Chrysler has begun the slow march of introducing diesel power into some of its brands, but it’s an introduction that will take a bit more time before reaching the iconic Jeep Wrangler.
Rumors of an oil-burning Wrangler have swirled for a long time, and now we know for sure that there are plans for it to happen, but not for about two or three more years.
Before diesel reaches the Wrangler, Chrysler wants to test the waters with another iconic vehicle.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 both offer diesel powerplants this year, and Chrysler execs are paying close attention to the number of Grand Cherokee diesels that are finding new homes. Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley told WardsAuto,
I’m confident that the Grand Cherokee will show just how large a demand there is for diesel, and I think what that will do is reinforce the need for us to target Wrangler as a vehicle that can take a diesel.
So if you’re one of the many people clamoring for the release of a torqued-up fuel-efficient oil-burning Wrangler, you might want to fill half your garage with a diesel Grand Cherokee now in an effort to convince Mr. Manley a diesel Wrangler belongs in the other half later.
Manley made the point that the Wrangler will get an update for 2015/2016, which will provide a good opportunity to introduce a diesel engine to the lineup.
To me, and many other Jeep enthusiasts, a diesel is the perfect engine for the Wrangler. Low-end torque for crushing rocks and paving new trails mixed with improved fuel economy for the journey over surface streets and highways that leads to those back-country trails.
In fact, it’s such a good match, I would have made the Wrangler the first Jeep to get a diesel if the decision were up to me.
Which Jeep diesel would you prefer: Grand Cherokee or Wrangler?