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Grand Cherokee diesel on the road

by David Zatz on

While it’s been neglected by most people in favor of the Ram 1500 diesel, the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel was the first Chrysler vehicle sold in North America to have the VM 3.0 V6 engine.  We tested this briefly at a Chelsea, Michigan test track, and found it to be instantly responsive, more so than the Hemi — which has far better acceleration numbers, but doesn’t respond quite as quickly to the throttle.

Jeep-GC-EcoDiesel-1-Web

Chrysler has dabbled in diesels as a non-hybrid solution to large fuel-economy boosts, but applications have been limited so far partly due to cheap gasoline and high premiums for diesel engines. The diesel, which uses compression rather than spark to ignite fuel, is much more expensive to build, partly due to the extremely high pressures involved, and partly because of the need to control small particles in the exhaust which have been reliably and consistently linked to cancer. The current popular methods of dealing with emissions controls are diesel emissions fluid (DEF) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).

The company may be able to add more diesels soon, if the next generation VM and Fiat four cylinders prove to be suitable. A Fiat 3-liter four-cylinder is due to appear soon on the ProMaster van, for example, though this has been deemed unsuitable for “civilian” cars.

Allpar has added a second Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel test, by Daniel Bennett, to our existing Bill Cawthon road test. The article also includes an analysis of the payback time. It’s worth noting that diesels tend to have less of a fuel economy reduction when towing or carrying heavy loads than gasoline engines.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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