Diesel owners are born every minute...

 And companies like Volkswagen have been attracting clean diesel newcomers for years. Today, my parents ended up in this slick looking '14 Passat TDI. Coupled to the DSG six-speed automatic, the 2.0L I-4 makes the four-door sedan feel extremely light on its feet, and you can really feel the torquey-ness kick in after each upshift under normal acceleration. It's quiet, comfortable, features straightforward gauges and gadgets, and is rated to get 40-mpg on the highway (we're betting on seeing even higher than that on road trips), and 30 mpg in town.