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Diesels were once common in SUVs. And why not? They make tons of power, get better mileage, and can help you haul tons and tons of stuff. But they should be on the endangered species list. Jaguar, BMW, Land Rover and BMW stopped selling diesels in the U.S.  Today, if you’re looking for a diesel, only two manufacturers are selling diesel SUVs in the U.S., G.M. with its full-sized 2022 Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs and Jeep with its 2022 EcoDiesel Wrangler.

Diesels are disappearing from SUVs in the U.S.

A 2022 Chevrolet Suburban in red paint color option and a Duramax Turbo-Diesel powertrain is one of the SUVS with the best towing capacity on the market.
2022 Chevrolet Suburban | Chevrolet

Ten years ago diesels seemed like a great option for a fuel-sipping, yet powerful, engine option for an SUV. BMW, for example, made the X5 xDrive35d that combined sporty handling with up to 26 mpg on the highway, and an impressive tow rating. Jaguar put a diesel in its F-Pace 20d, which made an efficient, if not very quick, sport crossover. We shouldn’t have to remind you about what happened to Audi and VW’s diesels. Since then, even Jeep has discontinued diesels in its big SUVs.

GM puts the diesel in its biggest SUVs

The Escalade is a big SUV with big torque, thanks to its turbo-diesel engine.
2021 Cadillac Escalade offers a 3.0L inline-six turbodiesel | Cadillac

The 2022 Chevy Tahoe and its more luxurious, and expensive version the GMC Yukon, and the much more expensive Escalade, can all be ordered with a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine. It comes with a 10-speed automatic and is an $895 option on the LS, or base, version of the Tahoe and, curiously, a $2,445 option on the base SLE Yukon. A 2022 Cadillac Escalade with a diesel starts at $79,540. It’s available on all trims but the Z71 and AT4 off-road packages. The Duramax makes 277 horsepower but a stump-pulling 460-lb.-ft. of torque which gives any of these SUVSs a tow rating of 7,000 to 8,200 pounds, depending on the package.

Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade are similar, but not the same.

2022 Chevy Tahoe can be ordered with a diesel.
2022 Chevy Tahoe | Chevrolet

The Tahoe and Yukon are very similar, but they’re not identical. The Tahoe has more luxury items available, such as full leather and wood trim. Of course neither is as luxurious as the Escalade, which is also taller and longer than the Tahoe and Yukon. The big SUVs all drive similarly, but the options available are what set these full-sized SUVs apart. While the Chevy and GMC have a hard plastic console and the touch screen sticks up from the middle of the dash, the Cadillac has sculped (and cooled!) wood console and a screen that is integrated into the gauge cluster.

Of course, the diesel can also be ordered on the giant Suburban SUV and extra-long 2022 GMC Yukon XL, as well.  

The 2022 Wrangler EcoDiesel soldiers on

The diesel is the most fuel-efficient version of the Wrangler, and it’s also the quickest. It gets 29 mpg on the highway, and gets to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. But in an SUV like the Wrangler, you buy the 3.0-liter diesel V6 for other reasons. The 442 lb.-ft. of torque can help un-stick you and a buddy from even the stickiest of situations or tow a giant trailer to the woods.

It’s an expensive option, however. The diesel costs $3,510 over the standard gas V6. And, the diesel requires that you add an eight-speed automatic, so say goodbye to the fun six-speed manual. The same diesel is also available in the truck version of the Wrangler, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator.

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