Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jeep grand Cherokee diesel vs gas

With the release of the 2014 jeep grand Cherokee diesel, consumers in the mid-sized SUV market are presented with a long-awaited option that should help offset the terrible fuel economy numbers that have made large SUVs almost impossible to use for daily driving duties in most families. Is this diesel option really the savior that SUV fans have been waiting for, though? At first glance, you might be tempted to say yes, that the great fuel economy offered by the diesel engine must surely offset the downsides to the vehicle, and for the most part, you’re right. There is a very big “IF” in the equation, though, and it’s the sort of “IF” that can make you think twice about whether or not that diesel engine option really is worth it.

Price is the biggest difference that consumers will notice about the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The diesel is priced from around $60,000, and is the top of the line trim package. When released, it will be approximately as expensive as the top-range SRT-8 Grand Cherokee. By comparison, the v8 gasoline version's price tops out fully loaded at around $47,900, and a V6 base model can be had for as little as $28,700. As for the fuel economy? Well, that's the troubling part. The reality of the situation is that the gas mileage may not be quite high enough to offset the fact that the diesel powered truck costs twice as much as the base model. At a claimed 30 miles per gallon (and that at very careful driving,) for the diesel compared with the V6 engine’s 20 miles per gallon, You’d have to go through 8,571 gallons of gas to make up the difference, or put another way, 257,000 extra miles.

If that number sets in a bit of sticker shock for you, then you have to keep in mind that this has been the biggest problem that diesels have had in being reintroduced into the American market. They just aren't all that cost effective when you take into consideration the fact that gasoline in the United States doesn’t cost as much as it does elsewhere in the world. In some parts of the world, for example, it may cost as much as $150 to fill up a gas tank, and in Turkey, consumers pay up to three times what we pay here. Why is this? Well, it starts with the subsidies that our federal government give to the oil companies. After that, though, the reasons become more muddled, and are harder to discern, though they involve lots of smoke and mirrors, some political maneuvering, and of course, a whole bunch of speculators on Wall Street determined to make it big or die trying. 

Sure, the 2014 diesel Grand Cherokee SUV is expensive, and may or may not actually be worth the investment if you’re looking for fuel economy, but where this truck shines is in its luxury appeal. For the price of a well-appointed Mercedes, you get a top-of-the-line SUV that can haul just about any boat you choose to take to the lake on a Saturday afternoon, performs well as a commuter vehicle for heading out to work on Monday, and is extra comfortable on those long road trips that too often leave you wondering why you didn’t just stay at home in the first place. That being said, the Grand Cherokee is a great vehicle all the way around, but just think twice about that diesel unless you’ll find yourself needing the extra torque on a regular basis to tow an extra-big trailer. Otherwise, you’ll probably be happy with the smaller, (and only marginally less efficient,) gasoline engine. 

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