.

Custom Search

.

35 MPG: Why Wait Until 2020?

One of the keys to restarting the American economy is staring us in the face. While our future hinges on the rapid adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles, our government stands in the way of a rapid free market solution.


35 MPG can be an immediate reality, with one domestic manufacturer, if the United States government would only allow it to happen. Our elected representatives need to be aware of the facts and make the appropriate decisions.

Chrysler is uniquely positioned among the Big Three US automakers. Unlike Ford and General Motors, Chrysler is already building a slew of high-MPG diesel-powered vehicles right here in the United States.

Amazing as it may seem in these difficult times, Chrysler is not allowed to sell those cars domestically, due to recently tightened emissions regulations. With the exception of the domestically-available Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel, all of Chrysler’s North American manufactured high-MPG diesel-equipped vehicles are being shipped abroad.

Each and every one of Chrysler’s European models is available with a diesel engine, with the exception of the Dodge Viper. In fact, a diesel engine can be found under the hood of more than 50% of the vehicles that Chrysler sells in Europe.

All-in-all, a dozen Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep diesel-engined models are currently available outside of the United States, but are not sold domestically.

Here’s the eye-opener … half of those models currently achieve 35 miles per gallon combined.

That’s 35 MPG … right now.

And what’s even more crazy? All of these 35 MPG cars and SUVs are built in North American plants by North American workers … American citizens cannot buy and drive the fuel-efficient cars they build.

The thriftiest of the bunch delivers nearly 50 MPG on the highway … and it’s no dog off the line, turning in 0-62 mile per hour (MPH) times under nine seconds. The fastest in the pack delivers 7.6 second 0-62 times and 35.6 MPG on the highway.

Needless to say, these are wonderful world-class cars, a world apart from your Uncle’s noisy, slow, smelly 80’s-era diesel.

The Mercedes-Benz V6 diesel-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first US-built passenger vehicle to meet the tougher Federal emissions requirements. With the emissions work done on the Mercedes’ 3.0 liter engine, we expect the Chrysler 300 to be the next diesel-powered domestic, as it shares the same powerplant. (At present, diesel 300s are being built in Graz, Austria.)

Chrysler is using four different diesel engines, in all:

  • 2.0 liter Volkswagen turbo-diesel inline four (Avenger, Caliber, Compass, Journey, Sebring, Patriot)
  • 2.2 liter Mercedes-Benz inline four (PT Cruiser)
  • 2.8 liter VM Motari inline four (Cherokee, Grand Voyager, Nitro, Wrangler)
  • 3.0 liter Mercedes-Benz V6 (300, Commander, Grand Cherokee)

What if the federal government temporarily rolled back the emissions requirements for one or two years, to allow the sale of these fuel-sipping vehicles while Chrysler and its partners complete the engineering necessary to meet the current regulations?

Crazier schemes have been implemented to stimulate the economy, no doubt about that. But this one just might work … by spurring investment and putting people back to work.

As you ponder that thought, take a gander at a group of specifications that compare the European diesels with the most fuel-efficient engines in each of the US domestics …

Jeep Patriot Diesel

Plant: Belvedere, IL
Engine: Volkswagen 2.0 liter common rail turbo-diesel inline four cylinder engine, producing 138 HP and 229 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 11 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 2.4 liter I4/5-speed/2WD – more: Jeep Patriot Gas Mileage Ratings)

 
US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
42.8
28
City
26.7
23
Combined
35.1

Jeep Compass Diesel

Plant: Belvedere, IL
Engine: Volkswagen 2.0 liter common rail turbo-diesel inline four cylinder engine, producing 138 HP and 229 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 11 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 2.4 liter I4/5-speed/2WD – more: Jeep Compass Gas Mileage Ratings)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
43.5
28
City
28.3
23
Combined
36.2

Jeep Wrangler Diesel

Plant: Toledo, Ohio
Engine: VM Motori 2.8 liter common rail diesel four cylinder, producing 174 HP and 302 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 11.2 seconds (two door), 11.7 seconds (four door) when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 3.8 liter V6/6-speed/2WD)

Two-door
US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
28.3
21
City
18.5
16
Combined
23.7

Jeep Cherokee (aka: Liberty) Diesel

Plant: Toledo, Ohio
Engine: VM Motori 2.8 liter common rail diesel four cylinder, producing 161 HP and 295 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 11.2 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 3.7 liter V6/6-speed/2WD)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
30.6
22
City
19.6
16
Combined
25.3

(The 2.8 liter diesel engine was available in the domestic Jeep Liberty in the 2005 and 2006 model years.)

Jeep Commander Diesel

Plant: Jefferson North, MI
Engine: Mercedes-Benz 3.0 liter common rail diesel, producing 215 HP and 376 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 9.0 seconds when equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission.

(Domestic: 3.7 liter/V6/5-speed Auto/2WD or 4.7 liter/V8/5-speed Auto/2WD)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
25.6
19
City
17.4
14
Combined
21.8

Chrysler 300 Diesel

Plant: Brampton, Ontario & Graz, Austria (diesels)
Engine: Mercedes-Benz 3.0 liter common rail diesel, producing 215 HP and 376 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 7.6 seconds – Sedan (Saloon), 8.6 seconds – Wagon (Touring), when equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission.

(Domestic: 2.7 liter V6/5-speed Auto)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
35.6
26
City
21.8
18
Combined
29

Chrysler Grand Voyager (aka: Town & Country) Diesel

Plant: St. Louis (diesels)
Engine: VM Motori 2.8 liter common rail diesel four cylinder, producing 174 161 HP and 339 265 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 12 seconds when equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission.

(Domestic: 3.3 liter V6/4-speed auto – more: Chrysler Town and Country Gas Mileage Ratings)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
35.1
24
City
20.5
17
Combined
27.6

Chrysler PT Cruiser Diesel

Plant: Toluca, Mexico
Engine: Mercedes-Benz 2.2 liter common rail diesel four cylinder, producing 148 HP and 221 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 10.8 second, when equipped with a five-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 2.4 liter I4/5-speed Manual – more: Chrysler PT Cruiser Gas Mileage Ratings)

 
US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
42
26
City
27.3
21
Combined
35.1

Chrysler Sebring Diesel

Plant: Sterling Heights, MI
Engine: Volkswagen 2.0 liter common rail turbo-diesel four cylinder, producing 138 HP and 229 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 12 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 2.4 liter I4/4-speed auto – more: Chrysler Sebring Gas Mileage Ratings)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
46.1
30
City
28.6
21
Combined
38

Dodge Avenger Diesel

Plant: Sterling Heights, MI
Engine: Volkswagen 2.0 liter common rail turbo-diesel four cylinder, producing 138 HP and 229 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 12 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 2.4 liter I4/4-speed auto – more: Dodge Avenger Gas Mileage Ratings)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
46.1
30
City
28.6
21
Combined
38

Dodge Caliber Diesel

Plant: Belvidere, IL
Engine: Volkswagen 2.0 liter common rail turbo-diesel, producing 138 HP and 229 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 8.8 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

(Domestic: 1.8 liter I4/5-speed manual)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
49
29
City
29.8
24
Combined
39.2

Dodge Nitro Diesel

Plant: Toledo, Ohio
Engine: VM Motori 2.8 liter common rail diesel four cylinder, producing 174 HP and 339 302 foot pounds of torque. 0-62 MPH in 10.5 second when equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission.

(Domestic: 3.7 liter V6/6-speed manual)

US MPG Euro Diesel
Domestic US MPG
Highway
30.1
22
City
19.3
16
Combined
25

Dodge Journey Diesel (Coming Soon)

Plant: Toluca, Mexico

Engine: Volkswagen 2.0 liter common rail turbo-diesel four cylinder, producing 140 HP and 229 foot pounds of torque. Equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Mileage figures yet to be released.

 

Footnotes:

(1) MPG figures were converted from UK urban/extra-urban/combined mile per British gallon estimates for the purposes of this report, using publicly available data.

(2) Chrysler assembles, but does not manufacture, diesel-powered Dodge Sprinter Vans in Charleston, South Carolina. Mercedes-Benz ships the parts from Europe.

(3) Cummins diesel engines are a popular domestic option in heavy-duty models of the Dodge Ram pickup. Dodge is poised to extend diesel engines throughout the range.

– by

Search MPGomatic

Custom Search

Similar Posts

.

104 comments ↓

#1 Steve O on 01.04.10 at 1:17 pm

Just stumbled acoss this site…Lots of great ideas…however, automobiles with diesel engines tend to cost about 4K to 5K more than their gas counterparts and, I know with trucks, are more costly to maintain. Also traditionally diesel fuel has been considerably more expensive than gasoline. Americans are unwilling to make a sacrafice or take a chance on a diesel (Thanks GM). It makes me wonder why the Prius or the Insight aren’t diesels or even a small turbine. In responce to #97…the Chrysler Turbine got about 17mpg (about typical for the day) but the exhaust was about 900°F

#2 mpg-o-editor on 01.04.10 at 1:33 pm

@Steve – Many thanks for your kind words … the good news is that thing have changed dramatically in the nearly two years since this post. A new generation of diesel-powered cars has finally found its way across the pond and have been widely praised. With the slowdown in world economy, diesel prices have moderated.

A diesel hybrid is not as far away as you might think (although it’s unlikely to come from Toyota).

#3 johny1fin on 01.08.10 at 6:34 am

I live in the UK.
I have had 2 Seat Toledo’s, 1 Renault Magane over the years. I currently have a 2003 Renault Laguna and a 6 month old Dodge Journey (from new). They have all
been deisel engines, the 2 Seats 1.9 VW and the Dodge 2.0 VW.
The Dodge is the best car I have ever had certainly for space and features. It’s a SXT with Sat nav etc.
The engine has more guts than any other car I have had and can compare this with the two Grand Voyager/Dodge Caravans I have driven in the states.
I believe that these were both 3.5 petrol and my 2.0 diesel has just as much mid range pull. I regularly pull both a boat and a horse trailer with no problems at all. The boat going on a 1000 mile trip to Scotland in August in 6th gear most of the way. You could say that I am a deisel fanatic but after driving more that 3000 miles in then you can keep your 3.5 petrol engines. I for one do not need them.
When it comes to mileage consumption and emmisions checking the only way to tell is to drive the same car over the same journey with both a petrol and diesel engine. IT what does the car produce in emmisions on each. Checking what a gallon of each contains is a bit pointless as the diesel engine will go futher on a tank anyway.

#4 Don on 12.16.10 at 12:54 pm

Are any of these Diesels available in U.S.? Can’t be. I would have heard about these. I’ve wanted PT Cruiser diesel for a long time.

Leave a Comment

.