Will the Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel Come Stateside?

GM is mulling a diesel engine for the Chevy Cruze while Ford has no intention of importing its killer diesel-powered Ranger. So what about Chrysler? They’re giving the European Grand Cherokee a 3.0 liter diesel engine. Could it come here?

Scheduled to be unveiled at the Geneva International Auto Show, the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee will make its European debut with a 3.0 liter turbo diesel V6 engine. Chrysler will offer two versions of this oil burner; a “detuned” version with 191 horsepower and 324 ft-lbs of torque, while the big daddy version of this diesel engine has a healthy 241 horsepower and 406 ft-lbs of torque. For those of you keeping score at home, this engine blows away both the base 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 (290 horsepower/260 ft-lbs of torque) and the 5.7 liter HEMI (360 horsepower/390 ft-lbs of torque) engine options available on the American version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Oh, and it gets 28 mpg (8.3 liters/100 km) on the combined European driving cycle. The American V6 gets about 20 mpg combined in 2wd form, so even if you account for the differences in the testing procedures, there is still a huge MPG discrepancy here. Oh, and to top it all off this oil burner has Fiats new MultiJetII technology that drastically reduces emissions to just 218 g/km.

However, there is hope, as Torque News came across what appears to be a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee testing on the roads in Michigan. This Jeep had the CRD badge, which stands for Common Rail Diesel, which is the kind of diesel engines Jeep has been using in America and around the world.

The last time the Big Three experimented with diesel engines, it was an unmitigated disaster. Ford used reliable-but-underpowered Mazda diesels in everything from Rangers to Escorts, while GM attempted to convert its abundant 350 small block engine to run on diesel with dreadful results. Chrysler’s diesel debacles appear to be few and far between though; they sell lots of diesel pickup trucks, and for a while even offered a diesel option on the Jeep Liberty. Chrysler might actually be in the best position of the Big Three to bring diesels back to America, and the sharp-looking Grand Cherokee could be the perfect vessel to ease Americans back into oil burners. Seriously though, a 28 mpg full-size Jeep? I could totally dig that.

Source: Jeep | Torque News

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMI’s. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.