What I love (and hate) about the diesel Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
It looks like COVID isn't on its way out, yet, but here in Colorado we have started getting press cars again. My first isn’t too shabby, either, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited with an EcoDiesel engine. For my first trip away from home in months, I decided to play it safe and journey out where few people roam on weekdays, the Continental Divide Trail in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, to show off the 10 things I love about this Jeep, and five things that I really don’t.
In the United States, especially in my home state of Colorado, Jeep Wranglers are ubiquitous. And while many of these iconic rock crawlers never see terrain more challenging than the occasional pothole or snow-covered highway, they achieved their popularity through years of history and credibility. And today, it's one of the most off-road-capable vehicles you can buy. Arguably the most off-road-capable vehicle there is.
Now, this one is an Unlimited, and it's got the EcoDiesel. I decided to drive it through Weston Pass, middle of the Pike National Forest in Colorado, to some cool little mountain towns to tell you the 10 things that I love about it and the 5 things that I really don't.
All right. Well, first things first, and it's the reason that this Wrangler has a lot of low-end torque. It's the reason that this Wrangler sounds the way it does. And it's the reason that this Wrangler cost $4, more than its petrol brother. And the first thing that I love about this is the diesel engine. So let's pop this hood. And it is quite warm.
It's not super warm here in Colorado just yet, at least not up in the mountains. So if you open this up, and quick pro tip, you're looking around for-- where the heck is the-- ooh, this is hot. Where the heck is the hood stand? If I can prop up the hood. It is actually on the hood and not down in here. Just look up for that.
But yeah, this is the liter EcoDiesel. It helps this vehicle get a ton of low-end torque. I think the max torque, it's something like 1, RPMs. And it also helps this Jeep get really good gas mileage. And so those are two of the things that I love about this Jeep that I wanted to touch on is all the torque right away. So you don't have to be revving it up to 3,, 4, 5,, 6, RPMs to get all the torque. This is a diesel. You get all the torque almost right away.
And the other thing is, because it's a diesel, I've been getting a lot better gas mileage. I haven't spent all my time driving on highways. It's been on trails like this, and then roads around my house, and I've been getting 25 miles to the gallon, which for something that's about as aerodynamic as a brick, not too bad. So this liter is what really makes this specific Jeep special.
Another thing I want to touch on is how off-road-capable the Rubicon is. That's another thing that I love about the Wrangler. Obviously this comes as no surprise to anybody the Jeep Wrangler from the factory like I said in the intro is one of the most capable off road vehicles out there.
In fact, I think you can probably, if we're talking about SUVs, you can probably only talk about the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and the G Wagon as competitors in that aspect. Obviously, there's a few more trucks built in if we throw those into the mix. But talking specifically about SUVs, the Wrangler itself is one of the most off road-capable vehicles. And I'll throw up the specs right now.
But the Rubicon package in and of itself just elevates that completely. And the diesel, given that it gives you all that low-end torque right away, just adds to it. So this specific one, while it might not be as off road capable as it's two-door brother just because of the sheer length of the vehicle and the wheelbase, it is still incredibly capable off road.
You could take it to Moab without anything. You don't have to lift it. You don't have to put on new tires. It comes with KO2s. So that's just another thing I love about the Jeep. I do love offroading, and the capability is almost unmatched anywhere.
Another thing that I love about this specific Jeep is the ability to just press a button and have the roof go back. This one has the power roof. It actually is raining a little bit right now, but I'm going to use it anyway. I won't melt. You press that button, and it just goes back.
It does take a little while. It's not the fastest roof to open ever. But when it opens all the way, the roof above the driver and the passenger as well as the rear seat is both open. So it does bunch up just over the trunk area. And I love how easy it is to use.
I also love-- and this is something that jeeps have been able to do since forever is take off the doors, and you can fully take off the roof and lay down the windshield. Sometimes, I don't want to take off the roof completely like on a day like today where it's, you know, 95% sunny, but every once in a while, it has been raining on me a little bit. I can just hit this button and boom, done. Is it as good as having the roof and doors off completely? I would say no. But it is halfway there with much less than half the hassle.
Now, one of the things that I don't like about this Jeep in particular is that it doesn't come with a manual transmission. And that's specific to the EcoDiesel, which is a little bit unfortunate. Some people like to row their own gears off road, and I happen to be one of those people.
That being said, while it does take away from the off-road experience a little bit, it doesn't completely take away from the off-road experience. I think what the diesel adds to that experience eclipses the fact that you have to get an automatic, and it's not as fun in that aspect. So if I had to choose between the two, I'd probably get the diesel rather than getting a gas-powered one even though that gas-powered one can have a manual.
Another thing I don't like is the safety of the Wrangler. Now, the Wrangler has looked very similar for its entire life. And you don't go from having a vehicle that is boxy and tiny-- it was a lot of tinier back in the day, but you don't go from having a boxy vehicle and keeping the same shape as it does now without sacrificing somewhere. And specifically, you are sacrificing a little bit in safety. Some of the safety test crashes-- not the best.
And the aerodynamics. The aerodynamics are just not really there. While they're better than they used to be, the aerodynamics aren't really there because it is a boxy vehicle. And that's something that I love about it. That brings me to another love.
I love how the Wrangler looks. I love that it looks relatively the same. The seven-slotted grill. You know, it's a lot bigger now. It has four doors. But it looks relatively the same as it always has. And the looks are just awesome. It looks bad ass. It looks like it can handle any kind of trail because it can. It's Rubicon trail-rated. And it really looks the part, but it also plays the part. And I love that about the Wrangler.
Another thing that I wanted to touch on is something that I think FCA has done incredibly well for many, many years now it has just gotten better and better. And while this screen isn't as big as, say, the one on a Ram it's hard to beat the one in the it's still a quality screen. Big size. Touchscreen just works. It's got Apple CarPlay.
And also, if you look down below, there are aux cables almost everywhere. There's some in the console. One, two, and I'm sure there's some in the back. And that's something else that FCA does well. It is and everybody's got devices, and you're going on a long road trip. Everybody's going to be wanting to charge said devices. And so instead of having fights about who gets to charge their device when, you just have enough USB ports for everybody.
And it's something that I think-- I think Kia does a good job of this as well in the Telluride. Just something that I think auto manufacturers should be doing in general. If you have five seats, put five USB chargers. You don't need to save the extra few bucks.
You know, just put USB chargers in there. Keep everybody happy. It's This is the kind of tech we have. Also, with these USB chargers, it's USB as well as USB-C in some cases. And they have an aux cable. I just have a normal USB plugged in, and Apple CarPlay has been working wonderfully for me.
The other thing that I really love about this center console right here is all of the buttons. And there is kind of a spectrum when it comes to how many buttons you should have and how to use this center console. And I think Volvo is probably on the one end of the spectrum. We have a long term S60 right now. And you can control a lot of stuff from the steering wheel, but everything else is through the touch screen. There's very few buttons.
And while that looks good, it's not the most practical. This might be the other end of the spectrum, but I like it because even though it's incredibly busy, if I'm off-roading, I don't want to be searching through-- even if it is a good infotainment system, I don't want to be searching through that infotainment system to figure out how to turn on heated seats, or cooled steering wheel, or heated steering wheel, or anything like that.
Turn on the AC. How do I do that? So I like that there's just buttons here. I can look down, quickly press something, eyes back on the trail. And that's what you want out of an offroad vehicle. Or at least that's what I want out of my center console and infotainment in an off-road vehicle.
One thing that I am not particularly fond of-- and you kind of have to pick and choose here-- is the ride quality on just normal highway driving. People buy Jeep Rubicon as well. Some people buy them because they're a status symbol. But if you're really going to buy a Jeep Rubicon, in my opinion, you should be taking it off road.
And so it's kind of this choice that you have to make. If this vehicle is going to be your daily driver, you're going to have to deal with some issues on the pavement to get the performance that you want out of it on a trail. So while the performance on the trail is arguably unparalleled out of the box, it can be a bit loud when you're driving it elsewhere.
There's a lot of wind noise. Like I said before, this thing's a box. Ooph. We'll be shaking a little bit here. So you're getting a lot of feedback in your steering when it's windy out. Things like that. So on road, not the greatest. But boy, does it make up for it off road.
Unfortunately, it still is pretty early in the season. This Jeep is going to be delivered somewhere else. So they just got me in it now. And the sign says the west Weston Pass is not OK for low-clearance vehicles. Good thing we're in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Man, this thing's shaking around a lot. I'm trying to keep it as stable as possible, so sorry if this makes you sick.
Yeah, so this by no means is getting to the point where this thing can't handle anything I'm throwing at it. But like I was saying, still early in the season. We might run into some snow. And some of the more difficult trails are even further up into the mountains. And since I'm by myself. I didn't want to get stuck in the deep snow situation and not have cell service or anything like that.
In fact, if you're wheeling by yourself, you should always-- and this is good for any kind of travel. Here, let me pull over a minute, because it is super bumpy on this camera. It is a good idea for any travel-- I do this whether I'm hiking a mountain by myself or just even driving this dirt road/trail. It's a good idea to let people know where you're going to be and when you plan on being back. So that way if you're two hours late and they can't get a hold of you or your six hours late, eight hours late, they can't get a hold of you, then they know where to start looking if something horrible has happened.
Hopefully, it's just a blown tire and you're on the trail. And you're a few miles away. I actually brought my mountain bike today not only to use as-- you know, show how much space is back there, which we'll get to in a minute. But if I need to get anywhere, I can hop on the bike can do quite a bit of riding in a good amount of time.
That being said, this road is not something that I'm particularly worried about. I have a spare on the back, as do all Jeeps. But it's still a good idea to just let people know where you're going and when you'll be home. It's a good habit to get into. Just make sure when you get home to tell that person that you made it, because I've definitely done that sometimes where someone will text me four hours later and be like, "Hey, did you make it back?" And I was like, "Oh, man, yeah, sorry. I've been back for three hours. I ate and took a nap already."
So good idea, good habit to get into whenever you're wheeling or even out hiking. All right. Walking around to the back of the vehicle, I'm going to show you something else that I love. Well, this isn't one of the things, but tires on the back-- always cool.
So if we open that up, you'll notice that in the back I have my mountain bike. And right now, it's laying down on the wrong side, on the gear side. If you're going to lay down your bike, lay it down on the 9-gear side. It did some slipping on the way here on some of the more bumpy sections of the trail.
But this is something you could never do in the two door. And so I wanted to touch on that because while the two door personally to me looks cooler and it's better offroad just due to the shorter wheelbase, it is way less practical. So right now, I've got my full mountain bike in here. I can throw my wife's mountain bike in the back.
The two back seats are folded down. But if I didn't have the bikes in here, I also could lay in the back. If I'm overlanding or even camping in a place like this here today, I can sleep in the back of this fairly comfortably. That's something you can't do with the two-door, and it's something that I love about the Unlimited in general. And it's what would make me get a four-door or over a two-door if I was buying the Jeep Wrangler.
Another thing that I love, another thing that makes the Jeep Wrangler and a lot of different jeeps-- the Gladiator, the Cherokee, all of the Jeeps, just adds a little more fun to them-- are the Easter eggs. So you see we got an Easter egg on the wheel here.
There are plenty of Easter eggs all over this vehicle. You might not notice them all right away. But say you're loading something to the back, you'll see an Easter egg, and it'll give you a little chuckle. It's something that puts a smile on my face seeing all these Easter eggs. It shows that Jeep has had a rich history. And it's just a nice touch.
And the last and final thing that I don't like about the Jeep Wrangler unlimited Rubicon with the EcoDiesel is the price. So I mentioned earlier that the EcoDiesel does come with a big sticker. So let's just go through-- I got the Monroney here. Let's just go through everything here.
So standard, the base price of this Wrangler Rubicon, is $41, before destination. So you add on top of that the leather, trim bucket seats, the leather-wrapped park brake handle, the shift knob, the premium trim panel. That's another $1,
And then we get the Cold Weather Group, which is the heated front seat and heated steering wheel. That's another grand. Plus the trailer stuff. That's another $ LED, another grand, plus the inch radio and premium audio group, which I did love. That's another $1, Safety Group, which is the rear park assist and the blind spot and cross path detection is another $ Steel bumper, $1,
The eight-speed automatic transmission is $2, The diesel itself is $4, Keyless entry, $ The body color fender flare is $ The roof-- oh, this one hurts. It's just almost-- it's $5 cheaper than getting the diesel itself. So that's another $3, And then the wheels are another grand, plus $1, in destination charges.
So just a reminder, base price, $41, Total price of this Jeep Wrangler Rubicon four-door with the EcoDiesel is $64, That is a ton of money for a Jeep Wrangler. Now, this isn't how I would configure mine unless I possibly won the lottery, but that is a huge knock on it.
$65, for a Jeep Wrangler. Even though it does come with a lot and you can do a lot with it, that is a lot of money. That's the final thing that I don't like. So there you go. The things that I love. The things that I really don't love about the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Four-Door with the EcoDiesel.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Information
The Jeep Wrangler is a lot like a Subway franchise. It's a common sight at strip malls, regular malls, and gas stations. It comes in long and short sizes. And it offers a number of toppings, both soft and hard. With its various powertrains, door types, and streetable and/or off-road pretensions, the Wrangler has a combo for nearly any buyer. And now Jeep is introducing yet another flavor: the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel, which borrows its turbo-diesel from the Ram And with it comes a promise of improved fuel economy. All the taste. Fewer calories.
HIGHS: Torque where you need it, efficient diesel, surprisingly quick.
Wranglers have always paired well with the low-end grunt of a diesel engine. In the s, the CJ-5 offered a four-cylinder diesel with 62 horsepower and lb-ft of torque. For , Jeep has bolted in a third-generation turbocharged liter diesel V-6 made by VM Motori. It's mechanically the same as the Ram's engine, though the alternator and injection pump have been relocated to maintain the Wrangler's 30 inches of water-fording ability. Its horsepower and lb-ft of very lovely torque are the special sauce.
As the engine whirs to life, there's no mistaking that you bought the diesel. Jeep made an effort to quiet the pitter-patter of the powertrain, adding sound-deadening material to the engine-bay side of the firewall as well as foam to the back of the infotainment screen. But Jeeps are noisy creatures even without a diesel engine. After all, the doors and roof are removable. So, we largely enjoyed the clatter and thrum. The diesel is an expensive fixin'; we want to hear what we paid for. Would you spend thousands on a Hellcat engine and not listen to it? No. No, you would not.
Around town, the Ecodiesel supports big-rig fantasies. There's no manual gearbox, but there's a certain amount of joy that comes from locking the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic into a high gear and standing on the accelerator. As the turbo spools up, its whistle drowns out the clatter as the intake gets stuffed with pounds of boost. Peak torque arrives at rpm and stays flat all the way to Get out of it and the blow-off valve lets loose with a characteristic whoosh.
LOWS: Pricey, slightly compromised ride, no manual gearbox.
At the track, this pound Wrangler Unlimited Sahara recorded an impressive second dash to 60 mph. The quarter-mile happens in seconds, with the Jeep crossing the line at 89 mph. While it isn't the quickest Wrangler we've run through the numbers, the difference is so negligible that it will go unnoticed. Plus, the diesel's off-the-line acceleration never fails to result in a grin.
On the road, the Wrangler drives very much like an off-roader; two live axles and the quickest recirculating-ball-steering gear available in a Wrangler (at ) isn't a recipe for apex hunting. On the skidpad, there's a meager g of grip. To compensate for this ute's additional pounds over a similarly equipped V-6 model, Jeep increased the front and rear spring rates by 10 percent and added diesel-specific dampers, making the ride noticeably firmer. The huskier Wrangler also needed feet to stop from 70 mph. That's 22 more than the gasser Sahara V
In the dirt, the diesel-powered Rubicon model earns its stripes. We ventured to Utah's spectacular Sand Hollow State Park so we could experience what Wranglers do best: Jeep things. With the Rubicon-specific front anti-roll bar disconnected and the front and rear electronic differentials locked, it climbed sandstone walls. The diesel shrugs off the weight of the truck, needing barely any accelerator input. Jeep's most serious Wrangler used up every one of its inches of ground clearance, its skid plates dragging across the rock like fingernails on a chalkboard.
In deep sand, the Rubicon's off-road tires toss up earth as the engine churns away at full tilt. Sport and Sahara models are equipped with an open front differential and a limited-slip rear unit. Depending on the trim level, two transfer cases are offered: Sport and Sahara models are equipped with a low-range ratio while the Rubicon is fitted with a Unlike gasoline-powered Wranglers, a full-time all-wheel-drive transfer case isn't offered on the diesel.
Aft of the rear axle is a diesel-specific skid plate that protects the gallon tank for diesel exhaust fluid. The reservoir does not have any negative impact on the Wrangler's departure angle and, by Jeep's claim, should need to be refilled only every 10, miles under normal operation. However, after drinking gallons of tailpipe-cleansing juice with miles on the odometer, we're skeptical of this claim.
The diesel is more than just a power story. This powertrain is also about efficiency. Though EPA figures are not available at this time, we recorded a commendable 25 mpg during our mile drive from Utah to Southern California.
The power efficiency comes with a hefty price, though. The engine alone is a $ option and requires a mandatory $ upgrade for the eight-speed automatic. At launch, the engine will be available only in four-door Unlimited models. Our well-equipped Sahara stickered at an eye-watering $57,, and fully kitted Rubicons can climb into the mid-$60s. For bargain shoppers, the diesel can be had on the value menu for under $40, in the Wrangler Sport. We see this as the sweet spot in the range, as the savings can be spent on a lift kit, LED lights, and overlanding items. We'll have to wait a year for the diesel to appear in the Gladiator pickup, but it's presence in the Wrangler is the sandwich of the day.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara EcoDiesel
front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door convertible
PRICE AS TESTED
$57, (base price: $46,)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC valve diesel V-6, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection
cu in, cc
hp @ rpm
lb-ft @ rpm
Suspension (F/R): live axle/live axle
Brakes (F/R): in vented disc/in disc
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler A/T RH-S, /70R T M+S
Passenger volume: cu ft
Cargo volume: 32 cu ft
Curb weight: lb
Rollout, 1 ft: sec
60 mph: sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: sec
¼-mile: sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited): mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: ft
Roadholding, ft-dia skidpad: g
Observed: 25 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 26/23/30 mpg
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The Jeep Wrangler with the liter diesel V6 will add a total of $6, to the SUV's price, according to JL Wrangler Forums citing a dealer order sheet. The engine will actually add $4, to the bottom line, but it will only be available with the eight-speed automatic that will be an additional $2,
The liter V6 for the Wrangler Ecodiesel is largely the same as the version available in the Ram , but this variant has a different intake and exhaust. The tweaks result in an output of horsepower ( kilowatts) and pound-feet ( Newton-meters) of torque which is 38 lb-ft (52 Nm) less than the Ram.
All trim levels of the diesel-powered Wrangler come standard with Dana 44 heavy-duty axles. Most versions have a axle ratio, except for a ratio for the Rubicon. There's an gallon fuel tank.
Identifying a Wrangler Ecodiesel on the street is going to be a challenge. The only aesthetic difference is a small badge on the rear hatch. The exhaust outlet is also larger, but its location means you need to look underneath the SUV to get a good look.
The Wrangler's diesel engine will be on sale before the end of the year. Fuel economy and tow ratings are not yet available. If you like the idea of this torquey engine but need more utility, then the powerplant joins the Gladiator pickup lineup sometime in
In addition to adding the diesel engine to the range, Wrangler buyers get another powertrain choice in when a plug-in hybrid option arrives. There aren't yet specifics about it, though.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel First Test: Is the Diesel Worth the Wait?
The Jeep Wrangler diesel finally gets tested.Jeep Wrangler Full Overview
Not too long ago, you only really got four choices when buying a new Jeep Wrangler: two doors or four, soft top or hardtop, manual or automatic, and color. But with Wrangler sales through the roof and the full might of FCA behind the latest JL Wrangler, current buyers of the iconic Jeep are truly spoiled for choice—especially when it comes to engine options, with no less than five engine options available across the lineup. The latest to hit the streets is the highly anticipated diesel engine, and we hit the test track in a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel to see if the wait was worth it.
Jeep's new EcoDiesel engine is actually one that Ram buyers have been familiar with for a couple years now. Now in its third generation, the EcoDiesel liter turbodiesel V-6 gets some Wrangler-specific modifications (like the ability to withstand up to 30 inches of water) and makes the same hp as it does in the Ram, but 'only' lb-ft of torque—down 38 lb-ft to the pickup. An eight-speed automatic comes standard with the EcoDiesel engine, as does four-wheel drive. The new diesel is only available in four-door Wrangler Unlimited models—Jeep says the take rate would be too low on two-door Wranglers to justify the investment. Same for a manual transmission.
How Fast Is the Wrangler Diesel?
Diesels aren't known for being quick—and neither are Jeep Wranglers, for that matter—but our Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel actually impressed us at the track. Its second mph time and second quarter mile at mph makes it the second-quickest four-door JL Wrangler we've ever tested. That's a tenth of a second quicker to 60 mph and two-tenths quicker through the quarter mile than our long-term Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, which is equipped with an eTorque liter turbocharged I-4 making hp and lb-ft of torque.
Our gas-powered long-termer starts making up the difference in our other performance tests, though. The diesel Wrangler's best mph stop was feet (2 feet longer than our long-termer), and it only managed g average on the skidpad and seconds at g on the figure eight. Our mild-hybrid long-term Wrangler averaged g and lapped the figure eight in seconds at g average. The four-cylinder's faster time can largely be chalked up to its 4,pound curb weight, compared to the similarly equipped Wrangler diesel's 5, pounds.
The quickest four-door Wrangler we've tested was a Wrangler Sahara equipped with the standard liter hp and lb-ft V-6 and an eight-speed automatic. Without the heavy-duty off-road hardware of the Rubicon models and weighing just 4, pounds, it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in seconds, through the quarter mile in seconds at mph, and, thanks to its more street-oriented tires, stops from 60 to 0 mph in feet and runs the figure eight in seconds at g.
How Does the Wrangler EcoDiesel Drive?
Just like it is in the Ram, the EcoDiesel feels impossibly smooth in the Wrangler. Its lb-ft of torque come on early in the Jeep's powerband, giving you a satisfying, lag-free shove back into your seat as the Wrangler accelerates. Unlike the eTorque turbo-four Wrangler, which has a touch of turbo lag when accelerating, the EcoDiesel mill delivers its horsepower linearly throughout its narrow powerband, even managing to have ample passing power at freeway speeds—something many diesel engines lack. As it does in V-6 and four-cylinder models, the Jeep's eight-speed automatic shifts quickly and smartly, with a well-spaced gear ratio spread.
While the diesel engine is certainly the headline change to the Wrangler lineup, there's another less publicized one that's been made to all model year Wranglers—steering feel is now improved. One of the few complaints we've had about our long-term Wrangler is its heavy, wander-prone steering, which could make long drives both on- and off-road exhausting. For , Jeep made both steering gear valve tuning and pump calibration changes that result in lighter, lower-effort steering. The steering feels both world's better on-road, where it weighs up nicely through bends and doesn't require constant corrections on highways, and off-road, too, as the steering wheel doesn't snap back as harshly on rough obstacles.
Is the Wrangler Diesel Good on Gas?
All things being equal, the EcoDiesel engine is by a hair the most satisfying engine in the Wrangler lineup. But that's before we take both efficiency and price into consideration.
Let's start with the former. Until the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid arrives later this year, the EcoDiesel is the most efficient Wrangler variant available, rated by the EPA at 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined. That's about 14 percent more efficient combined than the four-cylinder Wranglers' 22/24/22 mpg rating, and 45 percent more efficient than Wranglers equipped with the standard V-6 and optional eight-speed auto, rated at 18/23/20 mpg. In real-world testing, we found the fuel efficiency difference between the EcoDiesel and four-cylinder eTorque engine to be much narrower—during the average week, our long-term Wrangler achieves around 20 mpg running around Los Angeles, while the EcoDiesel, on the same duty cycle, achieved around 22 mpg.
How Much Is a Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel?
The waters get muddier when you take pricing into consideration. The EcoDiesel engine is effectively $6, more than the standard V-6 ($4, for the engine, and $2, for the required automatic transmission), and $4, more than the turbo-four (the engine is baked into the price, but the required transmission is $1,). I highly suggest reading our First Drive of the Wrangler EcoDiesel where Scott Evans breaks down the cost-per-mile differences between the three engines, but the math doesn't look good for the EcoDiesel. The CliffsNotes version is this: It'll take , miles of highway driving to recuperate the cost difference between the base V-6 and the diesel engine, and , highway miles to make up the difference with the four-cylinder Wrangler.
Ultimately, therein lies the Wrangler EcoDiesel's biggest problem—its price. The Wrangler is already an expensive SUV (our near-loaded Rubicon tester started at $49, and stickered for $62,), and $6, is a large investment for an engine that's more efficient, yes, but not enormously so. The EcoDiesel is smooth, quick, and powerful, but as the numbers show, the speed and efficiency gap between it and the Wrangler's turbo-four powertrain is small. As much as I love driving the Wrangler EcoDiesel, with that math I'm opting for the turbo-four over the diesel any day of the week.
|Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon EcoDiesel|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$62,|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||L/hp/lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||5, lb (52/48%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||x x in|
|QUARTER MILE||sec @ mph|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||sec @ g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||22/29/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||/ kW-hrs/ miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||lb/mile|
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Price jeep rubicon diesel
Now is a great time to be an off-road enthusiast. The Ford Bronco just made its triumphant return, Toyota’s TRD Pro line is more popular than ever, and Jeep is doubling down on the Wrangler by finally offering a diesel-powered version.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon’s torque-rich liter diesel option costs $4, though, and it doesn’t make sense for everyone, even with the improved gas mileage. Jeep also requires the $2, eight-speed automatic transmission with the diesel, leaving manual lovers out in the cold. But if you’re steadfast in wanting a diesel off-roader, the Wrangler is the only one this side of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 (at least until the Gladiator diesel arrives). With the diesel engine under the hood, the Rubicon is even more of a joyful, easy-to-use SUV that’s ready to tackle just about any adventure thrown at it.
With horsepower and pound-feet, the liter diesel mill is a real workhorse in the Wrangler. For comparison, the standard liter V6 offers hp and lb-ft, while the optional turbocharged liter four-cylinder pumps out hp and lb-ft. None of the powertrains on offer crack the hp marker, but the torque number differs greatly. This is the EcoDiesel’s biggest selling point.
Having driven all three engine variants, none of them qualify as fast. That said, getting going in the EcoDiesel is a much more forceful experience. The heartiest part of the powerband comes almost instantly, making excessive throttle inputs unnecessary. Beyond 4, rpm the Wrangler runs out of steam pretty quickly, but the scrumptious torque available is enough to bridge the gap.
During a light (by Jeep standards) off-road test, the EcoDiesel calmly conquered inclines without breaking traction or twitchy acceleration. With barely any throttle – less than five miles per hour – the engine thrives with fluid, consistent power delivery. Of the three powertrains, we prefer the diesel’s mannerisms for days spent off-road.
This should go without saying, but one of the biggest pros with a Wrangler is the modularity. Tear the doors off, fold the windshield down, rip out the rear windows – you can undress a Wrangler according to the day’s adventure. This test car splits the room with one of its options, the $3, Sky one-touch power top. Think of it as the biggest sunroof you’ve ever seen; a massive canvas top retracts nearly the entire length of the roof with a simple press of a button. Put me down for loving this feature. In Miami where I tested the Wrangler, the weather goes from sunshine to storm often in a moment’s notice, so quickly taking cover is a wonderful convenience.
It’s easy to argue that four grand is way too much for a fancy sunroof, especially when the standard soft top retracts with ease and the hard top is removable as well. But think of the Sky power top as the happy medium between the soft and hard top; it provides better sound insulation than the former but doesn’t require a storage area to go convertible like the latter. A four grand option is considerable, but for some Wrangler lovers, this is the best of both worlds solution.
Opting for the Rubicon trim means that you’re serious about off-roading, and the diesel powertrain only serves to enhance the experience. Starting at $11, over the standard Sport Unlimited trim, the Rubicon is ready to travel way off the beaten path. With Dana solid front and rear axles, locking differentials, and tough skid plates covering the fuel tank and transfer case, the setup is ready for adventure. Beefy inch tires and a specially tuned suspension help the Rubicon achieve even more in the dirt – or in this case, lots and lots of mud. And that’s before adding the torque monster.
During a light (by Jeep standards) off-road test, the Rubicon EcoDiesel calmly conquered inclines without breaking traction or twitchy acceleration. With barely any throttle – less than five miles per hour – the engine thrives with fluid, consistent power delivery. Conquering sharp inclines is a matter of breathing on the go pedal, as the Rubicon slowly but surely charges onward, without hesitation. Of the three powertrains, we prefer the diesel’s mannerisms for days spent off-road.
It’s not a typo – the liter EcoDiesel engine earns a mark in the pros column as well as the cons. Admittedly, I am bad at math – that’s why I’m a writer. But even I can figure out that it will take quite a lot of highway driving to make up for the extra cost of the diesel engine. Again, the liter EcoDiesel is a $4, add-on atop your desired Wrangler trim level, making it a pricey proposition. The payoff is better efficiency, especially on the highway. The standard V6 achieves 19 city, 22 highway and 20 combined, while the four-cylinder improves that to 21 city, 22 highway and 21 combined. Opt for the diesel and the Wrangler Unlimited returns 22 city, 29 highway, and 25 combined. In the real world, the diesel met its projected figures consistently, while past time spent with the V6 showed it to be less efficient than advertised.
If your daily commute is highway-centric, there may be an argument here, but the question is whether or not seven miles per gallon is worth the extra money up front. Not to mention, the diesel matches the other two powertrains with a 3, towing capacity, missing out on some extra brownie points.
Speaking of highway driving, that is a test that the Wrangler does not pass. This isn’t an issue with power – the diesel engine’s hefty torque is more than enough to get the big SUV moving. Rather, the Wrangler’s character at higher speeds is straight-up worrisome. With the Rubicon’s huge inch tires, there’s considerable play in the steering. Noise bombards the cabin from just about everywhere; air whistles through the canvas roof, the dashboard emits a constant rattle, and road clamor is constant. This setup is still less noisy than the base soft top, with its plastic windows and looser door seals, but the dedicated hard top remains the best way to quiet down the Wrangler on the highway.
You shouldn’t expect the Wrangler to drive like an S-Class, but the Rubicon’s unrefined nature will likely wear down a daily commuter over time.
Jeepers creepers, this Wrangler costs $64, How on earth does this four-wheel-drive SUV get deep into luxury car territory? It comes with a massive options list, which accounts for the $23, jump over the Rubicon Unlimited’s starting price of $41, Rather than list everything in order, here’s a quick summary of what’s good and what’s not.
This Rubicon’s best add-ons are the killer $ Ocean Blue paint, $1, inch Uconnect infotainment display, $ black inch wheels, and an $ safety group which includes blind-spot monitoring and rear park assist. As for the $3, roof, the good still outweighs the bad, even for the money. It’s a fun addition, that makes the Wrangler even more versatile.
The $1, extra-durable leather gets hotter than the surface of the sun and $ for keyless entry seems like a cruel extra for a car this expensive – ditto the $ heated seats and steering wheel. Steel bumpers ($1,) and body-color fenders ($) are a matter of preference but don’t seem worth the cost to me with so many great aftermarket options available. The Rubicon feels right at around $50,
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
EngineLiter V6 Diesel
Output Horsepower / Pound-Feet
Drive TypeFour-Wheel Drive
Efficiency22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined
Cargo Volume / Cubic-Feet
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