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US Cherokee diesels

by David Zatz on

cherokee-dieselDiesel engines have been spreading through the Chrysler lineup lately, with Fiat’s commercial four-cylinder in the ProMaster and VM’s V6 in the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. Supply and management’s reluctance to gear up for what might be a quickly satisfied niche seem to be the main limits on spreading the efficient, high-compression engines to other models — say, the Durango, whose packaging is similar to Grand Cherokee, or to the Jeep Cherokee, which already uses diesel engines in Europe.

The Cherokee diesel, as sold in Europe, is powered by a Fiat MultiJet diesel with 140 or 170 horsepower depending on the price level; both have 258 lb-ft of torque, in the same ballpark as the gasoline V6, and stop-start systems. If the engine was brought to the US, which would likely require considerable tuning for emissions rules and American conditions, it would probably be the 170 hp version, which is coupled with a nine-speed automatic in Europe. The stop-start system would probably be left out.

Reader Tom M. spotted these Cherokee diesels running around the Auburn Hills area, writing:

While on my trip back from the CEMA show on June 7, I saw four new Cherokees. Three had “Eco-diesel” badging, with one being a right hand drive unit. None had plates. In the photos you can see the diesel badging under the 4×4 call-out. I’m sorry about the small photos but when you’re cruising on 75, it’s hard to get good pictures.


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