I am one of those people who bought a VW TDI and then the emissions scandal occurred a month later. I'll be eligible to return my VW Passat soon, but I'm having trouble finding the car to replace it. I like the Passat, it is roomy and the diesel provides great fuel mileage. I travel a lot with the car so MPG is important.
I also love German cars and it will be hard for me to change course. I can't see myself buying American because they build their cars to last a couple years so you have to keep buying new ones. A problem I'm having when researching a BMW or Audi is that their prices are just too high and they are smaller than my Passat. I would get another VW but they no longer can sell diesel. Since my current car is over a year old, I should take advantage of the buyback and get a brand new car.
My budget is around 30K and I strongly prefer buying a diesel. Any recommendations? I am interested in either a sedan or a gas-friendly SUV.
If you're looking for diesel, I'd consider a truck. I currently drive an '06 Cummins diesel Dodge Ram that's going on 11-years old with 185K on it. Should last another 300K, at least. Gets over 25mpg (with a tuner chip). Lots of horsepower. Built like a tank.
Then again, I wouldn't buy a new car. Waste of money, in my opinion. Too much money invested in something that's losing value.
Also, I've never known an American car to last only "a couple of years". Not sure where you got that idea. I've driven a 1996 Ford Mustang (lasted to 2010), a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee (lasted to 2013), a 2001 Chevy Suburban (still running), and a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 (still running). I didn't buy any of them new, but all of them lasted a decade or more, with fairly heavy use. Only American vehicle I've had last less than a decade was a 2002 Dodge Durango that got totaled in 2011.
I also have one of the VW TDIs, in my case a Beetle Convertible, and I won't take the buy-out. For what's being offered, I can't find a replacement that offers the same options as my Beetle (not to mention the incredible fuel economy).
A pal of mine bought a VW Passat Diesel version, then he bought installed a Fass fuel system and parts, which he both from 4WheelOnline. He stated that after installing the kit, it instantly became more responsive, but about mpg that he has to see..