If you want to buy a new diesel-powered 2008 SUV, you can choose from just three manufacturers in the USA: Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, or Jeep.
Make that three manufacturers and two engines …
While it may be news to many folks, Jeep began offering a Mercedes-Benz diesel option in the Grand Cherokee back in 2007. The combination of a Jeep soul with a Mercedes heart is tough to beat.
The 3.0 liter Mercedes-Benz common rail diesel (CRD) is well-suited to the Grand Cherokee, producing 215 horsepower and a very healthy 376 foot pounds of torque. The torque figures put the diesel on a par with the 4.7 liter V-8 (305 HP and 334 foot pounds of torque) and 5.7 liter HEMI V-8 (330 HP and 375 foot pounds of torque). It’s an even match up when it come to grunt, but when it comes to fuel efficiency, the 3.0 liter CRD shines.
The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a diverse range of engines, with two choices that stand out for owners seeking the best possible gas mileage from their luxury SUV. The 2008 Grand Cherokee can be fitted with a torque-filled and highly-efficient common rail (CRD) turbo diesel Mercedes-Benz V-6 engine that’s well-suited to towing, along with a special Multi Displacement version of Chrysler’s legendary HEMI V-8 that’s been optimized for better gas mileage when cruising on the highway. The Multi Displacement Hemi is designed to deactivate 4 of 8 cylinders when the engine is not under load, providing a 20% boost in fuel economy.
For those with unapologetic lead feet (and little concern with mundane things like gas mileage), there’s the thrill-filled, chart-topping, HEMI-powered Grand Cherokee SRT8 (pictured above).
Here’s the complete rundown on the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s range of engine choices:
3.0 liter CRD turbo diesel V-6 producing 215 horsepower (HP) and 376 foot pounds of torque
3.7 liter V-6, producing 210 HP and 235 foot pounds of torque
4.7 liter V-8, producing 305 HP and 334 foot pounds of torque
5.7 liter Multi Displacement HEMI V-8 producing 330 HP and 375 foot pounds of torque
6.1 liter SRT HEMI V-8, producing 420 HP and 420 foot pounds of torque
The Mercedes-Benz turbo-diesel engine is an option in the Grand Cherokee Limited and Overland models. It is not available in CA, CT, MA, ME, NY, PA, RI, and VT.
Need a four wheel drive with the best gas mileage? Get ready to downsize. None of the best gas mileage four wheel drives (4WDs) are jumbo-sized sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
Simply put, the aerodynamics and vehicle weight of the bulkiest SUVs cause gas mileage to suffer, leading to many a painful transaction at the pump. The trick is to get small(er), lighter, and more slippery. Credit Subaru for getting the ball rolling with popularizing economical 4WD drive passenger cars in the early days. Since 1997, every vehicle Subaru’s offered in America has been all wheel drive.
These days, it’s not just Subaru. There are plenty of four wheel drive choices that are neither truck nor SUV. And forget the notion of pint-sized economy cars. You’ll find a generous helping of 4WD luxury from manufacturers including Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, and Lexus … in fact, you’ll find many of their offerings in the 2008 list of best gas mileage four wheel drives.
Purists will gladly share that there’s a difference between four wheel drive and all wheel drive (AWD). And surely there is … but for a great many folks, it comes down to two simple questions: will it go in the snow and will I go broke feeding it?
At the other end of the spectrum, the little Suzuki SX4 delivers plenty of bang for the buck, by combining the best four wheel drive gas mileage with a low sticker price (for those who don’t just think miles per gallon … but miles per dollar.)
Along with its corporate cousins, the Ford Escape Hybrid proves the exception to the rule as the highest all around mile per gallon (MPG) four wheel drive vehicle. If you can’t get a great deal on an Escape Hybrid at your local Ford dealer, take a look at the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. And if you happen to live in Southern California, the Mazda Tribute Hybrid HEV might be an option … as long as you’re able to snag one of the 350 Tribute HEVs built for this test market.)
The compact Jeep Patriot was introduced in 2007. The Patriot’s low base price makes it the least expensive American SUV. Highway gas mileage ratings for the Patriot are a shade less thrifty than the more aerodynamic Jeep Compass, which is built on the same platform.
The domestic Patriot can be ordered with either a 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter DOHC four cylinder producing 158 or 170 horsepower, respectively. In European Patriots, a 2.0 liter diesel engine delivering 229 foot pounds of torque is available. The diesel delivers 32.1 urban / 51.4 extra urban miles per British gallon. That works out to roughly 26.7 city / 42.8 highway miles per gallon here in the States.
The compact Jeep Compass was introduced in 2007, with gas mileage one of the compact crossover SUV’s biggest selling points, along with its low base price. Highway gas mileage ratings around 30 miles per gallon (MPG) for the base front wheel drive version put the Compass in the same league as the Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V when it comes to gas mileage. Although it is built on the same platform at the Jeep Patriot, the Compass is the most car-like (and consequently, least Jeep-like) vehicle in the Jeep line up.
The domestic Compass is available with either a 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter DOHC four cylinder producing 158 or 170 horsepower, respectively. In Europe (where they get all the good stuff), the Compass can be fitted with a 2.0 liter diesel engine that delivers 229 foot pounds of torque and 34 urban / 52.3 extra urban miles per British gallon. That works out to roughly 28.3 city / 43.5 highway miles per gallon here in the States.