The Jeep Wrangler has been America’s dominant choice for off-roading fun for decades. The popularity surrounding the capable Wrangler has only grown more and more in recent years, and Jeep continues to answer the call by designing better and better Wranglers. In fact, anticipation for the 2020 Jeep Wrangler’s new EcoDiesel engine within the industry reached astronomical levels. But now that the new diesel engine is here, is it worth its cost in the Rubicon trim level?
The 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel: a review of the new diesel engine
With the arrival of the new 2020 Wrangler, buyers now have the choice of a new, turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V6 engine over the standard 3.6-liter six-cylinder gas engine. According to Cars.com, the Jeep Wrangler’s new EcoDiesel engine is only available on four-door models but delivers better numbers than any other Wrangler in the bunch.
The new EcoDiesel engine makes an impressive 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, making it powerful, quick, and efficient. Jeep’s new diesel engine earns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which equates to a 45 percent increase in efficiency over the standard engine’s 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Even with the extra weight added to the Wrangler’s body by the diesel engine, the Unlimited Rubicon has the quickest acceleration time of all models, as well as throttle response that’s more than adequate for off-roading. In fact, experts most admire the balance between the EcoDiesel’s ability to deliver “smooth and seamless power,” while still being able to continue the Wrangler’s “off-road reign.”
Rubicon models come standard with manual transmissions and the Rock-Trac heavy-duty four-wheel-drive system, although the available eight-speed automatic transmission is required when opting for the EcoDiesel engine. Other standard features of the Rubicon trim include performance suspension, electronic roll mitigation, hill-start assist, rock protection side rails, skid plate shields, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen display.
How much extra will it cost you to own?
RELATED: Which Jeep Wrangler Is Right for Me?
The Jeep Wrangler used to offer very minimal choices in its configurations, offering buyers choices between hard and soft tops, as well as two- and four-door body styles. But with the Wrangler’s popularity only continuing to grow and its position as quite arguably the greatest symbol of the Jeep brand’s heritage, available options in new Jeep Wranglers are almost endless. But this also means that the price can vary greatly.
According to Jeep, base two-door Wrangler Sports come with a base price of around $28,000, while opting for four-door (Unlimited) models automatically increases the base price an average of around $5,000. This increase rings true across all 13 trim levels.
Base prices of all 13 four-door Unlimited Wranglers range from $32,000 for Sport models to nearly $50,000 for the top High Altitude model. The Rubicon nears the top of Wrangler Unlimited trim levels with a base price of more than $42,000.
Is the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel worth its price?
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon’s base price of around $42,000 isn’t too affordable, but it isn’t exceptionally high given the quality Jeep Wrangler buyers are willing to pay for either. The impressive Jeep Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel tested by MotorTrend experts, however, had a final sticker price of more than $62,000 – proving that owning an EcoDiesel Rubicon could be costly. According to those experts, that’s the “Wrangler EcoDiesel’s biggest problem.”
In addition to the model’s many added features, opting for the EcoDiesel engine over the standard gas engine proves expensive. It costs around an additional $6,000 to get the Wrangler Rubicon with Jeep’s EcoDiesel engine, as buyers must pay extra for both the engine and the automatic transmission that it must be paired with. While the diesel engine is certainly more efficient, it may not be a big enough difference to justify its price.