Some hybrids struggle to live up to fuel-economy ratings. But VW's diesel blows away its 42-mpg window sticker, getting up to 50 mpg on actual highways. Boatloads of diesel torque provide surprising acceleration for merging or passing. The sum total is a triple whammy of performance, hybrid-like mileage, and utility. [$26,250; vw.com]
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
What's on John Slattery's Mind
Willem Dafoe's Life Advice
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