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I've been driving both a Golf and a Jetta diesel around Europe for the past 15yrs - 1.6 & 2.0cc - I was getting 60mpg + on a long run - why is VW in the US only posting MPG as 35+? because if that's true - no way am I buying a new one, I'll stay with my company lease car.
 

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I've noticed that, as an English person living in the US. I think there are several possible reasons; the first, and most important, is that a US gallon is smaller than a European gallon. This means that even two cars with the same fuel efficiency will show as getting fewer MPG in the USA. The second reason I can see (and it's just an observation) is that cars here tend to have larger and less efficient engines. A good example would be the Toyota Yaris - the European model is a 1.3 l, the American model is 1.6, but they produce about the same hp. Obviously the American one gets far worse MPG. Finally most cars here (in Kentucky certainly, not sure about the rest of the country) are automatics whereas most cars in Europe are manuals. Automatics generally get worse mileage. When I was looking for a car I really struggled to find a used car that was a manual and had the low miles / price I was looking for. I was really lucky when I stumbled across the manual Rabbit (Golf) I have now after test driving numerous automatics, and not liking them - it's really takes the fun out of driving!
 
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