Will Jeep Wrangler Diesel Be Chrysler's Next EcoDiesel?

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2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition

2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition

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Chevy's Cruze Diesel is getting all the headlines, but there's another U.S.-built diesel due out this year--the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.

The V-6, 240-horsepower EcoDiesel is expected to achieve 28 mpg highway, and a combined figure in the mid-20s. For its type, that's not bad at all.

It may be just the start of an EcoDiesel range, too. The Detroit Free Press reports that Jeep is considering a Wrangler diesel.

"Wrangler customers really want a diesel," said Jeep boss Mike Manley at the Chicago Auto Show.

Whether it hits the roads depends very much on how popular the diesel Cherokee becomes. "It's a target vehicle for a diesel once we see the reaction to the Grand Cherokee."

It's the diesel engine's torque that appeals to Wranger fans, making it suitable for off-roading.

Just as European customers have had access to diesel Grand Cherokees for years, customers overseas already get a diesel Wrangler, too.

It uses a slightly older-tech four-cylinder, 2.8-liter diesel engine, rather than the new 3.0 V-6.

Official combined economy on the European cycle is 29 mpg, though European figures are typically around 15-20 percent optimistic. This does suggest what may be possible in the Wrangler with the new engine and transmission, however.

Off-road fans have to wait and see how the 2014 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel sells before any further models are announced, so don't hold your breath just yet.

But if customers are drawn to the economy improvements in the larger car, a diesel Wrangler may well be on the horizon.

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