Diesel Jeeps Are Dead as Gladiator Drops the Option
The last of the diesel Jeeps is dying with the $71,790 Gladiator Rubicon FarOut edition.
Diesel cars in the United States have been dying a not-so-subtle death since the emissions cheating scandals of 2015 and later. Since then, the cleanliness of diesel engines has been called into question in a big way, and the light-duty truck and passenger car diesel options are dwindling away rapidly. Jeep will officially hang its diesel hat with the 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon FarOut, ending the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel’s run under the hood of Jeep’s toughest trucks.
After a short run of just three model years, the Gladiator will drop the diesel option it gained in 2021. Jeep cites the reasoning for the decision as the automaker pivoting heavily towards electrification, with all of its new models due to be electrified in some way in just a few years. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine was added to the Jeep lineup after the 2017 accusation of emissions cheating by the EPA but before its $300 million 2022 settlement with the federal government for the same accusation.
It has been no secret that since the 2015 Dieselgate scandal that cost Volkswagen billions of dollars diesels have been in the hot seat for supposed clean emissions that were actually much dirtier than advertised. While diesel engines can meet carbon dioxide targets, they struggle with particulates, oxides of nitrogen, and more. So while the Jeep brand is certainly electrifying, the possible undertone is that Stellantis no longer wants to risk issues with diesel engines. Sister brand Ram also phased out the EcoDiesel engine in 2022.
Diesels have a certain charm and usefulness and benefit greatly from excellent fuel economy and torque in automotive applications. While emissions need to be cleaned up as a matter of fact, consumers do lose something in the process. Modern diesel engines are hugely complex, which can affect long-term reliability. It’s a give-and-take kinda deal.
If you want the last of the diesel Jeeps, the FarOut is your last hope. Au revoir, EcoDiesel.
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