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Jeep Cherokee won't get diesel until sales of oil-burning Grand Cherokee improve

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:30:00 EST

Okay Jeep fans, you want more diesel options? Time to step up and prove it. The only way Jeep will offer a diesel powerplant in the Cherokee, according to brand head Mike Manley, is if sales of the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel nearly double.

Currently, about eight percent of the Grand Cherokees sold feature the 3.0-liter, EcoDiesel V6. That's simply not enough to warrant the bringing an oil-burning Cherokee to the US market, despite the vehicle's presence in Europe, where it's sold with a 2.8-liter diesel V6.

"Cherokee is slightly different because of its weight and size. When I think about bringing Cherokee diesel here, I would like to see Grand Cherokee diesel get much higher than eight percent," Manley told Automotive News. "It would have to be in mid-double digits."

Part of the problem in our estimation, aside from the high price of diesel fuel, is that the EcoDiesel Grand Cherokee is a pretty pricey proposition. It's only available on the Limited model and above, which starts at $36,495 for a two-wheel-drive example. Adding the diesel then adds a whopping $4,500 onto the price.

Only Audi demands a higher premium for its diesel Q7, at $5,200 on some trim levels. A diesel Mercedes-Benz M-Class is only $4,000 more than the gas model, while BMW is unbelievably reasonable, demanding a mere $1,500 premium for a diesel X5. If Jeep could at least trim some of the price premium and offer the EcoDiesel on lesser trim levels, we could see its popularity expanding.

By Brandon Turkus

See also: Some Jeep Cherokees and Chrysler 200s to get standard stop-start in 2015, Jurassic Park made a big impact on these Jeep drivers, Chrysler recalling 31k SUVs and vans.