EPA Gets Around to Rating the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel
As everyone in your Twitter feed screams for revolution, evolutionary advancements in technology (and other things) are still proving capable of generating big gains for society. For new vehicle buyers, too.
Jeep’s Wrangler Unlimited EcoDiesel is a case in point. Launched for the 2020 model year, the oil-burning off-roader nets buyers 260 horsepower and a whopping 442 lb-ft of torque — some 307 lb-ft more than a base Wrangler of 30 years ago. Despite boasting only a half-liter of additional displacement and weighing significantly more than a 1990 Iron Duke model, the EcoDiesel returns an extra 8 mpg in combined driving.
Let’s take a look at what the EPA had to say about Jeep’s newest offering.
In combined driving, the four-door-only Wrangler EcoDiesel returns 25 mpg, with city fuel consumption pegged at 22 mpg and highway thirst coming in at 29 mpg. Undoubtable, this is the thriftiest Wrangler ever, at least when it comes time to visit the pumps.
Surely Jeep had hoped for a 30 mpg figure for the highway rating; Ram’s 1500 EcoDiesel returns an identical figure in crew cab 4WD guise, but losing front-wheel grip pushes its highway rating up to 32 mpg.
In contrast, the best the gas-burning Wrangler line can offer is the turbocharged 2.0-liter (outfitted with the same eight-speed automatic as the EcoDiesel), which returns 22 mpg city/24 mpg highway/23 mpg combined in two-door guise. Add four doors and extra wheelbase to that combo, and combined economy drops to 21 mpg. The highway figure falls to 22 mpg.
The Pentastar-powered Wrangler returns a maximum of 20 mpg combined in Unlimited guise, regardless of transmission choice.
With the calendar pushed back to the tasteful year of 1990, a manual-trans 2.5L Wrangler managed just 16 mpg in the city, 19 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined. Opt instead for the AMC-derived 4.2-liter straight six and combined fuel economy dropped to 14 mpg when combined with the three-speed auto. Rowing your own gears only eked out an additional 2 mpg.
Should this advancement in power and economy leave you in tears, inconsolable and hugging your Elon Musk body pillow, Jeep’s plug-in hybrid Wrangler is not far off. Don’t despair.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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