The Jeep Wrangler’s Redeeming EcoDiesel

Though we’ve had our complaints about the Jeep Wrangler, it’s been a little painful not to have more good things to say about this iconic American model. The EcoDiesel engine is the Wrangler’s silver lining.

The Jeep Wrangler equipped with EcoDiesel

Car and Driver tested one and we like what they have to say about the Jeep Wrangler equipped with an EcoDiesel. Their review confirmed that the EcoDiesel is worth some extra attention.

The Jeep Wrangler has disappointed with its 2020 model. It’s had dismal reliability ratings, terrible fuel economy, and an expensive price tag.

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel

It makes sense that the Wrangler would borrow its Diesel engine from another member of the family. The 2020 Ram 1500 lends its powerful EcoDiesel to the 2020 Jeep Wrangler.

EcoDiesel under a Ram hood

The Wrangler’s Diesel engine is identical to the Ram 1500 engine in every way except a couple of modifications. Changes were made to maintain its famed 30 inches of water fording capability –– the alternator injection pump had to be moved.

Car and Driver’s review reported a nice rumble to the engine. If you are going to pay extra for the burlier EcoDiesel engine, odds are you aren’t going to have any issues hearing it roar as you blaze the trail.

The sound wasn’t the only part of this EcoDiesel that Car and Driver reported as satisfying. 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque give the drive a healthy boost of power. The Jeep Wranglers incredible off-roading capabilities just got a lot better.

EcoDiesel gains

The strength lent by this EcoDiesel represent some solid gains for the Jeep Wrangler. But with all that extra engine energy, how is the efficiency affected?

Equipped with the EcoDiesel, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler has an EPA rating of 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway. That is a considerable gain in comparison to the gasoline engine. The gas version does 19 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway.

The additional power is undeniable, and you won’t pay for it with bad gas mileage. The Wrangler’s fuel economy is much more competitive with others in its class when it’s been upgraded to diesel.

How much does the diesel cost?

So, you are thinking about giving an EcoDiesel-equipped Wrangler a closer look. One of the first things you’re probably wondering is how much it will set you back.

Jeep Wranglers are on the expensive side of their class already. To upgrade to the EcoDiesel it costs 4 grand just for the engine. Additionally, you’ll pay another 2 grand for the switch from the manual to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Wrangler Sahara

The “well-equipped” EcoDiesel Sahara used in Car and Driver’s review sports a sticker price of nearly 60 grand, for instance. For the EcoDiesel buyer on a budget, the Wrangler Sport can upgrade to diesel while remaining below $40,000.

Diesels are for Off-Roading

Since the CJ-5 ran on a 4 cylinder 62 horsepower diesel motor in the 60s, Jeeps in many forms have tried one on for size. It just makes sense. A diesel engines provide a clear edge in the world of off-road adventure.

In fact, we’re a little confused as to why it’s been so long since we’ve seen a diesel Wrangler. This upgrade gives the 2020 Jeep Wrangler a new angle that’s kind of exciting. Biggest downside? We can’t get the EcoDiesel engine with a manual transmission.