Back in June we told you about a test that Top Gear did with a Toyota Prius and BMW M3. At the time, the Top Gear crew ran a Prius around their test track as fast as they could for 10 laps with Jeremy Clarkson pacing right behind it in a BMW M3. Not surprisingly, the Prius - which is not designed for this kind of application - scored a comparatively poor 14.3 mpg (U.S.) in the test. As we all know, driving style does affect mileage which we again demonstrated this week during our drive of the Jetta TDI. The driving we did in the southern California canyons was at least as strenuous what Top Gear did to the Prius and we managed a much more impressive 30.7 mpg. While the Top Gear air field track is flat, the Jetta drive route included significant and repeated elevation changes as well as a 20 degree temperature swing from about 73 along the coast up to over 90 further inland. Altogether, a very impressive performance by the German diesel even without any start stop or hybrid capability.
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