I have 2 Diesels. My 03 Jetta TDI and my wifes 05 Passat TDI. I will not buy a new car that isn't a diesel. My Jetta averages 48-50MPG and the Passat averages around 38-40MPG but that's because it's an automatic and my wife drives mostly to and from work and not as far on the highway. I have gotten 50MPG out of the Passat on the highway when I stayed between 50 and 55MPH.
I have thought about the BMW X5 diesel but went with an 02 Tahoe because it was just such a good deal at about 40K less. That's my people hauler.
for the love of your sanity do not buy a 6.0L powerstroke
That can't be repeated enough! Unless you're willing to dump big money into it to make it right, and skirt the emissions laws while you're at it, you're better off avoiding them altogether.
I only have second hand experience with the 6.0's. One of my salesman had a 6.0 F250 XLT shortbed crew that spent as much time in the shop as it did on the road. He did change to the ARP studs which relieved the lifting issue but the thing ate turbos and the EGR issue was almost a constant. It just got to the point that he wasn't going to dump another cent into it he was so frustrated. He tried to sell it but his conscience, and CarFax, got in his way so he finally traded it at his dealer for a year newer, gas F150 XL extended cab since that was all that they were willing to trade for it. He's been a Ford guy forever and a dieselhead for almost as long but the way Ford handled it has really soured him.
Twenty years ago, I had one of these diesel-burning bad boys . . .
Every now and then one of those Rabbits pops up around here. If I could find one that wasn't all rotted out, I'd consider it for bombing around town! A family friend had one that she got near 50mpg on the highway with.
They have the same appeal to me as my old Benz. Noisy, smelly and slow.