Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx
Never really considered my 1980 Rabbit Diesel shifter as a "sporty" "fun to drive" vehicle. The fun was in the efficiency, same for TDI VW pretty much. Same for most cars really, jack rabbit starts at lights, cornering on two wheels kind of loses its appeal after while.
There are buttons for EV only, ECO and PWR mode. You can always surprise and embarrass the unwashed BMW owners at lights or if they are tailgating you with the PWR mode. That's fun.
If you want more fun, have some old dudes in a Subaru tailgating you up the mountain and then punch it and watch them fishtail around in the rear view mirror as you KNOW they are egging on driver to keep up. You get more fun as they pull up IN BACK OF YOU at the parking lot and have them say "That thing goes pretty good in the snow".
But a TDI wagen and a Prius V are about the same on "performance" though the V will win all the "fun" categories other than manual shift and win the efficiency aspect which is main one for TDI, hybrids and EV's.
No one drives a Prius because the car is sporty and really lays down on a corner. You drive a hybrid for the mpg. The TDI offers very good fuel economy (with low emissions) AND a pretty good time, along with enough room to take a 3rd or even 4th person skiing with you. Drive the TDI if only to see what an independent rear suspension can do for a car, along with more torque available than the Prius. But don't take my word for it, read this guy's review of the Prius and the TDI SportWagen: http://mindovermotor.com/2013/04/19/test-driven-2013-vw-jetta-sportwagen-tdi-manual/
My TDI regularly got 46 mpg freeway, which is comparable to Toyota's expected 44 mpg. If you drive a lot of city miles, the hybrid starts to make more sense. In terms of environmental impact, I'd love it if Eagles PDX would share where those Prius batteries can be recycled. Until hybrid batteries can be recycled or somehow reused, a relevant comparison about environmental impact is difficult at best.
I recently drove the Subaru Crosstrek hybrid, which is a fun little hybrid SUV. Didn't buy it, given the battery issue, but it is the first hybrid that ever made me sit up and notice. Subaru engineered it to have more hp and torque than the gas version (which I did end up buying). So you can put me in the "hatch" category. I'm waiting to see whether I think I need a box come ski season. So far, I've made a trip to IKEA in the Crosstrek and was able to bring back quite a bit of flat pack crap - the 60/40 fold down seats are pretty handy.
*Crosstrek hybrid has 160 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque, 31 combined MPG