Jeep head Christian Meunier said in a recent teleconference that “Our ambition is to become the greenest SUV brand in the world,” Automotive News reports. Interesting. And ambitious indeed.
But not as absurd as it sounds, so long as we don’t lump Jeep in with the all-electric manufacturers like Rivian or Bollinger. As far as being green and still being a company that can sell 1.5 million vehicles a year globally, it sort of makes sense.
Sort of. “Driving in silence” was one of the true goals of a Jeep owner, Meunier observed. “Marketers hope Jeep-loving outdoorsy types will like driving in silence through nature,” he said.
That will come as news to those Jeep fans waiting impatiently to hear some news about production plans for the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, which would be, obviously, V8 powered and not silent. The EPA for the 6.4-liter Grand Cherokee is 15 mpg overall, and it will be surprising if the numbers for the Rubicon 392 are much better.
That said, Jeep EPA combined figures are better than you probably thought.
- For the 2021 Cherokee, depending on engine type and size, 21 to 26.
- The 2021 Compass, 25.
- The 2021 Gladiator, 16-24.
- The 2021 Grand Cherokee, 15-21, with the 5.7-liter V-8 being 17, the 6.4-liter V-8 coming in at 15.
- The 2021 Renegade, 24-27.
- And for the 2021 Wrangler, 19-25, the top number being the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.
I’m not sure what the greenest SUV company in the world is—likely it depends on what you call an SUV. Maybe it’s even Mitsubishi. But by just pulling the largest engines in the Jeep lineup—and I’m not saying that marketing-wise, that’s a great idea—Jeep would be even greener.
And that would certainly stand to bolster European sales, assuming those Jeep customers really do want to go rock-crawling in rapt silence. After all, the Wrangler 4xe did manage to traverse the Rubicon Trail in all-electric mode.
But the greenest? Long way to go.
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