By on July 2, 2007

jp007_001gc.jpgEvery morning at 4:00 am, I’m woken by an automotive alarm clock. It’s the sound of my neighbor beginning his daily commute, firing-up his 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel Dodge Ram. The oil burner nestling in the pickup’s snout embodies all the characteristics that American car buyers of a certain age associate with Rudolph Diesel’s powerplant. It’s loud, dirty and smelly. Its rattle makes the vehicle vibrate like a cheap motel bed. Is in any wonder Jeep’s website doesn’t go out of its way to advertise the diesel option in its Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland? Yes and no. 

This low-key approach to the diesel propulsion extends to the vehicle itself. The only physical indication that my tester didn’t snack on Regular Unleaded: the subtle 3.0L Diesel badge on the Overland’s lower right tailgate. Otherwise, the oil burning Grand Cherokee looks the same as its gas-powered equivalent— which is, of course, no bad thing.

img_0668.jpgThe tweaked fourth gen Grand Cherokee (codename WK) remains a potent design. The front end combines Jeep’s near-trademark seven-slotted grill with a hood cut back around the headlights the way a woman’s brow stretches back from her eyes after a facelift. In the keepin’-it-real category, a high crotched rear-end to enable departure from steep angled grades.

The Overland, named after the Indiana-born automaker of the same name, is Jeep’s highest spec Grand Cherokee (short of the bonkers SRT8). Externally, it’s differentiated from its more plebian siblings by tasteful platinum accents. Taken as a whole, the Cherokee still looks tight and right, ready to take you out of sight.

img_0639.jpgInside, the Overland gets Jeep’s white glove treatment. The seats are adorned with two-tone leather and embossed by an Overland logo. Burled vavona wood frames the radio console, gearshift selector, side doors and the top third of the leather wrapped steering wheel. Sadly, every other dashboard surface is plied with the same low rent molded plastics that afflict every other Chrysler product.

Toys abound. The dual-zone climate control uses a Predator-style infra-red sensor to measure front seat passengers’ body temperature. Rain sensitive wipers deal with moisture issues, while Mafiosi will appreciate a remote start function that works from 300 feet. The Overland’s standard-fit Boston Acoustics audio system is loud enough to ward off wildlife from twice that distance. And speaking of noise…

jp008_010gc.jpgKick over the Grand Cherokee Overland’s [optional] 3.0-liter common rail diesel and the engine sounds like… a diesel. That said, it sounds like my neighbor’s truck a quarter of a mile away. And by the time you accelerate to 35 mph, the oil burner is inaudible over the air conditioning fan– on low. A diesel digression…

Although the Jeep’s V6 diesel is NOT a BlueTec, it is foundational to Mercedes’ diesel emissions treatment system. That process injects an additive called AdBlue into the engine’s exhaust, which reacts with nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen and water emissions then pass through an SCR-Kat catalytic converter to trap particulates. Should Mercedes agree to supply engines to Jeep subsequent to the Chrysler amputation, BlueTec might be in Grand Cherokee’s future in a year or two.

img_0628.jpgMeanwhile, the Overland’s turbo diesel provides the kind of low down grunt that sends off-road junkies into spasms of delight. We’re talking 379 ft.-lbs. of torque all the way from 1600rpm to 2800rpm. Though the mill only produced 215hp, the massive low rev torque pushes you down the highway like the invisible hand of god when you give it the gas, eh, diesel. Jump on the accelerator from a standstill and the traction control struggles spastically to keep the P245/65R17 Goodyear Fortera’s from shredding.

But all is not rosy with the new diesel. The Overland’s pogo stick suspension is so mushy I’m convinced Jeep invited Dodge engineers to tune it.  The super-soft springy suspension is atypical of any other late model Grand Cherokees I’ve ever driven. Equally out of character: the Overland’s heavy, numb steering, which makes piloting the vehicle through traffic as much fun as hefting a garbage truck through a slalom course.

img_0653.jpgLast week, driving my family over the high plains of New Mexico across northern Arizona and into southern Utah, I stopped every 340 miles to refuel my V6 Liberty’s 20.5-gallon fuel tank. With its 22-gallon fuel tank, the Grand Cherokee diesel can cruise more than 450 highway miles per fill-up (estimated 20/25mpg). Road trip pit stops are more about emptying bladders than wallets.

So are SUV driving Americans ready to accept diesel power? We’ll find out, but it won’t be the Overland that wins the hearts of the driving public. The CRD option adds $2,010 to the Overland’s price tag, raising the price of admission to the oil burning club to a total of $42,285 (as tested). Never mind noise, smell or rattle, premium pricing and sloppy handling makes the Overland a glow plug non-starter.

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44 Comments on “Grand Cherokee Overland Diesel Review...”

  • avatar

    The two big bonuses to diesel vs. gas are:

    1. Better fuel economy: But is 20/25 really that much better, all things considered, than a couple mpg lower with the “familiar” gas models?

    2. Great torque: Is a model with all the extra frou-frou really going to appeal to offroaders and others who will actually use it? I suppose there’s the towing benefit, but now we’re down to a small niche of buyers.

    I love diesels, but I just fear these initial applications of the technology won’t provide enough added value to sway anyone. OTOH, Honda and VW are doing what I consider to be perfect uses–gain widespread acceptance first by putting them in passenger cars with substantially better economy than gas.

  • avatar

    We toured Costa Rica this year in a Pathfinder diesel.

    Pulling power on rocky unmade side roads is essential. Speed is impossible.

    The straight six produced 30 mpg overall and if I lived in such a country, I could finally justify owning the thing I have spent a long time despising – a massive SUV.

    With a diesel engine, of -course. Diesel is on its way here and not a moment too soon.

  • avatar

    So this additive the engine uses, AdBlue. Does one need to replenish it? Does the vehicle operate without it?

  • avatar

    I must say, I do like the look of the Grand Cherokee. And the diesel option is, at this point in time, very appealing. You are right about them being lowkey in promoting it…until this article, I didn’t even know it existed. Jeep is certainly the most valulable asset in Chrysler’s portfolio. But damn, that is getting up there in price. Why tie this engine down by coupling it with the most expensive package?

  • avatar

    philbailey, I agree it is about time for diesels to take root here in the states, but clean only please.

    I drove a much more basic V8 rental version for a couple days and found it to be a smooshy, spongy, numb, boring chore to drive. It’s bad when you have to plan your moves far ahead of time so as to quell the clumsy motions as much as possible. And the plastics…eesh.

  • avatar

    I swear that the pickup truck makers deliberately make their Diesel engines as loud as possible. Hop into any recently built Diesel car (half of anything in Europe, or a VW TDI if you live here in the USA) and they are indistinguishable from their spark-plug equipped, yet fuel-efficiency challenged gasoline brethren. The only time you can note that there is an oelmotor under the hood is at idle, but that is more due to the particular note of a compression-ignition engine, not due to the decibel level.

    I love Diesel. Over half the cars I’ve owned since 1982 have been oil burners. I don’t understand the American tendency to shun them. They get 40% better fuel economy without the need for goofy shapes or overly-complicated hybrid drivetrains. If you have the time, space, ability, and desire, you can even make your own eco-friendly fuel from restaurant waste. No Middle East wars or ridiculous corn subsidies required.

    One final note about Diesel in general: You need to alter your frame of reference with regards to what you’ve learned about engines. Diesels require fewer cylinders, less displacement overall, and less horsepower to do the same or even better job than a gasoline engine in an otherwise identical chassis. So a 3 liter 4- or 6-cylinder Diesel is equivalent to a 4-to-5 liter 8-cylinder gasoline engine. You get all the torque you need from the moment you get just above idle, but you gain nothing from revving the engine up near the redline. Very different driving experience… except of course the hundreds of extra miles from every tank of fuel.

    When will we see more CARS offered with Diesel engines? It seems as if trucks & the odd SUV (except VW and one Benz model of course) are the only choices we have in America. If somebody sold a roadster with a turbo-charged Diesel motor in it, I’d buy it today.


  • avatar

    $42,000 for a Jeep?! That’s unbelievable.

    Luckily, the used market for Jeeps usually gets you an incredible deal.

    I bought a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2004 used, and got almost $10,000 grand off the sticker of a new Jeep GC.

    I guess i’ll have to wait for the lease turn-ins to hit the dealers.

  • avatar


    “But is 20/25 really that much better, all things considered, than a couple mpg lower with the “familiar” gas models?”

    I say yes, it is. From a consumption standpoint, increasing the mpg of a vehicle that gets relatively low mileage will reduce the fuel consumption far more than ‘hybridizing’ an already fuel efficient vehicle. For example, taking the Grand Cherokee from 14 mpg to 20 mpg city will lower fuel consumption far more than taking a 30 mpg economy car and adding a hybrid to get 50 mpg, even though the general public will be more impressed with the 50 mpg figure. For this reason, I think that if this country wants to save fuel, it should start with the worst offenders, and use diesels in trucks and SUVs as soon as possible.

  • avatar

    Diesels have been standard fare in other countries for years but environmental regulations have kept them out of the US market. We can’t have it all ways, we want lower fuel usage and larger vehicles we need diesels. you ca’t beat the efficiency.

    As to the Jeep, it is a shame one of the first SUV diesels has to be a mopar. There will be problems with this model and that will taint the public against SUV diesels.

    I love the sound of dual turbo diesels engines, that’s real power in there.

  • avatar

    As much as I hate Grand Cherokees and other big SUVs, I might consider one with a diesel, if the price is right. $42000 is ridiculous though. Jeep shouldn’t have dropped the option from the Liberty, and Chrysler should have offered a diesel option in the Caravan years ago in North America. Of course, VW should also be selling the Touran TDI here, but we all know that VW isn’t all that bright in terms of knowing what people want over here. I’ve driven diesel VWs for most of the time I’ve had a licence, and won’t buy another gas powered vehicle. Nothing else compares to the economy and the torque. I’m personally waiting for the Tiguan TDI, because it looks like a reasonably priced small SUV. Hopefully VW won’t screw it up and offer only a 2WD TDI option for North America, like how they’ve never offered a 4Motion Passat TDI over here.

  • avatar

    From what I’ve read about the Mercedes-Benz AdBlue diesel system, you do need to replenish the urea-based solution. I think this is what is holding up the Bluetec-line of diesels from entering the five “California-spec” exhaust states. The argument from M-B is that the solution will be replenished with each service visit (insert comment here about quality)/oil change/etc.
    Without the solution, the new diesels are still cleaner with the huge particle traps and the “clean oven cycle” methods of soot burnoff.
    I believe that will have to be a massive chamber to hold the solution as M-B uses those complex computations to determine when your car needs to be serviced and that can range from 15,000 to 25,000 miles! I think what California and the New England states want to know is how dirty will these vehicles get once they age and second, third, and above owners might not take pristine care of the car and let service slide. We are seeing this now with the hulking trucks and SUVs with over 100,000 miles that get 12mpg and while they might have been “low polluting” [heh…] as new, now they are spewing 12mpg worth of stink, smoke, and soot. That would mess up the air more than any diesel!

  • avatar


    So this additive the engine uses, AdBlue. Does one need to replenish it? Does the vehicle operate without it?

    From what I’ve read – Yes, you will need to repleneish the additive, and this is true for all Bluetec models.

    Also, when I was last working on Jeep suspensions, it was executive order that Jeeps needed to ride plusher. And coincidentally that executive used to oversee Dodge truck and had a thing for the way the last gen late model Durango rode. Bus that was 4 years ago so I don’t know if he’s still there.

  • avatar

    Once again, an economical engine option that is priced way above the theshold of those who really need fuel economy. What the world needs is a cheap reliable diesel for everyone – excluding the leather seats.

  • avatar

    Mercedes probably insists that their diesel engine is only used in the top-spec models as not to erode the exclusivity of their engine which also does duty in Merc’s upscale SUVs.

    That’s a pity because it really defeats the point of green technology when most folks can’t afford it. I hope that the Nissan/Honda diesels will be priced more competitively.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    July 2nd, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Mercedes probably insists that their diesel engine is only used in the top-spec models as not to erode the exclusivity of their engine which also does duty in Merc’s upscale SUVs.”

    This is a logical and safe assumption. Indeed, many missed product opportunities with the Chrysler Group can be traced to the desire by Mercedes not to erode any of its exclusivity. Even when it came to utilizing previous-generation platforms. Even if DCX kept Chrysler, the 300 was as far as it was going to get in terms of significant technology sharing.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    I predict that the diesel Grand Cherokee will sell well. And not because of improved gas mileage, either. As one of the few SUV’s that are often used offroad, the Grand Cherokee will benefit greatly from the low RPM, stump pulling torque of the Diesel. That’s precisely why the Wrangler continued to offer the “obsolete” 4.0 I-6 until this year. If they installed that motor in the Wrangler, I have no doubt it would be the most-selected engine option.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    “heavy, numb steering, which makes piloting the vehicle through traffic as much fun as hefting a garbage truck through a slalom course.”

    And which makes the steering, OFF ROAD, intuitive and zenlike when sensing your way around obstacles and situations where one or more wheels are losing traction. Offroad, the GC’s steering is second-to-none.

  • avatar


    Amen. We absolutely need to get the efficiency up for the lowest of the low MPG vehicles. I do not see this reported enough. It is strange that GM, Ford, and Chrysler (now, apparently) are addressing this issue and no one notices. Even worse, people discount a 25% increase from 16 mpg to 20 mpg but drool over a 40 mpg car getting 50 mpg–even when the 20 saves a whole lot more fuel. I hope we can come to our senses and stop giving away tax credits to efficient cars instead of efficient trucks.

  • avatar

    They might have tweaked the suspension sense, but when I drove the 2005 (first year of the current design) I thought the ride and handling were both excellent for an off-road-capable SUV.

    If the diesel engine adds considerable weight to the front end, this could have an impact. It certainly does in the E-Class.

    The diesel is also available in the Limited, but not in the Laredo base trim.

    The Grand Cherokee is getting an MCE for 2008, which includes improved front end styling. The headlights will now appear round on the bottom as well as the top.

  • avatar

    They dropped the ball. The diesel should have been a non-packaged line-item option starting at the base trim level. By positioning it with the top of the line trim package, they’ve doomed it to a niche market.

    I’m with brettc above. $42k is absolutely preposterous for a Jeep Cherokee.

  • avatar

    My understanding is that steering and suspension suckage are common in diesels because the engines are quite a bit heavier than the gasoline equivalents. I’ve heard that excused used for the V10 Touareg.

  • avatar

    I convinced my Parents to pick up a new 06 Liberty Limited 4×4 CRD. For the money it was easily the most vehicle for the money from Chrysler Group. I never even knew Jeep still offered a CRD. This is great news.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    gakoenig: So this additive the engine uses, AdBlue. Does one need to replenish it? Does the vehicle operate without it?

    Yes. Mercedes’ literature indicates that you would fill your add blue tank at service stations just like filling gas.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Larry P2: And which makes the steering, OFF ROAD, intuitive and zenlike when sensing your way around obstacles and situations where one or more wheels are losing traction. Offroad, the GC’s steering is second-to-none.

    I have spent a lot of time tooling around in WK Grand Cherokee’s over the last couple of years and I agree with you that they have exceptional steering on road and off. But not this one. It completely lacks feel. I find no virtue in it.

  • avatar

    We’ve got a `98 Grand Cherokee and it rides like a chuck wagon. I hate how it rides. I feel every single last little bump, crack, and expansion joint in the rode.

  • avatar

    Please tell me why someone would pay $42K for this and pass over the $40 SRT-8 Jeep?

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    I’ve got a 6.7 diesel megacab on loan this week – it is decidedly un-smelly, not particularly noisy, comfortable as hell, and could pull the local Co-Op off its foundation.

  • avatar

    Pray tell what happens when Joe Blow in a hurry fills his new diesel vehicle with gasoline?

    I am sure diesel revolution will be upon us.. but not before some people screw up at gas stations. Especially guys who have had gas powered cars all their lives…

  • avatar

    “Hop into any recently built Diesel car (half of anything in Europe, or a VW TDI if you live here in the USA) and they are indistinguishable from their spark-plug equipped, yet fuel-efficiency challenged gasoline brethren. The only time you can note that there is an oelmotor under the hood is at idle, but that is more due to the particular note of a compression-ignition engine, not due to the decibel level.”

    I recently drove a Golf TDI for a week in Europe and then rented a Prius right afterwards at LAX and I would definitely disagree with this statement. While the TDI was a nice and capable car, it certainly sounded and drove very much like a diesel, especially in city traffic. It had been a long time since I drove a VW diesel and I expected them to have improved considerably, but I cannot say I was too impressed.

    The Prius on the other hand, was very smooth and fun to drive. I especially liked the linear acceleration when the engine, the electric motor, and the CVT work perfectly together. Also, 50mpg for a three-day Southern California road trip was very good.

  • avatar

    “Road trip pit stops are more about emptying bladders than wallets.”

    If Benz won’t let Chrysler/Jeep have its ADBlue technology for urea injection, perhaps DCX could pioneer AdYellow urea injection.

    Beats carrying around an old jug!

  • avatar

    chuckgoolsbee: The reason diesels are shunned in the U.S. is that, until now with the new regulations in place, they were dirty engines. They polluted far, far more than regular petroleum engines, and that’s the answer to your little question about hybrids as well, people buy them not only for the mpg, but for the reduced emissions as well–it’s not ALL about how much you pay at the pump. So if diesels here could be as clean as regular gasoline engines, it would make a whole lot of sense to get one, but until right about now, they haven’t been. It’s pretty basic.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    carlisimo: My understanding is that steering and suspension suckage are common in diesels because the engines are quite a bit heavier than the gasoline equivalents. I’ve heard that excused used for the V10 Touareg.

    Hmmm… True, but the CDR Overland weighs only about 85 lbs more than the 5.7L gasser, less than half the weight of an extra passenger.

    Four-wheel drive adds more than 200 lbs and it does not compromise steering and handling dynamics nearly so dramatically. Yes, the engine weight is higher and a little more forward, but if I strapped my 200lbs buddy to the hood, it would not mush things up this badly.

    No, the squishification of the suspension and anesthetization of the steering was a deliberate act by the Chrysler powers-that-be to domesticate this mountain goat.

    And this is why we have a Chrysler Suicide Watch.

  • avatar

    the new grand cherokee looks like some tuning version of the previous generation box. boring, plus german guts inside.nor it applies to being american , nor being appealing. diesle engine vibrations only increase my repulsion, ditto the 4 conditioner blisters.( couldn`t you take the digital air conditioner controls from durango?) a car that doesn`t provoke emotions, only fading memories, of the old grand cherokee, that was even worse.( except it was pure american.)why would i buy it?

  • avatar

    Pray tell what happens when Joe Blow in a hurry fills his new diesel vehicle with gasoline?

    At the rate the general populace is being dumbed-down on a daily basis (I call this the “Paris Hilton effect”), this scenario is quite conceivable – especially if Joe Blow doesn’t realize that the fuel receptacle of a diesel has a larger diameter than that of a gasoline fuel receptacle…

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    If you can honestly tell me that you took the Diesel GC on some serious, hardcore off-roading, particularly some boulder crawling and hill-climbing and STILL came up with the same conclusions, then I will stop my critisisms.

    Among Jeep fanatics where I live – and there are lots and lots of them – the Diesel GC is viewed as a belated return to Jeep’s “roots,” after the Compass and Patriot debacles. And watching them in some grueling off-road situations, I think they are absolutely correct.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Larry P2, with all due respect, I think you need to take the Overland CRD for a test drive. You will discover that it drives unlike any other Grand Cherokee, and you won’t be pleased with what you find.

    I too would love to have 379lb-ft of twist on hand at 1,600 rpms while rock crawling. But this rig is priced like a Mercedes and drives like a Dodge. Is that really what you want?

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Wonderful piece of work with a nice lead-in this is. I wonder how many people reading it know that Overland was one of several companies that built the redoubtable Jeep during World War II? How nice it is to see the old Overland badge on the sides of this new SUV.

    But hey, the important question is this: how does it run on biodiesel? Chuck Goolsbee and the rest of us who are hoping to start fueling our cars with the leftovers from McDonald’s want to know.

  • avatar

    I love my faultless 2006 Jeep Commander Ltd. It has never failed to impress those (up to 7 people) that were invited in. I love that it has a hemi as I pull a F355 Berlinetta Ferrari and my 1958 all aluminum AC Bristol Aceca (fixed roof version of the ACE) following the JeePS Navigation to tracks and far flung destinations. I would however enjoy it more if there were oil burner under the hood. We also own the 2007 ML320 MB CDI – with trailer hitch but so far she hasn’t been hitched. The stable, safe and yet unlovable but by its mother Commander will remain the family tow and go vehicle for now.

    Should I have the option of downgrading to the Rudolf powered but smaller G’ Cherokee, I will report back. Before I read the reviews here – that was the plan – but with the Commander’s balanced suspension, I may just chip and improve the Commander’s air intake.

    I seek diesel for my next family car too but the MB BluTech sedan takes a break from our shores due to the new bad religion and cult like, short sited numbers only environmentalist. Bravo idiots!

  • avatar

    Just bought a new 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 3.0 liter. $34,200. For that price, THE CAR IS A STEAL. Owned a Jeep Cherokee 4.0, loved it. But it burned gas like it was going out of style. Not only is the CRD tough as nails it has better gas mileage then my wife’s new Mitsubishi Outlander cross-over.

    With driving a diesel I now am able to burn bio-diesel, reducing my dependency on foreign fuels, and reduce my impact on the environment. Added bonus: my place of employment will supply me with recycled vegetable oil into bio-diesel, which otherwise would get discarded.

    Support our troops, reduce your dependancy on foreign oil. Save a buck & the environmnet.

    Need more reasons?

  • avatar

    BINGO! You nailed it! These things entise me for the same reasons. Fact is, they have huge rebates on these babies right now. Unfortunately, no 3rd row seat. The other problem is paying at the pump cost more for fuel. Diesels should be getting more popular in the US, but Americans are just too stupid.

  • avatar

    Just drove one of these tonight at the dealer. Had a $43k sticker, but showb for $34k. Sounded great and drove great. I really love the idea of diesel.

    Downsides: Chrysler’s lifetime powertrain warranty does not apply to this Mercedes built motor…intersting. Also, getting 4 more mpg but paying 10% more at the pump is not as great as a trade-off as I would have hoped-for.

    Lastly, this vehicle makes poor use of space inside. It is really a 4.5 passenger vehicle if you ask me.

  • avatar

    I’ve had my 2007 GC Diesel Limited since Aug 24th. Full MSRP sticker was 42,295 (without WA tax, and no ‘market’ add-on) with just 2 options: the Diesel pckg of course, and the Trailer-Tow pckg. I paid $34,615 (before the taxes…). It took me about 2 wks and 12 dealers to get the price down to that; I would imagine it’s a lot easier now… if you can find any 2007s (should be a LOT left) then I would aim for $9k or $10k off MSRP now. I also agree it’s ridiculous how they have it priced, and, it should be available in a basic Laredo option to facilitate more buyers. There were many, many diesel Ltd’s when I was looking, and I was shocked that I have never seen any advertising for it. I only discovered the vehicle thru a longtime friend in KS who is a Sprinter Van fleet manager, otherwise I would have never known and ended up with a 2008 Highlander (WAY better seating, but lower MPG, no real off-roading, limited towing…).

    My mileage has gone up from 24.5 mixed (mostly highway commuting) to sometimes 26.5. I have one fill-up at 27.3, and am sitting on apparently another that will be 27mpg. It is truly improving, and you can feel the engine/transmission loosening up and continuing to settle in. Similar, but different than my ’05 Passat TDI did (sold at 42k miles….). Looking now at my spreadsheet; the lowest I have is about 24.07; my overall average thus far is 25.08. (NOTE: I have checked the GC’s trip computer with a GPS unit just a week ago and it’s excellent: trip cmptr says 5.0 miles, GPS = 4.98 so very little diff). I have about 8200 miles total at this point. Again, my mileage is mostly commuting on I-5/local hwys at 55-75mph with some slow-n-go’s and a lot drafting (by necessity). Open highway will be slightly less.

    Interior: you’re right re. seating: it’s tight in the back, would not be a good routine 4-person rig unless 2 were kids; it’s definitely old-school compared to most others (Highlander, new Saturn ? crossover I looked at…). 3 people work well enough. Everything else I’m good with; it becomes obvious after a couple weeks that there is a substantial amount of MBenz DNA in this rig. Just really nice controls mostly; smooth, slick performance of auto-sensing wipers and hi-beams, cruise control is slick, sound system is really nice, etc. Back seat is my main complaint, but knew it going in and the vehicle is for me only (virtually never has more than 2 in it…). For me it was a great trade-off vs. Toy, others to give up ‘seating’ luxuries vs. gaining the GREAT torque, off-roading (awesome 4×4 system comes w/diesel option, been on 1 jeep trail so far…), and great towing (been thinking of a camping trailer), plus the better fuel mileage AND cruising range (VERY important if you do a lot of dirt roads with no fuel stations anywhere…). BTW: I drove the ’08 Highlander and this back-n-forth several times each, and finally after several drives, decided this really does drive better than the Toyota. Drove the Saturn only once; but it is the plushest of the 3 obviously, and has a great warranty, but got lower mpg than the others with lowest towing. Wasn’t right for me, but might be for you….

    I really, really love the vehicle. It’s great driving: very quiet, smooth, comfortable seat, one-handed steering even in bad traffic/road situations, it has just an initial bit of plush-float – perfect – but only a little then it is instantly firm: this makes for a great ride, but never out of control. Plus, it corners very nice with virtually no body roll which I noticed immediately compared to others I drove (plus other SUVs I had before).

    BTW: this (2007) is NOT BluTec; there is no urea system hence no worry re. re-filling of that. They were able to do this for 2007 based on the combination of 2007 diesel emissions and the vehicle gross weight category. 2008 I’m not sure… Cars (ie, MB E320) are a different category and have tighter emission standards now… So, some of you make like that; others might not be happy about no urea filtering. It is what it is. The vehicle runs very clean, very quiet, just excellent in traffic/passing (instant huge torque vs. vehicle weight). No one knows it is diesel until I tell them… and yes, it is FUN to mash the pedal and see just how quickly it can move in real world traffic. Yes, there’s just a very tad of lag from a dead stop (diesel/turbo lag) but it’s very, very little; and of course is nothing like my Passat TDI had (but it was 43mpg under same driving!!).

  • avatar

    As a Diesel S(SRT options) Limited GC owner for 8 months and 22,000 mi, I am very impressed with all facets of this vehicle. The power is more than good and economy is about 25% better than my previous Dakota with the 4.7 gasser. I cannot see how the review could say it is noisy and smelly as it certainly is not. At idle there is a little clatter but once in motion is as quiet as most any SUV I have been in. At 75mph on the highway it is very quiet but does it ever have the torque to handle anything I have seen whether 7% grades or off road tracking around. It is fully loaded with all the bells and whistles but the options I like best are the auto-levelling HID lights, camera, Sirius radio and rain sensing wipers which is something very new to me. Mileage is great (24mpg+ or 9.5-10l/100km) and I do not baby it. Getting 450mi or 750km on a tank is relatively routine. Being in Canada, the traction control is great on icy roads in winter and it handles very well on gravel and other slippery conditions without any wheel spin to deliver power exactly as the traction allows. So far I think the mileage is getting better recently as it is getting more wore in. I often pull a 10′ trailer with quad and gear in it and it handles it very well as it is rated to haul about 7000 lb unit. Thus far the only beef I have is the cost of oil changes which runs about $275 for the Mobil Syn oil. Thankfully they only occur every 6000mi of 10,000K. All in all it is very comfortable to drive and and fatigue is not an issue. I made a trip from Calgary to So Cal in April and blew away 800+ miles each day with no problem driving for 11+ hours. That is a good test of how comfortable a vehicle is and it passed. The SRT leather seats help as they are exceptional. Back seat is a little confined but overall not in use very much for the 2 of us so that is a not a big factor. Am I glad I bought it…you bet!

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    Cummings is widely considered to be the best truck diesel engine in the world. There is a 4cyl version of the 6 cylinder dodge truck engine currently being used in delivery vans, which can log hundreds of thousands of miles a year. I would like to see this engine put into the jeeps. It has proven reliability, and there is already a vast aftermarket and high-performance market available since many of the parts interchange with the very common 6 cyl version. Just my 2 cents, but jeep does have a nice line-up:

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