Originally Posted by AVANTI R5
1) See above. Diesel is significantly more expensive than premium in the US. Not so in many other countries. In NZ, for instance, diesel was ~1.70/liter whereas regular was 2.12/liter. (Road tax is assessed based on mileage rather than as sold with fuel so it's more like they're equal in price in reality, but the point stands: not 20+% more expensive than premium by any means.)
2) Benefits of diesel are overstated. The "43 mpg combined" Passat in the article is actually a 35 mpg combined, 43 mpg highway Passat per fueleconomy.gov.
3) Diesels don't do well in terms of smog-forming emissions, and that's a big concern of the US regulations, for better or worse.
All this said, I'd consider a diesel from a Japanese automaker (Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Subaru, even Mitsubishi). The current US market pickings are too slim for the rational consumer, IMO.