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Diesel is the new green

A swell in diesel cars offered in the U.S. means more high-mileage options for buyers. Here are four diesel-engined cars recently reviewed by CNET.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI
Josh Miller/CNET

For diesel fans in the U.S., it must seem like Christmas. Audi has been heavily marketing its diesel engines, and other automakers have joined the bandwagon. The surge in diesel passenger car availability comes from customer interest in high mileage vehicles, and new technologies that clean diesel emissions. Diesels do particularly well on the highway, so if your commute involves a lot of medium- to high-speed driving over long distances, check out these cars to see if one fits your needs.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI
Audi's medium-sized crossover is just one of many new models featuring diesel engines. During our review of this car, we saw average fuel economy in the high-20s, impressive considering its size, weight, and power. Of course, Audi is also a leader in connected cabin technology, equipping the Q5 with Google Earth maps, landmark information, and real time parking availability.

Fuel economy: 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
The diesel option for Chevy's Cruze compact sedan gives this car excellent range and mileage. It also marks the only passenger car in its line-up with a diesel engine, but may herald more diesel options in the future. The Cruze Diesel's nicely appointed cabin also features Chevy's MyLink electronics, offering excellent connectivity and infotainment features.

Fuel economy: 27 mpg city/46 mpg highway

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTEC
The remarkable thing about the diesel version of the GLK250 is that it doesn't feel like a diesel car. Mercedes-Benz uses its expertise in luxury vehicles to insulate the cabin from the noise of the diesel engine. This medium-sized SUV is easy to maneuver yet offers a tall cabin, with plenty of space inside.

Fuel economy: 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway

2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI
Volkswagen's diesel Jetta has been a stalwart in the U.S. market, for many years one of the only diesel passenger cars available. But experience doesn't mean it feels old -- instead it comes off as a very refined vehicle. In SportWagen format, it offers a huge amount of cargo space in a small package.

Fuel economy: 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway