If you’re looking over the choices in green alternatives for your next car, you’ll inevitably arrive at Volkswagen. VW has long been among the few automakers with diesel models available in the U.S.

The 2012 Golf TDI Clean Diesel is among the finest entries in its class, and worthy of consideration. Let’s take a look at some key facts and features about the 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI.

Body Style – The 2012 Golf TDI is available in a 2-door 4-door hatchback. The exterior and interior dimensions for both models are identical, including cargo capacity and wheelbase.

Powertrain – Standard engine is 2.0L, making 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of  torque. Transmission is a 6-speed manual version, or optional 6-speed DSG (direct shift gearbox) automatic. Sixth gear in both models produces lower rpm and a smoother ride at highway speeds.

Fuel Economy – Another benefit of Golf TDI’s gearing is enhanced fuel economy, with an EPA estimated highway rating of 42 mpg. City driving reduces fuel savings down to about 30 mpg, however. Driving range on a full 14.5-gallon tank should be close to 600 miles.

Price – You won’t save money opting for the Volkswagen Golf TDI over other cars in its class. Starting at $23,995 for the base model, and going up to $29,165 for the 4-door auto with the tech package, it’s one of the higher-priced green compacts.

Verdict – Smooth-riding, stylish and versatile, the Golf TDI is fun as well as practical to drive. It isn’t the cheapest option, and it won’t get you the same fuel economy around town as the hybrids, but it does compensate somewhat with longer range between gas-ups.