Oil-burning diesel engines were introduced into the 2020 version of the famous Jeep Wrangler SUV. From speaking with many local Wrangler owners, this didn’t mean much – if anything at all. However, Jeep adding a diesel engine into the already capable Wrangler adds a ton of power and fuel efficiency to the platform that has never been seen on the Wrangler, or other models in its class. Today, we cover the new 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel, and why it is one vehicle to consider if you’re in the market for a brand-new Jeep Wrangler.
This Jeep features a 3 liter, V6 engine that is incredibly similar to the Dodge Ram 1500 with a few significant changes that improve efficiency, as the Wrangler model is nearly half the weight of the Ram. The EcoDiesel Wrangler, however, weighs about 400 more than a comparable engine with a gasoline V6. About 94% of that comes from the new diesel engine.
Assembled in Toledo, Ohio, the new EcoDiesel has a retail price between $3000-$4500 higher than that over comparable Wranglers, depending on selected options and trim levels. The engine produces 260 horsepower with 442 pound-feet of torque and an eight speed automatic transmission. The V6 and turbocharged 4-cylinder Wranglers will clock a slightly faster time to 60 mph, but track races aren’t the reason to opt for a EcoDiesel, or a Jeep Wrangler in general. This is a drivetrain suited to slow speed off-road due to its enormous torque delivery built to match any trail in America.
Early on, Jeep promised the EcoDiesel would be the most fuel-efficient Wrangler ever produced. After many months of speculation, the promise was fulfilled with official EPA numbers showing the vehicle is capable of 29 mpg on the highway and 22 in the city, with a combined driving mileage of 25 mpg. In comparison, next most efficient Wrangler travels 5 mpg less on the highway, 1 mpg less in the city, and 2 mpg less in combined driving. This platform also performs better than its predecessor, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel with 4WD.
The EcoDiesel Wrangler may not be the route to go for saving money necessarily, unless you’re clocking in a bunch of highway miles. The EcoDiesel is an approximately $4,000 option to begin with and the EPA estimates the annual cost to be $1,850, $250 more per year over the 2-door V4 gasoline engine due to the added cost of diesel fuel. However, the V4 delivers considerably less power than the EcoDiesel. More comparable V6 engines have estimated fuel costs of about $2,000 per year. The EcoDiesel still delivers more torque than the V6 and will allow for much less trips to the pump.
Overall the Wrangler’s new diesel engine is an incredible piece of manufacturing rolled out by Jeep. The EcoDiesel, however, may not necessarily be a cost saver due to its high upfront cost and similar annual fuel costs to the other Wranglers released this year. If you value tons of power, the usage of fewer finite resources, and lower carbon dioxide emissions, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel is definitely the vehicle for you.