Our 89 MKII Golf GTi 8V used to do 50 mpg on my weekly motorway commute, our later (heavier) MKIII GTi 16v used to acheive 45mpg, our S3 acheives 38 mpg, and our 911 acheives 31mpg, all aceptable figures and all better drives than most oil burners.
I drive an Astra diesel company car Monday to Friday which averages between 47 and 52 mpg and I would drive any one of the above at the weekend in preference to the oil burner.
How on earth do you get that?
Surely you drive at walking pace?
I have a Mk3 GTI 16v...and I get 25-28 MPG out of it...
I have a 911...and I get 18 MPG average...and once, an impressive 26 MPG (but the air con was broken...and I was very low on petrol)
I have a Fabia vRS and I get 40-43 MPG...
My S3 was averaging 25 MPG...
All driven the same way, by the same driver...that is, used and used hard.
I just don't see how firstly, you get the sort of economy you do from the petrols...and secondly, how you can't fail to get much better economy from the diesel when driven in a similar manner to the rest.
As for 'better drives'...if the Mk3 GTI 16v is standard...then a standard vRS is a vastly better drive! So diesels can be fun...maybe not so much an Astra.