A Look Back at the Short-Lived Jeep Wrangler Diesel

After years of waiting for a Jeep Wrangler diesel to hit the scene, it finally happened in 2020 and  Jeep fans and diesel fans got their wish. 

The Wrangler came with a 3.0L turbo diesel, dubbed the EcoDiesel. Following in the Wrangler’s footsteps, the diesel Gladiator soon joined the market as an additional option to choose from. 

Diesel Jeeps, particularly models like the Wrangler and Gladiator, offered several advantages that made them appealing to a segment of consumers:

  • Fuel Efficiency: Diesel engines are generally more fuel-efficient than their gasoline counterparts, especially in SUVs and trucks. This efficiency translates into longer ranges on a single tank of fuel, which is particularly valuable for drivers who enjoy long road trips or use their vehicles for towing and hauling.
  • Torque: Diesel engines produce more torque at lower RPMs compared to gasoline engines. This characteristic makes diesel Jeeps powerful and responsive, especially when off-roading or towing. For comparison, the EcoDiesel has 25 less horsepower than the 3.6L Pentastar V6 but delivers 183 more lb-ft of torque which made it a killer in towing.
  • Durability and Longevity: Diesel engines are often praised for their durability and potential for longer life spans. This is due to their robust construction designed to withstand the high compression ratios required for diesel combustion. Many users find that diesel vehicles offer greater longevity with proper maintenance.
  • Resale Value: Thanks to their durability, longevity, and the niche demand for diesel engines in off-road and utility vehicles, diesel Jeeps tend to retain their value better than their gasoline counterparts. This higher resale value can be a significant advantage when it’s time to sell or trade in the vehicle.
  • Towing Capability: The combination of fuel efficiency and high torque makes diesel Jeeps excellent choices for towing, handling heavier loads with more ease compared to similar gasoline models.

Relative to these advantages, diesel engines also came with their own set of drawbacks, such as higher upfront costs, potential for higher maintenance costs, and environmental concerns related to emissions.

The Gladiator Rubicon EcoDiesel was discontinued with a farewell FarOut Edition, with no plans to release any diesel models in 2024.

So, for those interested in diesel Jeeps, it seems the 2023 model year may be the last chance to purchase new vehicles with these options. Thankfully, diesel parts are still available, especially through online vendors, so if you are ever looking for maintenance parts, you can visit dpfpartsdirect.com for more information.


  2023 Jeep Wrangler Diesel Rubicon FarOut 2023 Jeep Gladiator Diesel Rubicon
Engine Type Diesel Diesel
Transmission 8-speed shiftable automatic 8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Type Four wheel drive Four wheel drive
Cylinders V6 V6
Fuel type Diesel fuel Diesel fuel
EPA city/highway MPG 21/26 MPG 21.7 / 24.7 MPG
EPA combined MPG 23 MPG 24 MPG
Fuel tank capacity 21.5 gal. 18 gal.
Base engine size 3.0 L 3.0 L
Cylinders V6 V6
Base engine type Diesel Diesel
Horsepower 260 hp @ 3,600 rpm 260 hp @ 3,600 rpm
Torque 442 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm 442 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm
Max Towing Capacity 3,500 lbs. 6,499 lb, with towing package
Max Payload Capacity 1,351 lbs. 1,710 lbs.

A Move Toward Electrification

Jim Morrison, head of Jeep Brand in North America, has stated that the EcoDiesel is being discontinued “as the Jeep brand continues its drive to electrification.” 

The plan is that by 2025, all Jeep vehicles will offer an electrified variant. 

In 2023, states such as California have already announced their ban on new diesel trucks, marking, driving car companies to continue shifting away from diesel vehicles due to stricter environmental regulations, a global push towards electrification, changing consumer preferences, and the rising costs associated with diesel fuel and engine production. 

Although diesel still has a niche in commercial and heavy-duty vehicles, the automotive industry’s broader trend is moving toward electric and hybrid vehicles.

Several truck companies have either discontinued or significantly reduced their diesel truck offerings in recent years, largely due to the industry-wide shift towards electrification and stricter emissions standards. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Ford: Ford has made shifts in its diesel offerings, particularly in the light-duty segment. For instance, the Ford F-150, one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S., no longer offers a diesel engine option as of the 2021 model year. However, Ford continues to offer diesel engines in its Super Duty trucks.
  • General Motors: GM, under its Chevrolet and GMC brands, has adjusted its diesel offerings in light-duty trucks but continues to support diesel in both light-duty and heavy-duty segments with engines like the Duramax diesel. Specific models and options may vary by year and market demand.
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) / Stellantis: The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is an example where diesel options have been maintained in the lineup, reflecting ongoing demand in certain segments. However, the broader trend within the company aligns with the industry’s shift towards hybrid and electric drivetrains.
  • Nissan: Nissan discontinued the diesel version of its Titan XD truck after the 2019 model year, reflecting a reevaluation of its strategy in the North American truck market and a shift in consumer demand.

So What’s Next?

It’s important to note that while specific diesel models are being phased out, especially in the light-duty truck and passenger car segments, diesel engines continue to play a significant role in heavy-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. 

The move away from diesel is more pronounced in markets with stricter emissions regulations and a stronger push for electric vehicle adoption. Companies are increasingly investing in electric trucks and hybrid technologies as part of their future product strategies, indicating a gradual but significant shift in the automotive industry’s approach to diesel engines.