Milton Public library Digital Collections

Canadian Champion (Milton, ON), 28 Nov 2019, p. 53

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Story and photos by Jock McCleary, Metroland Media wm, SPRINGDALE, Utah: According to Canadian bom Jim Morrison; Head of Jeep Brand - North America, the most asked question from Jeep enthusiasts was "when is the Wrangler going to be offered with an optional diesel engine?" Well the wait is over. For the first time ever the Wrangler will be fitted with an optional third generation turbocharged 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6, but only on the four-door models, that make up 90 per cent of sales in North America. Although the new engine is based on the EcoDiesel that is avail- able in the RAM 1500 and the Grand Cherokee, there were some Significant changes made to handle the harsh off-road driving condi- tions to which Wrangler drivers are accustomed. A new-generation water-cooled turbocharger has been added with a variable geometry turbine (VGT) and low friction bearings that increases responsiveness and efficiency during surface and driving condition changes. The cylinder heads have also been redesigned to accommodate larger intake ports to increase performance and fuel economy. The EcoDiesel engine also benefits from dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) with four valves per cylinder. The block is cast with-compact- £d graphite iron, which provides strength to dampen vibrations, but Weighs less than regular cast iron. The EcoDiesel will be matched to the already proven eight-speed automatic transmission that has been-updated and tweaked to cope with the high torque autput of the engine. This combination makes the Wrangler EcoDiesel the most fuel ef- ficient and highest torque-producing Wrangler ever. The Wrangler EcoDiesel will be made available in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon models and will come with third generation Dana 44 heavy- duty axles at both ends. There are two transfer cases offered. The Rock-Trac two-speed trans- fer case with the low-range gear ratio is found on the Rubicon model. The Sport and Sahara models are equipped with the Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case. A 20-litre diesel exhaust fluid tank has been.added behind the fuel tank to prolong driving distances between fill ups to approximately 10,000 miles and bring it into line with oil changes. Internally, the new Wrangler Ecodiesel still manages to maintain a high level of comfort and sophistication with technical enhancements not normally associated with a rugged off-roader. The interior is just as refined as its gas driven brethren with a fit and finish far removed from previous generations. The new dash style is uncluttered and features dials that are simple to read. Seating is comfortable while allowing enough support to keep the driver in a commanding position especially when off roading. There was a surprise when starting the engine on the Sahara trim level | was driving for the on-road portion. | had the power roof fully open and was expecting to hear a rough coughing idle but instead there was a civilised and unobtrusive sound from the engine. Putting my foot down on the accelerator didn't increase the volume as much as normally expected from a diesel. The power being passed down to the wheels was much more than | The dash is uncluttered making all dials gasly read. initially h had y anticipated with the full 442 Ib/ft of torque being avail- able. At just 1,700 rpm, the Jeep took off with vigour and was quickly up to highway speeds. The Ecodiesel engine remained unhindered especially as the drive through Zion National Park was taking me up over 6,000-feet in what was a relatively short distance. The Ecodiesel had no problem pulling the Jeep along even as the incline of the road became greater. The engine purred.along at just above idle speed with still no noticeable indication that it was in fact a diesel. The low-end available power did bring peace of mind, especially when pulling around precariously parked vehicles at the side of the steep winding road. Putting the pedal down instantaneously engaged the full power of the engine and made passing obstacles easy and unhindered. Even when going through a couple of long tunnels the throaty groan of a diesel engine was barely noticeable and only when | deliberately spiked the accelerator was there any inkling of what was under the hood. a The handling of the EcoDiesel on paved roads surprised me m- mensely; road noise on the highway with the roof Gpen is much. re- duced compared to older models. Steering is crisp and handling more civilized, making for a more relaxed drive. After lunch | put the Ecodiesel through its paces on an off-road track - Jeep's natural habitat. | swapped into a Fubicon for what was a very.challenging and technical off-road couse The tire pressure was reduced to 20 psi because of the sand and rocky terrain. This is where the EcoDiesel cane into its own. Putting the Wrangler into four-wheel low added to the already impressive torque availability. Some of the jagged rock hills | was attempting were daunting at first but with the power available going to all four wheels, the Wrangler eased itself to the top without much fuss. It was easy to control despite the power and the diesel engine re- sponded to the slightest touch of the accelerator. This made it pos- sible to cross some of the obstacles without the effort of continually modulating the accelerator. Although | was taken aback by the near vertical hills and crossovers on the road course, the EcoDiesel handily took on everything it was thrown. The smooth transition from one obstacle to another was so seamless it made me look like a seasoned desert driver. Jeep has certainly made the right choice in introducing the EcoDiesel to its line up. The higher price may put some people off but for the Jeep enthusi-- ast this engine cheice is a no brainer. There is even a rumour that the Gladiator may be next for the diesel transformation. The Wrangler EcoDiesel is available in showrooms now. hse = Spd 50 The rear mounted spare tire is now lower making for a much cleaner back end and greatly increased rear visibility. uoidwey) ueipeue) uo | £6 610Z '8Z JogwaAoN 'Aepsiny | Woo" uo}jeyapisul

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