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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee – Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in 2007, Jeep began offering a diesel engine option for U.S.-bound Grand Cherokees. At it's peak, U.S. buyers only selected the diesel option eight percent of the time when purchasing a new Grand Cherokee. The 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine available in the vehicle was a Mercedes-Benz built unit that did not utilize the expensive urea aftertreatment system that is now required on most diesel models sold in the U.S., and it was still an expensive option.

Some estimates suggest that adding a clean diesel setup could require a price premium of $4,000, an amount that Jeep feels is too high for U.S. buyers. As Phil Jansen, the Grand Cherokee's chief engineer, plainly remarked, "It is expensive." Jansen also stated that Jeep would continue to consider a diesel option for the U.S.

"It's an open question because the business case has to make sense," said Jansen. Still, if the diesel market blooms to 15-20 percent of luxury SUV sales "then we will obviously consider it." Even though export versions of the Grand Cherokee are already equipped with diesel engines, the U.S. may have to wait a long while before we ever get another shot at buying an oil-burning Grand Cherokee.




Photos by Damon Lavrinc /
Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Take away the corn subsidies...

      Ethanol is marginally cleaner at the tailpipe and will never be able to replace petroleum in the quantities we consume it. EV is the only way to go...
        • 5 Years Ago
        jonwil2002, I don't agree with you on "forgetting" ethanol or abandoning corn, but I totally agree that methanol compatibility is key, and methanol will have to play an indispensable, even central, role in getting us off petroleum.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ethanol is not "marginally" cleaner at the tailpipe.

        Ethanol emits significantly less NOx, the cause of ozone smog and other problems. Not only that, but in vapor form (from the tailpipe via imperfect combustion or via leaks in the refueling process), ethanol vapor is less than a TENTH as reactive to atmospheric NOx as gasoline vapor is.

        Ethanol emits CO2 whose carbon is part of the current carbon cycle and would have returned to the atmosphere anyway. Gasoline's carbon was sequestered underground throughout the existence of humanity and would have remained sequestered and away from the air without our involvement.

        Ethanol emits ZERO sulfur, the cause of acid rain. Gasoline is a major source of sulfur.

        Ethanol emits NONE, ZERO soot, smoke, and particulate matter, the source of smog. Smog is still the #1 air pollution problem in the world today, including in the US, where it kills 40,000 of us every year. Where is smog the biggest problem? In sprawling, car-dependent cities with weak or no subway systems, like Houston and Los Angeles.

        That's not even getting into it being physically impossible for ethanol to cause lasting water pollution, ethanol's non-carcinogenic and non-mutagenic status, etc.

        You have no idea what you are talking about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Forget Ethanol, try Methanol.
        Making cars able to accept Methanol as well as Ethanol costs almost nothing on top of the costs to make it accept Ethanol. Methanol can be produced from Natural Gas (something the US has a lot of). Various Coal-to-Methanol technologies also exist (Coal also being something the US has a lot of) and there are technologies to produce it from renewable resources.

        Even with Ethanol, there are plenty of things you can use as a feedstock for Ethanol other than corn, some of which require less energy input in the production.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a matter on initial investment... the first Bump-to-a-diesel sets you back some 4K, but then you start saving on gas. When you sell it, you'll get the large portion of those initial 4K back, when compared to a gas version, because:
      a) it's a more economic to feed than gas
      b) diesel engines put up with high mileage much better than gas
      c) current turbo-diesels don't lag (an 80s perception endured by gas-V8 motorheads), and are pretty efficient, so you do go faster on highways...
      So, at resale, you pick the extra dough, and reinvest on another diesel model... this time the bump feels marginal.

      Of course there's the soot problem, and no anti-particle filter is addressing that in full ... but the US are hoping for a silver bullet while going for v6/v8 gas sub-25% efficient engines. It's mind blowing for us guys on the other side of the pond.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What about the Fiat diesels? I assume corporate parent Fiat could place its diesels in Jeep and Chrysler models- and these are engines that have been produced & sold already in the UK and European markets- Or better yet: maybe the US should change its emission requirements for all diesels (including imports) for the sake of fuel economy!
      • 5 Years Ago
      We are being lied to. It takes maybe 15 seconds to debunk the supposed $4,000 dollar premium for putting a diesel into a Grand Cherokee. Just go to www.jeep.co.uk and look at prices yourself.

      Diesel Grand Cherokee's range from 32K to 37K in MSRP, while it is the GAS version that carries a premium, with an MSRP of 43.5K!

      And the biggest reason why the Diesel GC's only sold 8% was because you could never find any in any dealerships! When you did, the dealers tacked on outragous "market adjustments" on top of the MSRP.


      • 5 Years Ago
      I hate to say it, but the new V6 might be just as efficient with less complexity and no need for DPF and Urea.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "if the diesel market blooms to 15-20 percent of luxury SUV sales"

      A. Luxury buyers probably do not give a hoot about MPG or torque (i.e. US Land Rovers).
      B. Jeep is competing with Ford Explorer, not MB or BMW.
      C. At least VW has the brains to offer a oil burner on US soil, too bad their package is so dolled up and bloated.

      Msg to Jeep, give us something like a Defender 110 with a diesel power train. Wait, you could just offer a Commander, without the fu-fu parts and with efficient propulsion and you would have it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Meanwhile, Jeep sells Grand Cherokees that don't need petroleum fuel at all and can fuel up on ethanol instead.

      http://www.jeep.com/en/flexfuel/
        • 5 Years Ago
        Additionally, you're clearly forgetting the 15% part...
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, they actually don't. The 2009 model year is long gone! Additionally, the 2010 GC and Commander do NOT offer the FlexFuel engine...

        Lastly, the new 2011 Jeep GC doesn't offer FlexFuel capability on either of the two available engines...at launch...

        Nice try though...keep up the good work with pushing a fuel source that is unreliable, expensive, all with a lower energy yield than petroleum...

        What we need to be doing is putting fewer people behind the wheel of vehicles like this!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I meant to link here,

        http://www.jeep.com/en/2009/grand_cherokee/

        but the Commander link is just as good in its way.

        It is a shame that Jeep seems to have dropped this feature, but that merely underlines the need for a law mandating it as a standard in all cars, like seatbelts. See S. 835 and H.R. 1476, the Open Fuel Standards Act being considered in Congress. If your legislator isn't on board, ask him why he doesn't want you to have a choice, wants you to be locked in to OPEC only fuel.

        And two words about the energy yield issue: "so what?"

        Really, who cares? If ethanol is renewable, clean-burning, can't lastingly pollute the water if spilled, can't crash the economy by having its price spiked by a cartel, and doesn't fund terrorism, who cares if you have to fill up three times a month instead of twice?

        I mean, if ethanol were our normal fuel, and we were all used to filling up three times a month, and some oil type sidled up to convince you to support switching us to gasoline because you could do so only twice a month, would you take that deal? Switch to a fossil fuel that will run out; that emits soot, sulfur, and NOx; that has its price point permanently under the control of a sinister foreign monopoly; that funds terrorism?

        If it bugs you THAT much to fill up three times a month instead of twice, even if doing that would save the world, theres' something wrong with you.

        And you know what? Automakers can just make the fuel tanks 50% bigger anyway!! There's tons of empty space, filler, between the inner and outer surfaces of a car that's just air or foam noise dampener.

        So then what's the big deal about the energy content? Answer: it isn't a big deal. It's not any kind of a deal. It's a non-issue. Just STFU about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        mapoftazifosho, if the 2009's were "long gone", Jeep wouldn't be featuring them on its website. In fact, you can still "build your own" at:

        http://www.jeep.com/en/2009/commander/

        Plus a quick check on just one site, AutoTrader, found me at least 20 brand-new, never-owned 2009 flex-fuel Grand Cherokee.

        "pushing a fuel source that is unreliable, expensive, all with a lower energy yield than petroleum..."

        How is ethanol "unreliable"? You have no idea what you are talking about; you're just name-calling. Ethanol burns clean and leaves no deposits, unlike gasoline which needs detergent agents.

        As for expensive, it costs less per gallon and a bit more per mile. If we let in cheap foreign ethanol it would be cheaper per mile too.

        "Additionally, you're clearly forgetting the 15% part..."

        E85 does have 15% gasoline, but flex fuel vehicles can run on E100 just fine, as long as the outside temperature doesn't drop below the 50s.

        "What we need to be doing is putting fewer people behind the wheel of vehicles like this!"

        Ah, the real agenda emerges. It's not really about cleaning up the air and water, saving the economy from another 2008 style crash, or de-funding our enemies. Ethanol would do that, but you oppose it.

        It's about hatred of big families, zooming happily into the sunset, going wherever they want to go in a big, robust, fast, powerful vehicle with lots of room.

        That annoys anti-American, Malthusian fanatics. You burn with desire to destroy that freewheeling spirit and freedom itself. You want to humble and humiliate us, take us down a peg, teach us a lesson, punish us, by stuffing us into teeny, fragile, weak, slow, cramped, ridiculous euro-toys. And those are the lucky ones --- the rest of us get herded obediently onto mass transit, forced to share our personal space by being jammed in with strangers, slowly starting and stopping countless times, and going only where some central planner decided for us that it will go.

        Imposing austerity and deprivation on us is an obsession of eco-Puritan killjoys, because they see human movement, activity, and aspirations as a threat to be squashed and strictly controlled. Ultimately they see human beings as the enemy - they are enemies of our all mankind.
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