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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel: First Drive Review


Editor’s note: If you’re looking for information on a newer Jeep Grand Cherokee, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review.

 

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. See the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models for sale near you

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. 

Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

 

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Steve T

    I have 43,000 km Summit Eco diesel and it has been bullet proof. Had a window squirter replaced and that is it. Great truck

  2. I purchased a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Eco-Diesel about a year ago and have been in and out of the shop once a moth over this last year getting the CEL reset and parts replaced and DEF fluids drained and refilled half way. At this point I would tell anyone who thinks that they want a Jeep Eco-Diesel to take their money elsewhere. Not worth the $$$

  3. i have a leased 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited, EcoDiesel. Love the truck, love the motor, love the fuel economy, WHEN IT WORKS!! All facts here… it has been in for service for bad injectors (3) three times, and bad ECM (engine control mod) I got the truck in April 2014,… it has been in the dealership for a total of 3.5 months now… Im not giving up on the truck or the motor, yes I think it has great potential.. I am giving up on the dealership and customer service… I’ve owend Tahoe’s since 1996, new one every 3 years… combined with all the Tahoe’s I’ve owned, maybe 5 days in the service shop since 1996…

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