If Chrysler’s five-year business plan were taken at face value, one might be forgiven for thinking we were supposed to have a four-cylinder, stop-start-equipped diesel Wrangler in the US by now. Not so, clarified Jeep’s bosses, while keeping the window open. Now Jeep CEO Mike Manley is hinting at diesels again, telling the Freep that the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee could get oil-burning engines “within three years,” and that
Diesel in some of our models makes absolute sense.
Europeans certainly seem to think so, as the vast majority of Jeep sales on the continent are diesel models. And no wonder: on the European test-cycle (non-EPA), the 3.8 liter gas-powered Wrangler (with manual) is rated at 15.5MPG city, 29 MPG highway and 22MPG combined, while the diesel 2.8 with manual and stop-start (offering less horsepower but more torque) is rated at 28.5MPG city, 36.2MPG highway and 33.1MPG combined (converted from l/100km figures). It might not be long before that kind of efficiency advantage becomes worth the $1k-$3k projected price premium (assuming the EPA test reflects an equal advantage).