Jeep Wrangler JL/JLU EcoDiesel First Drive Reviews and Performance Specs

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Okay, I'm writing this post because I think this will be useful to any serious Jeep diesel potential customers. I finally found a Diesel wrangler at a dealership. I have been looking for a diesel wrangler to test drive, to personally see if what has been reported on the blog/vlogs/magazines to be true or not. Also, to experience if the so called magazine/online vlogs experts on cars/trucks were telling the truth or embellishing or just making stuff up.

So, everyone understands, I'm not an expert, I am a regular guy who owns a 2014 Jeep Wrangler JK, who plans on purchasing a diesel wrangler. I also sell diesel motors, but that doesn't make me an expert. It does however make me very skeptical of so called experts and people with strong opinions.

I found a Diesel Jeep Wrangler Rubicon at a Chicago area dealership. The day that I test drove, it was 27-29 degrees and sunny. The dealership is in an urban area with frequent stop and go traffic, and city type driving and access to an expressway. Chicago is roughly 600 feet above sea level. The dealership was kind enough to allow me to inspect, run, listen to this diesel and then test drive this diesel wrangler for well over an hour and a half.

This is my impressions;

Noise - At idle the motor noise was quiet. I listened to the noise while standing at the hood, with the hood open and closed, and at the exhaust pipe. I also sat in the drivers seat, front and rear passenger seats, and found the noise to be no louder than my 3.6 ltr Pentastar motor. But, it clearly sounds like a diesel, a quiet one. While driving it, I noticed that it was no louder than my current Jeep while having the windows up, but the only difference is that it sounds like a diesel. With the windows down while driving, and with the wind noise the diesel motor clatter disappears, just the as my gas Wrangler. This surprised me, because of what I have watched and read from other reviews they implied that it was louder than the gas Jeep Wrangler. I guess if you are looking to have this diesel motor sound the same as a gas motor, then buy the 3.6 ltr. or 2 ltr. turbo. gas motor, but if you are worried about noise, to me they both make equal amount of noise. This was not a scientific study and I didn't use a calibrated sound level meter. So, take it for what it's worth...

Driving - The power of the motor and the smoothness of the 8 speed transmission was impressive., much better than my JK 3.6 Pentastar. When comparing the diesel JL to a 3.6 ltr. JL or a 2 ltr. turbo JL, again, I believe there is a noticeable difference between the power (torque) of the diesel. I noticed this while I was doing stop and go traffic and while on the highway, and this is a welcome difference. There was no diesel lag or turbo lag, it was power when I wanted it.

Mileage - I drove over 40 miles. You will notice in the picture that my trip mileage was 20.6, but I reset the trip computer twice to see if there would be a change with the MPG, so that's why the trip and my stated miles don't add up. There is a few things I'd like to mention before I give you the average MPG, and it has to do with my driving habits. I'm an average driver. I typically drive 5-7 mph over the speed limit and I keep up with traffic. I don't race to the next stop light or stop sign, and I'm not out make it to the next destination in record time. I drive a Jeep Wrangler... This said, my sustained average mpg was 32.4. Yes, 32.4 MPG! This was real word driving on city streets, with stop and go traffic, along with 21 miles of highway driving, at highway speeds (5-7 mph over). IMPRESSIVE!!! Note; the MPG was off of the on board vehicle computer and not me calculating it.

Cost - The list price of the diesel motor is $4,000 more than the gas 3.6 Pentastar, and the transmission is less $750 than the trans paired with the 3.6 Pentastar, costing $3,250 more to go to the diesel (but, NO one pays list price). Note: This does not take into account the manual trans, this is motor for motor and automatic trans for automatic trans (most wranglers are sold and built with automatic transmissions (if anyone has REAL numbers of how many automatics vs. manual transmissions please post, because I tried finding the exact numbers but couldn't))

In summary, noise of diesel is the same or no change + power (torque) + real world MPG (32.4 mpg) = Impressed

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Take note, because that is how you do a post, my friends! Well done.
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I recently brought home a Rubicon ecodiesel and now have just over 500 miles of city driving on it. The Wrangler came with dealer installed lift kit and 37 inch tires on 20 inch wheels. So far, the city driving on these 37s has resulted in 21mpg avg over the 500 miles. I haven't taken it off road yet, so have no comments to share in that regard.
My previous vehicle was a 2018 Rubicon with the 2.0 turbo, which was quite nice, but I was always a bit disappointed with the engine sound, which I referred to as a sewing machine. The diesel engine has a much better, and deeper voice. I think I'm going to like this new ride!
 

GARRIGA

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This threads on a Jeep forum about jeeps crack me up. Go put 37s on both equally built gasser and diesel then talk. Diesel might need 4:10s but that’s not happening on a gasser. Smaller teeth. Less reliability when it counts and where it counts. Diesel I’m guessing will still get better mileage for those who care which to some extent includes me but not the deciding factor.

Wranglers drag racing is hilarious. Perhaps in my youth. I raced everything except my wrangler. That dog was slower then a go cart.
 

maxmxa

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The more I think about it the more it seems upgrading to diesel isn't worth it. The complexity of the emissions system, the higher cost of maintenance, the higher cost of operating and fewer reliable diesel engine mechanics. I wonder when we'll see the announcement for Electric Jeep.
 

Yellow_Rubi-can

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The more I think about it the more it seems upgrading to diesel isn't worth it. The complexity of the emissions system, the higher cost of maintenance, the higher cost of operating and fewer reliable diesel engine mechanics. I wonder when we'll see the announcement for Electric Jeep.
The diesel is not truly released yet.. give it time, there will be ways to delete the crap emission systems!

The question you need to ask yourself is: will it be worth it to pay $58K for a brand new jeep and delete the emission systems and drive WITHOUT a warranty??

For me, it would be worth it!
 

maxmxa

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The diesel is not truly released yet.. give it time, there will be ways to delete the crap emission systems!

The question you need to ask yourself is: will it be worth it to pay $58K for a brand new jeep and delete the emission systems and drive WITHOUT a warranty??

For me, it would be worth it!
True, it's not widely common on the Wrangler side, but it's been on the Ram trucks for a while now. Also, deleting the emission system makes the Jeep illegal to operate on the road and the dealers won't work on the Jeep if the equipment is bypassed.
 
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True, it's not widely common on the Wrangler side, but it's been on the Ram trucks for a while now. Also, deleting the emission system makes the Jeep illegal to operate on the road and the dealers won't work on the Jeep if the equipment is bypassed.
And, here in Nevada, as I'm sure it is in other states, if you mess with the emissions, you can't pass a smog check and renew the registration. Sorry, folks, but the guvment got us by the you-know-whats there.
Just drive it and enjoy it.
 

GARRIGA

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Deleting emissions knowing it voids warranty on a $50k plus purchase seems crazy. :)
 

2020 Diesel JL

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Add the maintenance costs and potential issues with the emissions systems and you have the "ultimate driving machine" or...not.
The non diesel owner is back with his opinion. Go back to the gas threads. Or should I go to the gas threads and bash them even though "I have no horse in the race"?
 
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CarbonSteel

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The non diesel owner is back with his opinion. Go back to the gas threads. Or should I go to the gas threads and bash them even though "I have no horse in the race"?
Funny, nothing I have said is false--prove it otherwise. I have owned diesels just not an FCA diesel and the last two were late models. Of course, according to many posts here, the answer is to simply gut the emissions and problem solved. I wonder why FCA does not offer a 7 year unlimited mileage warranty on the diesel engines like they do the gasoline models? If you think owning a modern diesel does not cost more to operate and maintain than a gasoline model you are in for rude awakening.
 

2020 Diesel JL

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The more I think about it the more it seems upgrading to diesel isn't worth it. The complexity of the emissions system, the higher cost of maintenance, the higher cost of operating and fewer reliable diesel engine mechanics. I wonder when we'll see the announcement for Electric Jeep.
A diesel is something that gets in your blood. It doesn't have to make sense. My Hellcat didn't make sense, Just the cost for the insurance is a reason to look the other way. It's about what you feel deep inside about what you drive. I own three diesels and if Harley made a diesel bike I would buy that too. There is NO reason to bash diesels. I would never buy a gas Wrangler unless it had a Hellcat motor but that's just me. If you think $3250 is a lot for the upgrade then don't look at a new Ram diesel. I could do everything I do with a gas Ram but that would not be any fun.

Always remember if you walk away from what you ride or drive and do not turn around to look at it you bought the wrong ride. Even if your on a horse.
 

2020 Diesel JL

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Funny, nothing I have said is false--prove it otherwise. I have owned diesels just not an FCA diesel and the last two were late models. Of course, according to many posts here, the answer is to simply gut the emissions and problem solved. I wonder why FCA does not offer a 7 year unlimited mileage warranty on the diesel engines like they do the gasoline models? If you think owning a modern diesel does not cost more to operate and maintain than a gasoline model you are in for rude awakening.
I have enough money to piss it away on anything I want, Go away until you grow up. What is the reason you troll the diesel threads? you don't have one, don't want one and no nothing about one.
 

kermitjewel

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Only read a couple. Didn't see mention of throttle lag. I know the new ram gen 3 ecodiesel has similar lag to the aem modified gen 2s which is the only thing that makes me hesitate considering these.

The new ram ecodiesel had a 2+ second throttle delay in tfls test. Acting worse than my original ecodiesel making views think it actually stalled when Nathan floored it from a stop.
driven a 2020 ram 4X4 1500 Crew Cab Laramie eco diesel gen 3 a few times now...NO LAAAAAG AT ALLLLLLLLLL...JUST SAYIN, you might try a test drive to see how they perform
 

CarbonSteel

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I have enough money to piss it away on anything I want, Go away until you grow up.
So do I, but that was not the point now was it? If you are going to insinuate that I am not conveying the truth, then back it up with facts, else we can agree to disagree and move on.
 
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