Considering a Diesel Jeep? Inside Tips for Choosing a Diesel Jeep

October 16th, 2020 by

A grey 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Edition is off-roading in the sand.

When it comes to car shopping, there are so many things to consider. Savvy car shoppers must take into consideration things like fuel economy, affordability, required number of passenger seats, towing capability, off-roading ability, and more. All too often, car shoppers forget to consider what kind of engine they want in their new vehicle, but the pros and cons of a diesel engine vs a gasoline engine are something one must also think about before buying a new Jeep. Before you start searching through ads for Jeeps for sale, it is important to know what Jeep models have diesel engines and whether or not they are the best choice for your current situation.

Which Jeep Models Have Diesel Engines?

Currently, the Jeep models that have a diesel engine are the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator. The Wrangler began offering the EcoDiesel engine in the 2020 models, and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator will be the first Gladiator to offer an EcoDiesel option. While the Jeep Grand Cherokee used to be available with a diesel, that engine option was phased out after the 2019 model year.

Pros and Cons of a Diesel Engine

When it comes to diesel engines, the world is filled with die-hard fans who absolutely swear by all things diesel and want nothing to do with gasoline engines – ever. There’s a reason Jeep fans asked for a diesel Gladiator for years before it was scheduled to come out. On the flip side, many drivers are terrified of the very thought of diesel and are wary of straying from the gasoline engines they’re comfortable with. But when it really comes down to it, both types of engines have their pros and cons, and if you’re truly going to be a savvy shopper, then you need to understand the differences between these two engines before you start searching for your next Jeeps.

Diesel Pro #1 – Gas Mileage

As an overall whole, it’s fairly common for diesel engines to get significantly higher fuel mileage than gasoline vehicles. This is because the higher energy density of diesel fuel vs gasoline means that a diesel engine needs less fuel to generate the same amount of power. In hard numbers, the highway fuel economy rating of the EcoDiesel Jeep Wrangler is more than 30% higher than its gasoline engine counterpart, coming in at 29 MPG vs 22 MPG for turbocharged 2.0L gasoline engine. The fantastic fuel economy of Jeep’s EcoDiesel engine is enough to save you hundreds of dollars in fuel costs over the course of a year.

A grey 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is shown from the side driving on a city street near Colorado Springs, CO.

Diesel Pro #2 – Longevity and Reliability

A diesel engine is significantly simpler than a gasoline engine, relying on simple compression to ignite the fuel rather than perfectly timed ignition, and having no spark plugs to change. Additionally, although diesel vehicles have much higher torque than gasoline vehicles, they can achieve this torque at a lower rpm, which is easier on the engine. There is no reason why a well-cared-for diesel Jeep should not last for hundreds of thousands of miles. In fact, there are some diesel vehicles on the road today that have surpassed more than 1 million miles and are still going strong.

Diesel Pro #3 – Torque and Towing Power

Diesel engines have a lot more torque than gasoline engines. For example, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler with the EcoDiesel engine has 442 lb-ft of torque, whereas the same vehicle with the 2.0 turbo gasoline engine only has 295 lb-ft of torque. Due to the extra torque that diesel engines enjoy, an EcoDiesel vehicle will also provide more towing power. Diesel vehicles are known for being powerhouses, and they have long been the go-to choice when maximum towing is required. This high torque also makes EcoDiesel jeeps incredibly ideal for off-road, rock scrambling adventures.

Diesel Pro #4 – Less Maintenance

Drivers of gasoline engines will all agree that spark plugs are a frequent maintenance cost, no matter how well you take care of your vehicle. However, there are no spark plugs in a diesel engine, so therefore this regular maintenance cost is not a problem with EcoDiesel Wranglers and Gladiators. Spark plugs aside, diesel engines, in general, tend to run for about double the time of a gasoline engine before they need their first major repair. This is the case because diesel engines don’t burn as hot as gasoline engines, thus resulting in less wear-and-tear, as well as the overall rugged standards to which diesel engines are built.

Diesel Pro #5 – Better Resale Value

Due to the reliability and longevity of diesel vehicles, drivers who sell their used vehicles tend to enjoy a fairly good resale value, especially when compared to gasoline vehicles. There’s something about buying a used vehicle that still has more than half its lifespan left that encourages a good price. Drivers who like to buy new cars every so often will enjoy a higher return on their investment when they sell their used diesel Wrangler or Gladiator a few years down the road.

A grey 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, which is popular among Jeeps for sale, is driving on a rural road at sunset.

Cons to Consider

Diesel Con #1 – Reputation for Being Slow and Stinky

When the average person hears the term ‘diesel,’ the odds are good that this person is envisioning those old diesel trucks from way back in the day. These old trucks were always blamed for being loud, stinky, and slow on the up-take. While this is still true to some extent, modern turbo-diesel engines such as the design in the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator meet extremely high emissions standards and provide much more top-end power than older diesel engines.

Diesel Con #2 – Fuel Cost

This hasn’t always been the case, but nowadays, by the gallon, diesel is more expensive than gasoline. While the massively better fuel economy of a diesel engine will still mean that you will save money at the pump, the higher cost of diesel fuel means that those savings will not be as large as the raw fuel efficiency figures might lead you to believe.

Diesel Con #3 – Repair Costs

If you are unlucky enough to need some major repairs done to your diesel engine, be prepared to pay a pretty penny. Because diesel engines are not as common, you might have a more difficult time finding parts and qualified mechanics than you would with a gasoline engine. However, if you care for your vehicle, you are less likely to find yourself in need of any major repairs in the first place.

Diesel Con #4 – Price

Due to the power of an EcoDiesel engine, vehicles with these engines tend to be a bit pricier than their gasoline counterparts. This is partly the case because of the higher-end transmission needed to support all the power and torque that comes in a diesel vehicle. For example, the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel four-door comes with a special eight-speed automatic transmission. So be prepared to pay several thousand dollars more for your new Jeep if you check the box for the diesel engine.

Is the Jeep Gladiator or Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Right for You?

In the end, only you can determine if a Jeep with a diesel engine is the best option for your needs. Weigh the pros and cons of these two unique options and consider what capabilities you need from your Jeep. Only then will you feel comfortable sorting through Jeeps for sale in your area. And if you want some more advice, then feel free to pay a visit to our Colorado Springs dealership and have a chat with the experts here at The Faricy Boys.

Posted in Jeeps for Sale