By on January 6, 2012

The diesel powered version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee will return to our shores in 2013, 5 years after it was last offered in North America. Chrysler announced that 1,100 jobs would also be added to a third shift at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit.

The new hires will help build the Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and portions of the upcoming Maserati Kubang SUV. The 3.0L diesel makes 237 bhp in European trim, as well as 405 lb-ft of torque.

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43 Comments on “Jeep Grand Cherokee To Get Diesel In 2013, 1,100 Jobs Created...”


  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    A diesel makes a lot of sense in a vehicle like this. Once they offer the Diesel, and presumably the ZF 8AT, it seems the only reason to choose an M Class over a Jeep will be the badge, and perhaps slightly more solid power window switches…

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Diesel is about 20% more expensive than regular in my area. Just to break even in fuel savings, it would need to get 28mpg to save any money versus the 23mpg Pentastar V6 JGC. I somehow doubt that this will be a no cost option over the Pentastar V6 or that people will regularly see 28mpg with the diesel. I think it will be a tough sell.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with this like of reasoning (== no cost advantage), but I wish they dropped that diesel into my Wrangler. The small size of the fuel tank on it hurts, and diesel would extend the range by, oh, about the size of jerry cans that I do not need to carry anymore. Advantage: crash safety.

    • 0 avatar
      harshciygar

      It should get high 20′s for gas mileage, otherwise I don’t imagine they would bother bringing it over.

      And if they do go for the 3.0 turbodiesel from Europe, we’re talking about 400 ft-lbs of torque, which is what, 130 more ft-lbs of torque than the 3.6 liter V6?

      It will cost more to buy, and more to fill up. But I’m willing to bet it will find buyers, especially among those who rack up a lot of miles fast, and need the utility of an SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The diesel may well have 50% more peak torque, but if the gas engine revs 50% higher, and is equally smooth at those revs, who cares. Cars come with transmissions, why not use them? In addition, NA gas engines mete out torque much smoother and more precisely at their somewhat higher revs, than do turbo diesels, making them more suitable for technical off road travel.

        In favor of the diesel, the range issue is a big one; for off (and sometimes on) road travel. As is the safety of fuel storage, for those into prepping.

        Old school diesel engines also had a great reputation for reliability and simplicity, but that has all gone out the window with the mew fangled high pressure ones. I’d be awfully surprised to hear some contemporary Euro diesel being more reliable, and cheaper to maintain, than the 4L gasser in the 4runner.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      The “break even” metric isn’t usually a factor when somebody wants a diesel powered truck or SUV. It’s torque.

      • 0 avatar
        TridentTrinity

        At the cost of it sounding like a tractor engine with clatter/rattle at low rpms? Ughh … I’ll pass. Yes to my ears its still a problem even with the new fangled modern diesels like the BMW 335d. And have you seen how dirty most diesel nozzles are at gas pumps? Ughh … Yes they have gloves but why go through the hassles?

        My guess is that most people in the US will pass as well. Only a few folks know what torque is, care about it or actually need the towing capacity. How many normal SUV’s (not pickups) do you see towing stuff? Given the downsides and no immediate cost benefit I doubt torque will be enough to sway most.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        The new diesel engines clatter about as much, (or little) as the new GDI engines.

      • 0 avatar
        TridentTrinity

        @MBella
        The new diesel engines clatter about as much, (or little) as the new GDI engines.

        No they don’t. Not to me. My wife’s Mini Cooper S (turbo GDI) actually sounds quite nice compared to the annoying diesels. Sound has various complex qualities and at low RPM diesels just don’t sound pleasing even if it uses similar technology to turbo GDIs. Gasoline turbo GDI has a nice bass to it whereas diesel clatter sounds more harsh and has higher frequency annoying components to it. Still sounds like a tractor engine to me even if its not as loud.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Diesels are normally reliable vehicles. VW diesel has some problems with their high pressure fuel pump, but that’s because our diesel fuel generally sucks. People that add a bit of bio-diesel or additives have no problems with them. As for availability of diesel mechanics…that’s a different story

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “I think it will be a tough sell.”

      I disagree – oil burning pickup trucks and Volkswagons seem to sell briskly, and have absurdly high resale values in my part of the world.

      I expect this will prove popular with those who tow, drive offroad, or put on lots of miles. I also think there are some who just like the idea of a fuel efficient diesel SUV, and will buy it even if the numbers don’t quite justify the cost – many people buy hybrids and they don’t make sense on fuel cost savings alone either.

      The availability of a diesel will also serve to differentiate the JGC from the 4Runner and Pathfinder (are there any other direct competitors still available?), and may even make it seem like a more “serious” and “capable” truck.

      Finally, who knows if the average price of regular is gasoline is going to remain at 20% or more above the price of diesel, or if the real world fuel economy of the diesel JGC won’t be 20% or more above the fuel economy of the Pentastar powered truck?

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        JMHO, but those who regularly tow the 5k or so lbs that would enjoy the work constant characteristics of a diesel will be turned off by the fact that the JGC is a short wheelbase, unit body SUV.

        The Pentastar JGC does 22 mpg on CR’s 150 mi roadtrip cycle and 24 mpg on their highway cycle. Do you think that the diesel will really do near 30mpg? The last JGC diesel appears to get around 21mpg in mixed driving. The new diesel emission requirements haven’t exactly been kind to the mileage of today’s diesels. If it does 30mpg, it will be god awful slow and there are quite a few people that already complain about the Pentastar in the JGC being slow.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        @Quentin

        I have done a few thousand km in a number of Pentastar powered JGCs, and I wouldn’t consider them slow but the Pentastar does make power at higher RPMs – some would no doubt prefer the low end torque of a diesel in a 4×4 truck, even if it wasn’t any faster on paper.

        The Pentastar is surprisingly fuel efficient engine, (JGC highway mileage is not that different than my Subaru) but I think a diesel will be better still. Even if the difference isn’t enough to make it worthwhile to choose the diesel on fuel costs alone, some will like the torque, range, etc.

        These won’t be for everyone, but I think they will find their following. There are people who go to great lengths to import old diesel Landrovers, keep old diesel Landcruisers alive, etc. so I think there will be at least some demand for a diesel Jeep.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        It wasn’t that long ago that Chrysler wanted to test the light duty diesel SUV market, so they came out with the CRD Liberty. If they sold 5,000 oil burning Liberties, then it would been considered a success. They sold 10,000 the first year and sold as many as they could each consecutive year until it met its production end after the VM Motori sourced diesel no longer met stricter US emissions.

        Diesel engines make so much sense for these kinds of heavy vehicles. The payoff isn’t always economic as I already mentioned, but drive-ability. We’ll see soon enough.

        Here’s a good test example of a heavy Mercedes SUV where the gas and diesel powered equivalents are paired against each other. While the gasoline V6 in this ‘Merc isn’t the same as the V6 in the Cherokee, the diesel V6 is.

        http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/13/business/la-fi-autos-mercedes-ml350-review-20111013

        “All told, there was almost no discernible difference between the gas-powered ML350 and the ML350 BlueTec. The only thing that revealed its diesel powertrain was an idle not that different from your kid’s school bus.

        But to me, a little idle chatter is worth the advantage at the fuel pump. The diesel ML350 is rated at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway, while the gas ML350 is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. In my time with each, I averaged 21 mpg with the diesel and 16.3 with the gas.”

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        Due to the regulatory environment the only sensible reason to use diesel in the US was for it’s torque, which has had some interesting impact on the perception of diesel in the states. Across the pond Diesel might be the fuel of French communists out to ruin the performance of passenger cars, but here it’s the Manly-Butch Manly-Mans fuel for those wanting enough torques to pull-down a mountain. ;)

        And I for one like the sound of an idling diesel, growing-up on a farm it brings back many happy childhood memories. ^_^

  • avatar
    nguyenhm16

    I was planning to get a JGC and will wait for the diesel, if only for the torques. Though I’m sure it’ll cost more than a V6, it’ll be less than a Touareg TDI, which I’ve been cross-shopping.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    What will be the sticker price on a JGC with a diesel? 45K?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    In European trim, sure. In American trim, diesels have much less power and MPG not to mention other drawbacks like initial cost, expensive fuel, emissions/particulate filtration, added complexity, less reliabilty and then have to seek out-of-warranty repair specialists.

    I doubt many will buy diesel Cherokees once they’re informed. There’s alot of online pleas/outcry for diesel vehicles but that won’t really translate into actual sales success. Those that will ONLY buy gasoline vehicles don’t make nearly as much noise.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The GC has never been much of a tow vehicle with it’s mushy suspension. Put a diesel in much more capable towing chassis like a Tahoe/Burb or any 1/2 ton PU and they wouldn’t be able to make them fast enough. Still wondering why GM and Isuzu haven’t figured that out yet.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Once the engine is certified, how much would it cost them to put it in a half ton pickup? It might be a good way to test the waters for a specific light truck diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I’m all about this combo! I don’t need a full size truck for towing, but the torque from a small turbo diesel would be great. A nice thing about the MPG boost is less fill ups / longer range, even if the price is the same as gasoline. 230 HP / 405 TQ in my current Dakota would be perfect, as is I’ve got 235 HP / 295 TQ (4.7l V8) but only getting 13 MPG.

  • avatar
    obruni

    ok, everyone with me:

    “WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! WRANGLER CRD!!! “

  • avatar
    theonewhogotaway

    This sounds like the same 3 liter DOHC direct injection VM Motori engine that powers the 2011 Grand Cherokee in Europe. Much more powerful than the older Benz 3 liter that the G. Cherokee had a few years ago. That’s close to Hemi torque. Some places out there say that it is will be a Fiat engine. Same country, wrong company ;) Also this is not going to be a turbo diesel like some places report, if indeed is going to be the VM Motori engine. And that engine is rated around 29ish mpg overall and gives the Jeep a 0-60 in about 7 secs in EU. Not. That. Bad. (Compared to my ’96.5 Cherokee)

    As far as a Diesel Wrangler, goes, I’d love to see them drop the Cummins 6.7 turbodiesel in there. And that car (unlike the Grand Cherokee) can fit it. I am sure that there will be a following…

  • avatar
    kkop

    I love it when diesels are announced for the US. Suddenly, it’s ‘put up or shut up’-time for the many commenters here that would buy a diesel if only it were available, really.

    The diesel powered vehicle announced, reality sets in and suddenly ‘diesel fuel is too expensive’, ‘diesels are too loud’ (whatever grandpa), or it’s the wrong vehicle to be powered by a diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      theonewhogotaway

      here is the thing about this comment:

      (and I would love to have a diesel, btw)
      the think is that Diesels in the US have (recently) been in higher end cars. And the entry price is prohibiting. I think that the least expensive Diesels offered in recent memory were the VW TDIs at $25K a pop. No, thank you. I’d really love to see some one (as in 1.0) liter Diesel engines offered this side of the pond with 70-80 mph efficiency in subcompacts and at about $12K (as it is happening in the EU.) If the Diesel entry price in the States is mid 20s, it will not happen… Very simple math.

    • 0 avatar
      DrSandman

      Count this as one sold JGC diesel.

      I’ve been cramming along in the wife’s 2004 Jeep Liberty with 2 (TALL!) kids and a wife who has longer, beautiful legs than I had any right to marry, along with all our vacation stuff, etc.

      Waiting for a Jeep (we are one of the 5% that actually need an SUV…) that gets better than 26mpg highway. This’ll do.

  • avatar
    mopar4wd

    Call me an optimist but I think it will do well. Jeep buyers (even GC buyers) tend to me a bit more hardcore for diesels. Back in 2005 the liberty sold well over what was thought for a diesel selling 10,000 units in the first year. I have never heard how the CRD GC did but I know it was not legal in at least 5 states so that probably didn’t help. I know a year ago the local VW dealer had waiting lists for diesel Touregs and the same for Diesel Q7 at audi so there is some form of market there, It’s just a matter of how large.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    The last GC diesel sold relatively well although there were a lot of reliability problems with it. Compared with the Mercedes, the fuel economy wasn’t that great. The Mercedes came with a 7 speed auto transmission, while the GC came with the 5 sp. Big difference. The Mercedes got 28-30 mpg hwy…the GC 21-23. I am not sure about you all, but in my book any 5000+lbs vehicle that gets 28-30 mpg hwy gets my attention. Which hybrid SUV weighing 5000+lbs that can tow 5-6000 lbs or more can get 28-30 mpg hwy?
    If the execution of this GC is done right, the vehicle will be a success even with the EPA roadblocks thrown at it ( more stringent diesel emissions as opposed to gas engines which drives the prices up).
    All I am saying, is let us wait for this vehicle to come out before we bash it as being “dirty”, “loud” etc, etc. Also, if it turns out that it is a sales failure ( which I hope not), let’s not demonize diesel. It could be that the execution was not done right.
    I sure hope that Chrysler will not screw this one up. We need good diesel SUVs ( not just luxury brands). If the GC gets 25+ mpg hwy with the 4×4, it would be great. If it gets 28, it would be phenomenal.

  • avatar
    Les

    Am I the only one who remembers when Diesel was CHEEPER than gasoline?

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      It used to fluctuate with the seasons in the US: cheaper than regular during summer, more expensive than premium in winter (when it was being used to heat homes in the northeast). But at some point it stopped getting cheap, presumably when the US became a massive processed petrochemical exporter, sending all that diesel “junk” byproduct of gasoline production to Europe, where it is popular due to tax policy.

      IIRC the typical oil crack spread is like 25% diesel or so, and if a bunch of that is being tankered overseas, what remains will go up in price and stay there.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        I live in Oklahoma, and back in the day Diesel was Always cheaper than regular (Cheaper still if you had a ‘Farm Truck’ tag).. One of my uncles works big-steal construction and suggested the flip-around was because of sulfur-scrubbers mandated for refineries producing road-legal diesel fuel, of which he installed a few. The refineries charged more for diesel to pay for the scrubbers, then kept charging more when everybody got used to diesel being expensive.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Remember that the supply of diesel is also tied to the production of AVTUR (jet fuels) as it comes from the same fraction of oil. More jet fuel produced, less diesel. Plus add on govement taxes etc.. subsidies for rural users etc.. makes diesel in the US and Australia a non starter for normal everday driving. Only taxi’s, buses and long distance drivers can take advantage of the economy of deisel powered cars. When petrol (gasoline) can cost upto 20 to 30 cents cheaper than diesel, the advantages of running a economic diesel car tends to be wiped out.

  • avatar
    AJ

    As said above, us Jeepers keep asking for a diesel in the Wrangler! Hello McFly?!

    I do have a gas Liberty in the family that will become a WK2 (Grand Cherokee) at some point and I have been going back and forth between the Pentastar for it’s mpg or the HEMI to be able to tow my TJ Wrangler on occasion (as it’s not the best ride for long highway trips being that it’s built up for off-road).

    However with the possibility of a diesel WK2, I’d certainly consider one. I don’t want to just buy a “flash in the pan” diesel as I’d want to keep it for some time and I would except reliability and the ability to get it serviced without seeing blank looks when I drive it into the dealership. I almost bought a CRD Liberty back in 2005 and unfortunately there were some problems with them, enough that owners were getting rid of them. The interest is there Chrysler! Just don’t screw it up if you are going to do it as my gas Liberty has been very reliable and I’d hate to regret trading up. Otherwise, just give us a diesel in the Wrangler…

    • 0 avatar
      getacargetacheck

      “Just don’t screw it up if you are going to do it as my gas Liberty has been very reliable…”

      For all the panning the Liberty got in the press I can’t believe how reliable and solid mine has been. Better than the Hondas I’ve owned. Seriously.

  • avatar
    Les

    Something that I just remembered…

    Cummins is a name with a great deal of cachet in the US for solid, powerful diesel engines, it’s why ‘Cummins’ is an engine-badge second only to ‘Hemi’ on Chrysler products.

    But on the international scene, Cummins is a main competitor and rival of Fiat on the diesel scene. What will that mean for the future of Cummins/Chrysler?


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