Looking at the EPA’s website, notice almost all of the top-rated vehicles are hybrids, which have about double the complexity of an engine-only vehicle. Also notice most of these cars get a combined rating of around 42 MPG. I estimate the best fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicles get around 30 to 35 MPG.
Now look at the list of engines offered by VW. Notice the ‘BlueMotion’ diesel engine with a 6-speed manual transmission gets 68.9 I-MPG (which is 57.4 US-MPG) in the Passat. This engine by itself is 60% to 70% more efficient than the best hybrid power train combinations available for sale in the US! The EPA does not allow this engine to be sold in the US. It is more fuel-efficient, longer-lasting, and more desirable than the hybrids. I’d argue it is better for the environment too.