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Jetta TDI vs. Civic Hybrid
I'm leaning toward the Jetta, primarily for these reasons:
1) more fun to drive
2) available as a wagon
3) diesel technology has a proven track record, hybrid does not.
4) locally available with manual transmission (which seems to be even harder to find in the Hybrid)
5) better safety features (head curtain air bags, ESP skid protection with brake-assist)
6) nicer interior (except for cramped rear leg room)
Big plusses for the Hybrid include:
1) cleaner emissions (though the TDI probably will narrow the gap as low-suphur diesel and biodiesel become more available; I can get biodiesel delivered to my home in bulk)
2) better reliability, at least until the batteries wear out
3) sales tax-free in Maryland through June 30
4) no trouble finding fuel (though this does not seem to be a huge issue for my area)
Total price-to-purchase is very close for the 2 cars; fuel mileage is similar (probably with a real-world advantage for the Jetta in mostly highway driving); both get good safety ratings for their class. So I tend to weight subjective factors ("fun to drive") fairly heavily. And, since I live in farm country, biodiesel has a little extra appeal to me.
Anyone care to add or take issue with anything?