There was news last fall presented by the new Chrysler that the US Jeep Wrangler would get a new four-cylinder diesel engine option for 2011. But unfortunately since then, our American Jeep marketers have gotten a bit soft spined on the matter, backtracking about whether or not they will offer us a high mile-per-gallon off-roader.
Yet in Europe, you can go down to a dealership today and buy a brand new 2010 Jeep Wrangler with a 2.8 liter CRD four-cylinder turbo diesel. That engine sourced from Daimler has an impressive 174hp and staggering 339 lb-ft. of torque. That is plenty of grunt for crawling rocks, climbing hills and going to WalMart for dog food.
Sparking even more jealousy of our European Jeep enthusiasts, the diesel powered Jeep Wrangler gets 23.7 mpg in the city and 35.8 mpg on the highway. And if you average that out you get a combined 30 mpg. Compare that to the US version of the Jeep Wrangler which is powered by a 3.8 liter gasoline V6 which is actually quite thirsty for a vehicle this size, mustering only 19mpg highway. And that big thirsty engine only has 237 ft.-lbs of torque.
Granted, bringing a diesel powered Jeep Wrangler to the US market would require some additional work to meet our emissions, but the engines and drive trains already exist. They are already being built on the assembly line in Toledo, OH. But we know from experience that the reason we don’t have diesel versions of many American models isn’t because they cant build them. It’s because most American manufacture’s still live under the close minded illusion that American’s won’t buy them.
We of course disagree. Given the choice to spend a few thousand dollars more, Americans would buy every diesel powered Wrangler Jeep could build. They only need to look at their past experience with the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel and Jeep Liberty diesel. These vehicles were always in short supply on dealer lots, often forced buyers to be on waiting lists, and never needed incentives to sell. And, dealers most often got full sticker on every one of them.
Come on Jeep, time to take Dodge’s advice and grab life by the horns.