less than the 2010 model it replaces, and with that lower price comes less content – which has some wondering about the wisdom in a market where competitors (Ford Fiesta, for example) are betting that buyers will go for the top-line models. Still, Jetta overall has a roomy back seat, great power from the 140-hp 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine, standard 6-speed manual or optional dual-clutch transmission, and stellar fuel economy with an  EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI sedan starts at $24,615. Car and Driver says: “The company is clearly targeting the mainstream buyer with the 2011 Jetta, so we’re glad to see that the competent Germanic driving dynamics have remained intact despite the obvious cost cutting.”
  • Audi A3Top safety ratings, sporty performance, high quality interior and attractive exterior styling are all highpoints for the 2011 Audi A3 luxury compact sedan, but the icing on the cake is the new diesel engine. Consider the stats: 140-hp 2.0-liter TDI turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds, and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway (the same as VW Jetta TDI). Consumer Guide compliments the “car’s virtues of a handsome cabin, excellent versatility, and high level of driving enjoyment,” and says, further: “The diesel offers the same levels of refinement, with the added bonus of better fuel economy over the already thrifty turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder.” The 2011 Audi A3 with diesel power is available in 2.0T TDI Premium and 2.0T TDI Premium Plus, with starting MSRPs of $30,250 and $32,250l, respectively.
  • BMW 335dWith a starting MSRP of $44,150, the diesel-powered 2011 BMW 335d offers entry-level luxury sedan that is no slouch in performance and fuel economy. Powered by the 265-hp 3.0-liter twin turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine mated to 6-speed steptronic automatic transmission with adaptive transmission control, the rear-wheel drive 335d achieves EPA fuel economy numbers of 23 mpg city/36 mpg highway. The 3-Series is BMW’s best-selling line, and has been named to Car and Driver’s “10Best” list for the 19th consecutive year. Edmunds observes, “The 3-Series long-running double act [sporty driver and long-distance cruiser] is truly extraordinary: It speaks the language of driving enthusiasts, yet its upscale image and comfortable interior give it unrivaled mass appeal.”

Considering that clean diesel technology results in better fuel economy and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, why not check out these best diesel sedans today?

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