Jeep will add a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 to the Wrangler lineup for the 2020 model year as an option in all four-door trims. According to Jeep, the turbo-diesel V-6 will make 260 horsepower and 442 pounds-feet of torque; that’s an identical horsepower rating to the EcoDiesel version of the 2020 Ram 1500 pickup truck but down 38 pounds-feet of torque. (Ram, like Jeep, is a brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.)
The engine pairs with what Jeep calls a “new” eight-speed automatic transmission designed to handle the extra torque. Such a significant increase (the gasoline Wrangler tops out at 295 pounds-feet) should make for an interesting off-road experience: More torque is helpful, but we’ve complained about throttle response and pedal feel in other diesel-powered off-roaders.
It should also help the Wrangler’s fuel economy figures increase from subpar for its class to something better, though Jeep has not published mpg numbers yet (neither has Ram for its version of the engine). You’ll also want to weigh the mileage improvement against the higher cost of diesel, which, as of this writing, runs around 14 percent more than the regular unleaded that Jeep recommends for the Wrangler’s base engine, a 3.6-liter V-6. (The SUV’s optional turbo four-cylinder also runs fine on the cheap stuff, though Jeep recommends premium gasoline for optimal performance.)
There’s also no detail regarding the potential cost of equipping your Wrangler with an EcoDiesel. Adding one to a Ram 1500 is a $4,995 option, though, so don’t expect diesel Wranglers to come cheap.
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Jeep said the 2020 Wrangler with an EcoDiesel engine will have “late availability” in 2019 but did not provide an exact on-sale date. Stay tuned for more information on pricing and fuel economy as we progress further into the 2020 model year.
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