Wrangler EcoDiesel Now Available

November 25, 2019
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The new, third generation 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel is now available on all trim levels of 2020 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited four-door models. Initial deliveries are expected by the end of this year.

The EcoDiesel is a $4,000 option, and requires the available 8-speed automatic transmission ($2,000).

In the Wrangler, the EcoDiesel provides 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, making it the highest torque-rated Wrangler ever. That impressive torque comes in handy when traveling off-road. It also makes towing easier. But it’s not just that peak torque is high; it’s that peak torque is reached at relatively low rpms and continues over a wide band. This is easy to see with a graph of the EcoDiesel’s horsepower and torque curves, compared in the example below to the popular 3.6L Pentastar.

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GRAPH: Power and torque comparing EcoDiesel vs. Pentastar

Official EPA fuel economy estimates have been released for the Wrangler EcoDiesel: 22 city / 29 highway / 25 combined (all in miles per gallon). Every Wrangler EcoDiesel includes engine stop/start to help maximize fuel economy as well.

Towing capacity remains unchanged from gasoline models: A maximum 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. Maximum payload is also similar to gas models, topping out at 1,233 pounds on the diesel Rubicon (compared to 1,351 for the gas version of the four-door Rubicon).

How EcoDiesel Models Vary

The EcoDiesel’s higher torque requires the upgraded 8HP75 8-speed transmission, instead of the 850RE used on gas models.

Additional sound-deadening measures are used to reduce engine noise, along with uniquely tuned engine mounts.

All diesel models have Dana 44 axles with 3.73 axle ratios. On gas models, these axles are only available on Rubicon models.

A slower steering ratio of 14.3:1 is used (compared to 15.6:1 on four-door gas models).

A smaller 18.3-gallon fuel tank is required to make space for the 5.1-gallon Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) tank. (This was a decisive factor in limiting the EcoDiesel to four-door models; two-door gas models already have a smaller 17.5-gallon tank, and it would have had to shrink even more to free up space for a DEF tank.) The DEF tank fill is conveniently located next to the fuel filler; a full DEF tank should last up to 10,000 miles under normal operation. To help ensure off-road capability, the DEF tank and fuel-water separator are each protected by skid plates made of high-strength steel.

According to press reports, EcoDiesel versions of the Wrangler weigh approximately 400 pounds more than gas ones, mostly due to the increased weight of the engine itself. To compensate, suspension changes include the use of stiffer springs and different shock tuning. Sport and Sahara models also sit approximately one inch higher than gas versions – about the same height as a Rubicon, excluding the larger tires.

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Engine Modifications

While Wrangler had to be modified to use the EcoDiesel, the opposite was also true – the EcoDiesel itself varies slightly from the one introduced in Ram 1500.

To maintain Wrangler’s 30-inch water fording capability, the alternator was relocated higher, mounted to the front cover near the top of the engine. Doing this required moving the injection pump to the driver’s side of the engine. Additional sealing is also used to keep water out in these conditions.

The intake manifold, exhaust manifold and oil pan also differ from the Ram 1500 version due to packaging constraints.

For more details about how this third-generation EcoDiesel has been improved from the second-generation one available in the 2019 Grand Cherokee, see “EcoDiesel Generation III improvements” below.

Warranty

EcoDiesel engines are backed by a five-year/100,000-mile Diesel Powertrain Limited Warranty, which covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component (engine, transmission and drive system).

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Early Reviews

“The torque is incredible, especially off-road where, in low-range, this Jeep crawls with true precision. Plus, the vehicle doesn’t significantly sacrifice acceleration over gas Wranglers, and despite its smaller fuel tank, you can expect a cruising range of over 500 miles.” – Jalopnik

“Where the diesel engine really improves the Wrangler's prowess is off the beaten path. Utah's Sand Hollow Reservoir OHV park has a great mix of soft sand and rocky trails, and it's the perfect place to see how that 442 lb-ft of twist handles hard-core off-roading … The Wrangler completes the course in 4WD High pretty easily, the diesel-powered rig climbing up the steep rock faces in first gear like they're nothing. The only time I ever need to use 4WD Low is when I encounter some really soft sand.” – CNET Road Show

“In the dirt, the diesel-powered Rubicon model earns its stripes. We ventured to Utah's spectacular Sand Hollow State Park so we could experience what Wranglers do best: Jeep things. With the Rubicon-specific front anti-roll bar disconnected and the front and rear electronic differentials locked, it climbed sandstone walls. The diesel shrugs off the weight of the truck, needing barely any accelerator input.” – Car and Driver

“Perhaps even more so than with any of the gasoline engines, the EcoDiesel Wrangler's on-road compromises ride off into the sunset once you get this beast moving up and down tall, narrow rocks … Here, the EcoDiesel shines.” – Automobile

“There’s never been a diesel-powered Jeep Wrangler before, but after 20 minutes behind the wheel of the new 2020 Wrangler EcoDiesel, it’s hard not to ask yourself, ‘What took 'em so long?’” – Detroit Free Press

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EcoDiesel Generation III Improvements


Several significant changes contribute to the new EcoDiesel’s improved dynamic and fuel economy performance:

  • A new-generation water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry turbine (VGT) and low-friction bearing increases efficiency and responsiveness during transient conditions
  • Redesigned cylinder head intake ports with higher flow capability improve swirl and flow, increasing performance and fuel economy
  • The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system design has been updated to a dual loop (low and high pressure) system. The added low-pressure circulation system draws gases after the diesel particulate filter, thus minimizing turbocharger energy losses, which increases fuel economy
  • The compression ratio has been optimized to 16.0:1 from 16.5:1 to improve fuel economy and reduce engine noise
  • High-pressure (29,000 psi/2,000 bar) direct-injection fuel injector nozzles were redesigned to match the newly designed and optimized combustion chamber, reducing fuel consumption
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy pistons were completely redesigned to include thinner rings and low-friction diamond-like carbon coating on the pin and compression piston ring to reduce parasitic losses
  • Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has been improved by offsetting the piston pin 0.3 millimeters from the centerline
  • The lower portion of the two-piece oil sump uses a lightweight sandwiched polymer/metal material, which further reduces NVH
  • The dual vacuum pump system uses electric and a new mechanical low-friction pump with new blades that improve overall system efficiency

VIDEO:

Watch the TFLCar.com VIDEO for more insight on the improvements:
The New 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel Gets Enough Torque To Crawl Up Everest!


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