After a few years of staying in the background, diesel SUVs seem to be making a comeback. While there still don’t seem to be a whole lot of options, we now at least have diverse diesel SUVs in pretty much every segment out there, especially if you’re on a decent budget.
That being said, there even seem to be some very appealing options that come with a considerably lower price tag, but still offer a respectable fuel economy and impressively high torque capacity.
That, however, doesn’t make the task of choosing the best diesel SUV any easier. In fact, you only have more great options to choose from, which only adds to the confusion. Fret not, though, as we have come up with a list of what seem to be the 5 best options on the market.
#1 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
It’s interesting to see how Grand Cherokee’s latest addition, the EcoDiesel, ended up having a huge edge over all its predecessors – including all the diesel-powered Jeeps by the off-road marque. While Grand Cherokee seems to be one of the better brands out there when it comes to diesel SUVs, the EcoDiesel has been the most technologically advanced one it ever built.
Something that you will find impressively unique about the EcoDiesel is that its engine is directly connected to the fuel injection and ceramic glow plugs, helping it produce 240 horsepower with a torque capacity of 420 lb-ft.
The engine itself – which is actually built in Italy – is a 3.0-liter V-6, making it the best so far from Grand Cherokee as far as its diesel SUVs lineup is concerned. It doesn’t leave much to be desired on the fuel economy front as well, returning an impressive 30 mpg on the highway and a reasonably good 22 mpg in city driving.
Some of the other features you would want to know about includes a towing capacity of 7,400 lbs, eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as the option to choose from either an air suspension or a four-wheel drive.
#2 Land Rover Range Rover
The Range Rover is not only one of the latest diesel SUVs to have hit the road, but also one of the strongest contenders for the best diesel SUV title. Although it might seem as if it’s just a diesel version of the popular Range Rover, it’s actually much more than that.
The diesel Range Rover comes in an all new model, with a luxury interior and some solid off-road capabilities. Its V-6, 3.0-liter engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and is one of the best in the price range, boasting a horsepower of 254 and a 443 lb-fit torque.
This powerful combination, coupled with its off-road capabilities, translates to a great driving experience for you on pretty much all types of terrains. And given the Range Rover’s reputation as a fuel thirsty SUV, the diesel Range Rover is nothing short of surprising with its fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in city driving.
Finally, there’s also the full-time four-wheel drive, making the diesel Range Rover a great all-round option.
#3 Mercedes-Benz GLE300d
If you got good money to spend, you can consider the Mercedes-Benz GLE300d – a combination of luxury and diesel power. However, you would have to compromise a bit on the latter to get more of the former.
What we mean is that the GLE300d comes with a 2.1-liter four-cylinder, which is only capable of producing 201 horsepower with a torque of 369 lb-fit. However, it does well to return an average fuel economy of a combined 24 mpg.
Now while this clearly suggests that it isn’t one of the most powerful diesel SUVs out there, it’s certainly one of the most advanced and luxurious ones. Besides having a super luxurious interior Mercedes-Benz is well known for, it has the all-wheel drive as a standard feature. You also get a seven-speed automatic transmission without having to shell out more money.
The GLE300d is also supported on different turbos, so you won’t have to deal with the typical turbo lag often associated with cheaper options.
#4 BMW X5 xDrive35d
So we have another high-end diesel SUV on the list. It’s the diesel version of the well-known BMW SUV, and surprisingly, it manages to retain its handling prowess while also offering a considerable improvement on the fuel economy front.
BMW is known for making daring choices with its products, and the diesel xDrive35d is no different. While it struggles to compete with other options in the segment off-road, it blows them away with its on-road heroics. The 413 lb-ft of torque and 255 horses engine power is a result of that trade-off.
Just like the other high-end option we discussed above, the xDrive35d, too, comes with a twin-turbo engine with a 3.0-liter capacity. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission to produce the numbers mentioned above.
Another common feature is the four-wheel drive being a standard feature. However, when it comes to the fuel economy, the xDrive35d outshines most other luxurious diesel SUVs, including the one discussed above, with a significantly better fuel economy of 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
#5 Mercedes-Benz GLC250d
Mercedes-Benz seems to be dominating the high-end diesel SUVs segment. However, the GLC250d is going to be one of the more compact models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, specifically designed to be a better alternative to the outgoing GLK models.
When it first hit the road, it was only available with a gasoline engine. But the model that’s expected to launch later this year would come with a turbodiesel engine. The engine, however, is expected to be the same as the earlier model – a 2.1-liter four-cylinder twin-turbodiesel. The engine strength doesn’t disappoint, though, giving out 201 horses and boasting a torque of 369 lb-ft – which is reasonably good for anything with a Mercedes-Benz tag.
While it may exactly be the best option out there, it’s a decent option for those looking for a stylish, compact diesel SUV with a luxurious interior and some extra efficiency than you usually get with a Mercedes-Benz.