Seriously, you could get the perfect daily driver now.
Dieselgate was, and still is in reality, the biggest calamity yet seen in the auto industry. It has cost Volkswagen an insane amount of money, and the cost of the years of bad publicity is impossible to calculate. As a result, Volkswagen has had to pivot in a big way to distance itself from diesel engines and try to get back the goodwill of the general public. That pivot is to declare that it will become a carbon-neutral company by 2050, and is investing heavily in electric powered drivetrains and vehicles for the future. The thing is, we live in the now, and there's a reason turbo diesel injection (TDI) powered Volkswagens were so popular. They've also now been fixed with an improved catalytic converter and a software upgrade.
It was actually Detroit News that raised this subject and pointed out that a 2013 Jetta SportWagen TDI had only dropped 1 mpg and gained in acceleration after the fix. That test car still made 42.4 mpg, and even if other engines and/or cars drop a couple of mpg, 40 mpg is still nothing to be sniffed at. Diesel is more expensive than gas, but having such significant gaps between filling up and the legendary longevity of a diesel engine's average lifespan is why road warriors love them.
And now, refurbished diesel models from Volkswagen Group, including Audi and Porsche as well as Volkswagen itself, are finding their way back onto dealer's lots. Compared to the few diesel-powered passenger vehicles that have been offered in the US, Volkswagen's TDI engines have always been in another league for performance and drivability, plus you get Volkswagen quality in ride and interior.
According to Detroit News, "VW sells the affected diesel models with an extended warranty on all related fuel and emissions components of up to 10 years/120,000 miles from new or 4 years/48,000 miles from the emissions update."
That's a strong warranty and should offset the length of time the cars have been sitting around after being bought back or just not making it out to dealers from the production line. The premium placed on diesel-engined cars is also all but gone, so there will be deals out there to take advantage of.
There's an argument for there being adverse environmental effects of driving a diesel over a gas-powered car, but junking a vehicle before it has had a useful life isn't a great move either. For ultimate nerd cred, we would seek out a Golf Sportwagen TDI.