Is the Diesel Worth the Wait?


Not too way back, you solely actually acquired 4 decisions when shopping for a brand new Jeep Wrangler: two doorways or 4, mushy high or hardtop, handbook or computerized, and shade. However with Wrangler gross sales by the roof and the total may of FCA behind the latest JL Wrangler, present consumers of the long-lasting Jeep are really spoiled for selection—particularly with regards to engine choices, with at least 5 engine choices out there throughout the lineup. The newest to hit the streets is the extremely anticipated diesel engine, and we hit the take a look at monitor in a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Limitless Rubicon EcoDiesel to see if the wait was price it.

Jeep’s new EcoDiesel engine is definitely one which Ram 1500 consumers have been conversant in for a pair years now. Now in its third era, the EcoDiesel 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 will get some Wrangler-specific modifications (like the power to face up to as much as 30 inches of water) and makes the identical 260 hp because it does within the Ram, however ‘solely’ 442 lb-ft of torque—down 38 lb-ft to the pickup. An eight-speed computerized comes commonplace with the EcoDiesel engine, as does four-wheel drive. The brand new diesel is just out there in four-door Wrangler Limitless fashions—Jeep says the take price can be too low on two-door Wranglers to justify the funding. Similar for a handbook transmission.

How Quick Is the Wrangler Diesel?

Diesels aren’t identified for being fast—and neither are Jeep Wranglers, for that matter—however our 2020 Wrangler Limitless Rubicon EcoDiesel really impressed us on the monitor. Its 7.5-second 0-60 mph time and 15.8-second quarter mile at 86.Three mph makes it the second-quickest four-door JL Wrangler we have ever examined. That is a tenth of a second faster to 60 mph and two-tenths faster by the quarter mile than our long-term Wrangler Limitless Rubicon, which is supplied with an eTorque 2.0-liter turbocharged I-Four making 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Our gas-powered long-termer begins making up the distinction in our different efficiency exams, although. The diesel Wrangler’s greatest 60-Zero mph cease was 139 ft (2 ft longer than our long-termer), and it solely managed 0.66 g common on the skidpad and 29.Eight seconds at 0.54 g on the determine eight. Our mild-hybrid long-term Wrangler averaged 0.70 g and lapped the determine eight in 29.Three seconds at 0.55 g common. The four-cylinder’s quicker time can largely be chalked as much as its 4,766-pound curb weight, in comparison with the equally outfitted Wrangler diesel’s 5,061 kilos.

The quickest four-door Wrangler we have examined was a Wrangler Sahara outfitted with the usual 3.6-liter 285-hp and 260-lb-ft V-6 and an eight-speed computerized. With out the heavy-duty off-road {hardware} of the Rubicon fashions and weighing simply 4,391 kilos, it accelerates from Zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, by the quarter mile in 15.Three seconds at 89.9 mph, and, due to its extra street-oriented tires, stops from 60 to Zero mph in 128 ft and runs the determine eight in 28.Three seconds at 0.58 g.

How Does the Wrangler EcoDiesel Drive?

Similar to it’s within the Ram, the EcoDiesel feels impossibly clean within the Wrangler. Its 442 lb-ft of torque come on early within the Jeep’s powerband, providing you with a satisfying, lag-free shove again into your seat because the Wrangler accelerates. Not like the eTorque turbo-four Wrangler, which has a contact of turbo lag when accelerating, the EcoDiesel mill delivers its 240 horsepower linearly all through its slim powerband, even managing to have ample passing energy at freeway speeds—one thing many diesel engines lack. Because it does in V-6 and four-cylinder fashions, the Jeep’s eight-speed computerized shifts shortly and well, with a well-spaced gear ratio unfold.

Whereas the diesel engine is actually the headline change to the 2020 Wrangler lineup, there’s one other much less publicized one which’s been made to all 2020 mannequin yr Wranglers—steering really feel is now improved. One of the few complaints we’ve had about our long-term Wrangler is its heavy, wander-prone steering, which may make lengthy drives each on- and off-road exhausting. For 2020, Jeep made each steering gear valve tuning and pump calibration modifications that lead to lighter, lower-effort steering. The steering feels each world’s higher on-road, the place it weighs up properly by bends and would not require fixed corrections on highways, and off-road, too, because the steering wheel would not snap again as harshly on tough obstacles.

Is the Wrangler Diesel Good on Fuel?

All issues being equal, the EcoDiesel engine is by a hair essentially the most satisfying engine within the Wrangler lineup. However that is earlier than we take each effectivity and worth into consideration.

Let’s begin with the previous. Till the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid arrives later this yr, the EcoDiesel is essentially the most environment friendly Wrangler variant out there, rated by the EPA at 22/29/25 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed. That is about 14 % extra environment friendly mixed than the four-cylinder Wranglers’ 22/24/22 mpg score, and 45 % extra environment friendly than Wranglers outfitted with the usual V-6 and non-compulsory eight-speed auto, rated at 18/23/20 mpg. In real-world testing, we discovered the gasoline effectivity distinction between the EcoDiesel and four-cylinder eTorque engine to be a lot narrower—in the course of the common week, our long-term Wrangler achieves around 20 mpg running around Los Angeles, whereas the EcoDiesel, on the identical obligation cycle, achieved round 22 mpg.

How A lot Is a Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel?

The waters get muddier while you take pricing into consideration. The EcoDiesel engine is successfully $6,000 greater than the usual V-6 ($4,000 for the engine, and $2,000 for the required computerized transmission), and $4,500 greater than the turbo-four (the engine is baked into the worth, however the required transmission is $1,500). I highly suggest reading our First Drive of the Wrangler EcoDiesel the place Scott Evans breaks down the cost-per-mile variations between the three engines, however the math would not look good for the EcoDiesel. The CliffsNotes model is that this: It will take 203,125 miles of freeway driving to recuperate the fee distinction between the bottom V-6 and the diesel engine, and 281,250 freeway miles to make up the distinction with the four-cylinder Wrangler.

Finally, therein lies the Wrangler EcoDiesel’s greatest downside—its worth. The Wrangler is already an costly SUV (our near-loaded Rubicon tester began at $49,290 and stickered for $62,345), and $6,000 is a big funding for an engine that is extra environment friendly, sure, however not enormously so. The EcoDiesel is clean, fast, and highly effective, however because the numbers present, the pace and effectivity hole between it and the Wrangler’s turbo-four powertrain is small. As a lot as I like driving the Wrangler EcoDiesel, with that math I am choosing the turbo-four over the diesel any day of the week.

2020 Jeep Wrangler Limitless Rubicon EcoDiesel
BASE PRICE $49,690
PRICE AS TESTED $62,745
VEHICLE LAYOUT Entrance-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 3.0L/260-hp/442-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 8-speed computerized
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,061 lb (52/48%)
WHEELBASE 118.Four in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.Four x 73.Eight x 73.6 in
0-60 MPH 7.5 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.Eight sec @ 86.Three mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 139 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.66 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 29.Eight sec @ 0.54 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 22/29/25 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 171/130 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.90 lb/mile



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