Automobile editor Mark Gillies recently drove the Jeep Liberty Diesel in an English setting, and found that the compact ute makes fine use of a 2.8 liter four cylinder common-rail turbodiesel engine, which by American standards would be considered (on paper anyway) practically unusable based on its 148-hp rating. But the supremely torquey (266 lb./ft.) device makes off-the-line maneuvers pleasant and hauling quite easy. A U.S. version of the engine should produce a healthier 160-hp and 295 lb./ft. with a substantial 5000 pound tow rating. On-road driving dynamics are pretty good for an off-road pretender, and completely wonderful compared to the vehicle tested before the Liberty, the Kia Sorento, which although sub par in most aspects did trump the Liberty in interior quality. We can speculate that the Liberty Diesel will make its way to the States eventually, and the singular test drive reveals the diesel engine sacrifices nothing to its petrol counterpart, except for carbon dioxide emissions, which, after all, is what really counts.
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