A diesel engine option is finally coming to the JL Wrangler. The 3.0L EcoDiesel engine will make an appearance on the Jeep Wrangler sometime in 2020. While this may seem like a relatively minor
announcement, there’s a lot that a diesel engine can do for the JL.
The 3.0L EcoDiesel Appears On a Wrangler
The 3.0L EcoDiesel turbocharged V6 engine is the diesel engine for the JL Wrangler. This engine has been
making the rounds at Fiat Chrysler for a few years now. Its most notable and recent appearance was on the Ram
1500, where the EcoDiesel engine makes 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. The same power figures are expected on the JL as well.
To give you an idea of what this means for the JL Wrangler power-wise, let’s compare it to the stock 3.6L
Pentastar motor. The standard V6 engine makes 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, meaning that the EcoDiesel will
lose a paltry amount of HP for some serious torque gains. At the end of the day, torque is the more important
metric for off-roading performance.
Even with this big bump in torque output, the tried and true transmission options should remain the same on the
diesel equipped Jeeps. The 8HP75 automatic transmission, for example, would be a great match for the 3.0L EcoDiesel engine.
For now, however, there doesn't appear to be the option to add the manual transmission with the EcoDiesel engine. Before you go throwing your hands up in the air about the death of the manual transmission, remember that this transmission is only not available at launch. While it's unclear if there will be a manual transmission in the future, the link between Jeep Wranglers and manual gearboxes is strong.
While official EPA fuel efficiency numbers have yet to be released, the EcoDiesel engine does have “Eco” in its name,
so it’s likely to be one of the more fuel-efficient power plants for a JL Wrangler. The current mileage estimates
for the Wrangler hover around 24 MPG combined with the turbo 4-cylinder engine, and 20 MPG combined for the V6. A combined MPG of around 25 to 27 is a strong possibility for this diesel motor.
Speaking of efficiency, the EcoDiesel engine will not be without auto start-stop technology on the Wrangler. This technology is a tad controversial, as many drivers feel that the frequent starting and stopping of the engine can potentially damage it. This is not the case, however, and while it may be annoying to some, the ability to turn it off remains an option.
The EcoDiesel engine will come with an additional charge. While pricing information isn’t directly available, the EcoDiesel engine costs an additional $4,995 on the Ram 1500. There isn’t much to indicate that the upcharge for the diesel
motor on a JL Wrangler will be drastically different.
What's So Diesel About a Diesel JL?
While there are a handful of reasons that a diesel JL Wrangler might be appealing to you, there’s no way to
overstate the importance of the added torque. Die-hard off-roaders can remember an obstacle or two that they
could’ve surpassed if only they'd had a few more lb-ft to throw at the problem.
Another thing to consider is that a diesel engine could increase the JL Wrangler’s already rather competent towing
capabilities. A JL Unlimited can already tow up to 3,500 lbs, and that value should increase with the additional torque.
Additionally, diesel engines are often famed for their durability. Given that they last longer than their gasoline
counterparts before needing any major repairs, a diesel engine fits right in line with the typical notions of
The current Euro-spec version of the Jeep Gladiator is equipped with a diesel engine, so the jump to the JL is a
slight one. Given the similarities between these two vehicles, it’s safe to say that the work to get the 3.0L
EcoDiesel engine running properly under the hood of a JL is minimal.
We should see JLs sporting the “3.0 D” logo hitting dealer lots later this year. Just be sure to
know the nearest fuel station that offers diesel, as you might be making a trip there sooner than you think.
Sources: Motor1 | Car and Driver | Fiat Chrysler Image Credit: Fiat Chrysler