There's a very good reason why in some markets, including the United Kingdom, SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee are offered exclusively with diesel powerplants, and U.S. consumers will soon find that out firsthand.
At the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month, Jeep will reveal a diesel version of the Grand Cherokee, which will arrive in dealerships across the country at the end of the first quarter, the company's CEO Mike Manley told WardsAuto.
The U.S. model will be equipped with the 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel already sold in European markets in two states of tune producing 190HP at 4,000rpm and 440Nm (324.5 lb-ft) at 1,600-2,800rpm, and 241HP at 4,000rpm and 550Nm (405.7 lb-ft) at 1,800-2,800rpm. No word yet on the performance and fuel economy specs of the North American diesel model.
Manley told the news site that he sees diesels growing in popularity in the States. “As people realize that diesel not just offers great fuel economy but also good driving dynamics in a clean way, I see that part of the segment continue to grow,” he stated.
The Jeep CEO also confirmed the launch of "significant refreshes" for the smaller Patriot and Compass crossovers that will be revealed in the second quarter of the year. “I’m looking forward to the changes we’re going to make to the Patriot next year,” he said without adding anything further details.
Another new model coming next year is a replacement for the Liberty SUV, which will be based on a Fiat-sourced platform. Manley hinted at a name change for the U.S. version: “A lot of people are speculating that we’re going to bring the Cherokee name back. That’s the speculation,” he said, adding that we will have to wait until next year to find out.
Finally, Jeep's boss reaffirmed the company's commitment to expand the range with a new Grand Wagoneer model: “We’re working on that now,” he said.