Jeep puts a diesel V6 in Cherokee
Wide range of drivetrain options available
Bob McHugh, The Province
A diesel engine is now an option in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and leads what's expected to be a wave of new clean-diesel engines on the Canadian market.
The sulphur content in our diesel fuel has been reduced to less than 15 parts per million compared to 500 ppm previously. And these new clean-diesel engines come with advanced catalytic converters and particulate filter traps that clean the exhaust. he optional 3.0-litre common rail turbo-diesel engine in the Grand Cherokee is made in Germany for Jeep. Yes, it's the same engine you will also find under the hood of a Mercedes-Benz ML.
When it comes to powertrains, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers lots of options -- four engines and three four-wheel drive systems. The base (gasoline) engine is 3.7-litre V6. It can produce 210 h.p. and 235 ft.-lb. of torque.
New for 2008 is the 4.7-litre V8 engine that promises better fuel economy, power and torque than the current V8. It incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder, an increased compression ratio and a new combustion system. The result is 305 h.p. and 334 ft.-lb. of torque.
The fourth engine choice is a 5.7-litre Hemi V8. The engine produces 330 h.p. and 375 ft.-lb of torque.
This engine has a fuel-saver mode that can deactivate four cylinders while cruising on the highway.
The new 3.0-litre common rail turbo diesel engine can produce 215 h.p. and 376 ft.-lb. of torque. That's more torque than the Hemi with about a 30-per-cent improvement in fuel economy (and CO2 emissions). Towing capacity is 3,357 kilograms and its driving range is approximately 720 kilometres.
If you want an easy-to-use, full-time, four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull, Quadra-Trac I is the one. Its transfer case splits torque 48/52 per cent (front/rear) for nearly even distribution of engine power.
The Quadra-Trac II system offers the benefit of the two-speed active transfer case with an easy-to-use electronic shift mechanism. The transfer case offers a low range for off-road situation.
The Quadra-Drive II is Jeep's ultimate off-road/on-road 4x4 system. It combines a full-time transfer case with electronic, limited-slip differentials. The heart of the system is the active transfer case with a centre differential coupled to an electronically controlled clutch pack.
The Jeep grand Cherokee with the diesel engine option comes in the Laredo ($48,510), Limited ($53,775) and Overland ($55,805) trim levels. Jeep expects the diesel-engine versions to become the best selling version of the Grand Cherokee in Canada.
Although it's $1,500 more than the optional 5.7-litre Hemi V8 gasoline engine, it's not subject to the federal green tax, while the V8 invokes a $2,000 penalty. So the after-tax net cost of the diesel engine should be $500 less.
The appearance of the Grand Cherokee hasn't changed much since '05, although the '07 does have revised taillights. The front grille on the '08 has been lengthened and it will come with xenon headlights.
Unlike most SUVs in its class, the Grand Cherokee is a uniframe (or unibody) structure. Always has been, in fact, going back to its introduction in the early '90s. It's a more rigid structure than truck-based body-on-frame construction.