Originally Posted by tytek
You failed to take resale value into account. You recoup a large chunk of your upfront cost when you sell the TDI, as they depreciate much slower than the gas version cars. Also, TDI models come with more options than the gas model... almost $2k more of stuff, so the difference becomes negligeable. Throw in the fuels savings (my TDI averaged 8% higher than sticker mpgs), and the diesel makes more sense. I bought mine when there was a $1200 tax credit as well. It would be much more of a wash now...
The TDI comes with the connectivity package, so I guess I should have looked at the SE with the connectivity package, which is only $2800 cheaper than the TDI - sorry (to most folks shopping for a car around $20k, $2800 isn't negligible...) both the cars come with 16" alloy wheels, and the only other difference is the TDI engine.
Fuel economy is very, very driver dependent - it's great that you get 8% better mileage than the claimed, but to be fair you'd need to compare similar driving on the gas engine - comparing manufacturer claimed mileage is a much more valid approach since the same procedures are used to acquire the data for both cars. On average, I typically get 10% or so above the rated mileage for my LGT, but that doesn't mean the values Subaru claims are incorrect. Using the published data for both cars, and the going rate for diesel vs. gas, the gas engine is cheaper to drive.
Resale is a tough one without knowing how vehicles are optioned up - and if you keep the car for a while, $3k now is worth more than $3k say 5 to 8 years from now (inflation).