Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel Review

Jeep Grand Cherokee 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.

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Best Gas Mileage Four Wheel Drive

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.)

2008 Best Gas Mileage Four Wheel Drives

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30 MPG Cars

Thirty miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway isn’t too much to ask. As the chart below shows, the 30 MPG car isn’t a rarity in America these days. Alas, it’s not nearly as common as it was 25 years ago. Looking back at the lists of high MPG cars built in the early 1980s might be a surprise to some, for the lists were long and the fuel efficiency ratings were high. The 30 MPG car was not an oddity back then … it was more part of our nation’s mindset.

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Cheap High MPG Cars: 1984

1984 was a high-volume year for high-MPG cars in the USA, as the domestic and import manufacturers produced a range of cars that matched or exceeded the 40 MPG highway mark and met America’s thirst for fuel-thrifty vehicles.

General Motors was quite well represented among the domestic manufacturers. Buick offered the Skylark, Skyhawk, Regal, Century. Cadillac had the Cimmarron, while Chevrolet had the Chevette, Cavalier, Celebrity, and Citation, along with a 4-cylinder Camaro and S-10 Pickup. (GMC offered the S15 Pickup, as well.) Oldsmobile had the Cutlass Ciera, Firenza, Cutlass Supreme, and Omega. Pontiac was flush with high-MPG choices, including the 1000, 2000 Sunbird, two-seat Fiero, 6000 Wagon, and the four-cylinder Firebird.

Chrysler-Plymouth offered the Plymouth Colt, Colt Vista, Horizon, Reliant, and Turismo, along with the Dodge twins: Colt, Omni, Aries, Daytona, and Charger, and the tiny but unique Rampage Pickup. Ford’s 1984 highest MPG offerings consisted of the Escort, EXP, Laser and Tempo, along with the Lincoln-Mercury Lynx and Topaz.

The Japanese auto manufacturers sold boatloads of cars during 1984, with Honda’s Civic, Accord, and Prelude leading the way. Nissan hit its stride with the Pulsar, Sentra, 200SX, Stanza, and 2WD Pickups, while Toyota had the Starlet, Corolla, Tercel, Camry, and 2WD Pickup. Mitsubishi’s Precis (also sold as the Dodge and Plymouth Colt), Tredia, Cordia, and Pickup, met or exceeded 40 MPG highway, as did Mazda’s GLC, 626, and B2000/2200 Pickup. Subaru and Isuzu hit the mark, as well.

Among European manufacturers, Volkswagen was exceptionally prominent, with diesel models of the Rabbit, Quantum, and Jetta hitting or exceeding the 50 MPG mark. Knowing shoppers also found the Mercedes-Benz 190 in that same vaunted category.

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