Chrysler Becomes First U.S. Automaker to Reenter Diesel Market

By Jonathan Spira on 14 January 2013
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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

DETROIT—At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler became the first U.S. automaker to reenter the growing diesel passenger car market, a field that has in recent years been dominated by German car companies.

The redesigned 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee was unveiled at the show with a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine.  Chrysler says that the diesel-powered Jeep will deliver 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km), giving the SUV a driving range of 730 miles (1,175 kilometers).  By comparison, the gasoline-powered V-6 variant has a highway fuel economy rating of 25 mpg (9.4 l/100 km), giving the diesel a 17% edge.

The diesel V-6 is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission designed for greater fuel efficiency.  It also improves the Grand Cherokee’s 4×4 performance with a lower crawl ratio.

The 24-valve dual-overhead cam 3.0-liter diesel engine produces 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and promises low CO2 emissions.

The diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow 7,400 pounds (3,356 kilograms) and the 4×2 model will achieve 21 mpg (11.2 l/100 km) in city driving and 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) on the highway.  The 4×4 model is expected to get 20 mpg (11.7 l/100 km) in the city and 28 mpg (8.4 l/100 km) on the highway.

In addition to the diesel engine, Chrysler is adding new safety and security features including Front Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a Uconnect 8.4” touchscreen radio that supports climate and infotainment controls.