If the hot-rod Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8‘s likely appetite for unleaded makes you squeamish but you still like the Grand Cherokee, here’s news for you: Jeep officials have confirmed a diesel JGC will bow at the North American International Autoshow in January.
According to WardsAuto, the diesel-powered Grand Cherokee is already on sale in Europe and is powered by a 3.0-liter oil-burner. After their introduction in January, Ward’s said it expects the model to go on sale in the first quarter of 2013, though whether it will bow as a 2013 or 2014 model was in question.
Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley told Ward’s, “Jeep had a diesel in the Liberty, and even though the volumes were relatively small, that was a very much-loved vehicle. People bought it and loved the diesel.” He said he expected the launch of the diesel-powered Grand Cherokee to be “very, very good.”
On the Australian highway cycle, the diesel Grand Cherokee’s 3.0 uses 7.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Converted directly to miles per gallon, that would put the Grand Cherokee diesel somewhere north of 30 MPG. While that is perhaps optimistic, given the differences in Aussie and U.S. fuel economy testing standards, for a vehicle as large and hefty as the Grand Cherokee to get even into the upper 20s MPGs would be pretty impressive. The gasoline-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee returns a maximum of 23 MPG on the EPA highway cycle— and that only if you opt for the V6 and two-wheel drive.