Volkswagen has a great reputation for building reliable and safe vehicles. They had some issues with cheating on an emissions test a few years back, so be extra careful when you research the diesel Volkswagen lineup’s economy
The Golf, Polo, and Passat are smaller vehicles, but if you want a crossover SUV, check out the Tiguan.
This German manufacturer has roots in pre-WWII Europe, where they gained popularity for their easy maintenance, reliability, and reduced fuel consumption.
Expect the same fuel economy you’d get from other cars in this price range. Research repair costs of the specific model you want, though. The Golf frequently requires an oxygen sensor replacement and the Jetta may have radiator problems. Of course, a lot depends on the age and mileage of the car, your driving habits, and road conditions.
VW has a car for every budget. They even have a minivan at a reasonable price point to meet the needs of a growing family.
If you want a TDI diesel engine, look at the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen or the Volkswagen Touareg 2.