• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

New Car Review

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel: First Drive Review

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Acura cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

author photo by Doug DeMuro

If you're looking for a midsize SUV that's focused on fuel economy, you don't have many options. If you go the hybrid route, there's the Toyota Highlander Hybrid -- and little else. Today's diesel market consists almost entirely of the Volkswagen Touareg TDI. And while a few midsize SUVs offer gas-saving options, the gain in fuel economy usually comes at the expense of horsepower. But for the 2014 model year, Jeep has rolled out a new choice for the fuel-conscious midsize SUV shopper: the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.

What Is It?

At a quick glance, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel is a lot like any other Grand Cherokee. But under the hood, it's a world apart thanks to a 3-liter turbodiesel V6 that makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. While that makes the EcoDiesel less powerful than the gas-powered Grand Cherokee V6, the new engine has more torque than the Hemi-powered Grand Cherokee V8. In other words: It won't feel slow when you put down your foot. It will also return 21 miles per gallon city and 28 mpg highway -- far better than the V6's 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

Driving Differences

So the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel offers two main benefits: torque and fuel economy. But with that relatively low power figure, many shoppers may be concerned about how it drives. Our suggestion: Don't be.

That's because the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel drives just like the typical Pentastar-powered Grand Cherokee in most typical driving situations. In fact, it seems even quicker than the traditional V6 in city driving conditions, such as pulling away from a stoplight. Maybe its only drawback is on the highway, where passing can feel a bit labored. But the new 8-speed automatic -- also now standard in the V6 -- helps to take care of that issue.

Worth It?

Of course, the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel's main purpose is fuel economy -- and that's where it shines brightest. While the Environmental Protection Agency says it's capable of 28 mpg in 2- or 4-wheel-drive guise, we were able to beat 30 mpg while hypermiling on the highway -- a tactic that involves easing on to the brake and gas while staying at consistent cruising speeds.

But while the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel can save you money at the pump, it's not so wallet-friendly in the showroom. The problem: Jeep charges a $4,500 premium over the V6 engine and $2,300 extra on top of the V8. To make matters worse, the EcoDiesel powerplant isn't offered with the base-level Laredo trim. That means drivers who want diesel have to step up to the luxurious Limited model, making the price of entry more than $41,000 with shipping.

For that money, drivers could have a Highlander Hybrid, which boasts better fuel economy and 3-row seating -- an important feature still not available in the Grand Cherokee. And while the Jeep will be better equipped, the Highlander comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is a pricey option in the Grand Cherokee.

Overall Impressions

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel is a highly capable entry in the world of fuel-efficient SUVs. Unfortunately, it's priced closer to a luxury SUV than a regular midsize model. For drivers who don't mind the $41,000-plus price tag, we suggest adding it to your shopping list. But for those who want to save money at the gas pump and at the dealership, we recommend shopping around.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2WD Limited
Used 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$33,716
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$25,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$45,999
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
Used 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$34,288

Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel: First Drive Review