• European debut of new Jeep Cherokee
  • Available turbocharged diesel engine
  • Available 9-speed automatic transmission

Making its European debut at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show, the all-new Jeep Cherokee will be joined in Europe by a diesel-powered version that's not available in the U.S. -- at least not yet. Joining the 4- and 6-cylinder gasoline versions for the European market is the Jeep Cherokee Diesel. With a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, the Cherokee Diesel offers the most torque of the three available engines.

While the available gasoline V6 engine produces considerably more horsepower (271 hp compared to a maximum of 170 hp for the diesel) the small diesel is capable of an impressive 258 lb-ft of torque -- 19 lb-ft over the gas V6. Ample torque is helpful for driving conditions that require more muscle than speed, such as off-road driving and towing.

The Jeep Cherokee should prove fuel efficient too, though no official fuel economy ratings are available yet. Efficiency is bolstered by a start/stop system and an available 9-speed automatic transmission that comes standard on the U.S. version. In Europe, Cherokee buyers who choose the diesel get a standard 6-speed manual transmission with the diesel motor rated at 140 hp. With the optional 9-speed automatic, the diesel is tuned for more power, with a peak output of 170 hp. The two versions offer equal torque.

Like in the U.S., the new Euro-spec Cherokee offers no fewer than three 4-wheel-drive systems. Jeep Active Drive I is a fully automatic system, while Jeep Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock allow the driver to select 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive and low-range gearing. Only Jeep Active Drive I and II are available for the European Cherokee Diesel. Active Drive Lock requires buyers to choose a gasoline engine.

As in the U.S., Jeep will offer a range of high-tech driver assistance functions for the new Cherokee. Collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic perpendicular and parallel parking, lane departure warning and blind spot warning are all available.

The new Jeep Cherokee Diesel will be available in Europe beginning in the second half of 2014. Although no plans have been announced to bring the diesel Cherokee stateside, such a decision is conceivable. Jeep already offers a diesel version of the larger Grand Cherokee here, and parent company Chrysler appears keen on diesels for its RAM brand too.

What it means to you: Jeep won't offer the Cherokee Diesel in the U.S. -- at least not for now -- but American drivers who want a diesel-powered Jeep can find it in the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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