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2017 Diesel Car and SUV Buyer’s Guide

New Diesels You Can Buy Here in the U.S.

Austin Lott
Aug 24, 2016
Photographers: Manufacturers
For the 2017 model year, diesel-powered cars and SUVs have moved upmarket, with several all-new models and many of the remaining models available receiving subtle and/or significant updates. Although the industry was rocked by the Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal, diesel isn’t gone, not by a long shot. For 2017, there are 15 new vehicles to choose from in the U.S. that offer the superior efficiency, driveability, and refinement of a diesel engine. We’ve put all the changes, updates, specifications, and details for the new models together in one place for you. Flip through and enjoy the pictures, but do not stop there: Go testdrive something. Anything found in the pages of this guide is a good place to start.
Photo 2/35   |   With a 15-gallon fuel tank, the ’17 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon should be able to go more than 500 miles between pit stops on long road trips. We’re betting it’ll hold out longer than your bladder will.
Photo 3/35   |   2016 BMW 3 Series Front Passenger Side Motion 340i Pictured
Photo 4/35   |   2016 BMW 3 Series Wagon Front Driver Side Motion

BMW


3 Series
After some light changes for the 2016 model year, the ’17 BMW 3 Series only gets minor alterations to standard equipment and packages. The Matte Chrome exterior trim is now standard on 328d models, Venetian Beige is now only available with black carpet, navigation is updated to iDrive 5.0, and the Enhanced USB and Bluetooth option now includes Wireless Charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Diesel sedan shoppers can pair the 2.0L I-4, which makes 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, with rear- or all-wheel drive, but those who prefer the wagon only get the choice of all-wheel drive. Pricing starts at $40,945 for the 328d sedan, $42,945 for the all-wheel-drive 328d xDrive sedan, and $45,145 for the 328d xDrive Sports Wagon.
Photo 5/35   |   A smattering of light changes for the ’17 BMW X3 does not mean it’s not a good pick; that’s far from being true! The strong seller maintains its place near the front of the two-row crossover pack by being efficient and luxurious.
Photo 6/35   |   2016 BMW X3 Front Driver Side Static
X3
BMW’s most efficient SUV, the diesel-burning X3 xDrive28d, doesn’t get any significant changes for the new model year. However, the changes it does receive include a new optional 19-inch wheel design, a wireless charging and Wi-Fi hotspot package, and iDrive 5.0 navigation. Sparkling Brown Metallic replaces Chestnut Bronze Metallic as an exterior color option, and neither Beige SensaTec nor Sand Beige Nevada leather are available as upholstery options. The ’17 X3 xDrive28 starts at $43,445.
Photo 7/35   |   BMW’s first SUV is still going strong years later—with a 22.4-gallon fuel tank, 8.2 inches of ground clearance, and the ability to ford 19.7 inches of water. The luxurious ’17 X5 will literally take you wherever you want to go.
Photo 8/35   |   2016 BMW X5 Front Driver Side Static
Photo 9/35   |   2016 BMW X5 Front Passenger Side Static
Photo 10/35   |   2016 BMW X5 Rear Driver Side Static
X5
The ’17 BMW X5 stays largely the same, but it has a few minor changes to the standard equipment and optional features list. First off, the xLine package is now standard (matte silver trim, and such), and the Luxury Package (chrome trim) is now a no-cost alternative to the xLine, though an exclusive wheel design is no longer part of the deal. Inside the X5, the navigation system is updated to iDrive 5.0, which now supports touch inputs. Optional equipment changes include the replacement of Atlas Cedar Metallic as an exterior color with Mineral Silver Metallic, a 20-inch Y-spoke wheel style is now a standalone option, and smartphone integration is no longer available since the functionality is included in a package that also includes wireless charging. Prices for BMW’s largest SUV start at $60,295.
Photo 11/35   |   The ’17 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback boasts 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 47.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Photo 12/35   |   2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Interior

Chevrolet


Cruze
The diesel Chevrolet Cruze is due to arrive in early 2017, and rumors suggest it may be offered in both the sedan and new hatchback-body styles. Under the hood, the Cruze will sport a version of the turbocharged 1.6L I-4 that makes 160 hp and about 260 lb-ft of torque in the European Opel Astra. Power is down slightly from the previous Cruze diesel, which sported a larger 2.0L I-4, but the smaller-displacement engine should help the new Cruze diesel to surpass the old model’s 27/46 mpg city/highway rating from the EPA. The price is expected to start around $26,000.
Photo 13/35   |   Jaguar’s newest compact sedan, the ’17 XE, has the same cool rotary shift knob found in other Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. It sits flush with the center console when not in use but rises up when you start the engine.
Photo 14/35   |   2017 Jaguar XE Interior

Jaguar


XE
The all-new ’17 Jaguar XE is the first serious effort by the automaker to compete in the compact-luxury-sedan segment long dominated by the BMW 3 Series, and it also introduces the automaker’s first-ever diesel engine in the U.S. market. The Ingenium family of engines includes the 20d, which is the turbocharged 2.0L I-4 found in the XE that produces 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The engine is paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and can be mated to rear- or all-wheel drive. Jaguar’s XE promises the sporting character of the F-Type coupe with the practicality of a sedan, and it delivers plenty of style, too. Prices for a ’17 Jaguar XE with the diesel start at $35,895 with rear-wheel drive and $39,895 with all-wheel drive.
Photo 15/35   |   The ’17 Jaguar XF is the biggest diesel-powered sedan you’ll definitely be able to buy in the U.S., as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series diesel models are unconfirmed as of this writing.
Photo 16/35   |   2017 Jaguar XF Front Passenger Side Motion
Photo 17/35   |   2017 Jaguar XF Interior
XF
The Jaguar XF received a redesign for the 2016 model year, which updated the midsize luxury sedan’s technology and styling and transitioned the model to an aluminum-intensive chassis that saves weight while improving structural rigidity. For 2017, most changes are minor, with a new rotary shift knob, four new wheel designs, and three new exterior color options now available. The big news is the addition of the Ingenium 20d turbodiesel I-4 engine, which pairs nicely with the relaxed demeanor of the XF thanks to its readily available torque and excellent range. Fuel economy hasn’t been confirmed for the diesel yet, but expect it to offer in excess of the 450-mile range the ’17 XF with the 3.0L gas V-6 is rated to get. The diesel-powered ’17 Jaguar XF starts at $48,445.
Photo 18/35   |   The aluminum-intensive construction of the ’17 Jaguar F-PACE helps the SUV to weigh in at less than 2 tons (3,913 pounds), which helps make it a competent vehicle when the road gets twisty.
Photo 19/35   |   2017 Jaguar F Pace Rear Passenger Side Static
F-PACE
The ’17 Jaguar F-PACE is the first SUV the brand has ever made—and it’s a good one. Jaguar calls the F-PACE a medium-luxury SUV, which means it rubs shoulders with the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and BMW’s X3. The styling, which has a striking family resemblance tying it to the Jaguar car lineup, is unlike anything else in the segment, and the interior is a nice balance of sport, luxury, and utility. The same 180hp turbodiesel 2.0L I-4 engine found in the XE and XF can be had in the F-PACE. Pricing starts at $41,985.
Photo 20/35   |   If you want your ’17 Jeep Grand Cherokee to err on the side of luxury, look for the Summit badge.
Photo 21/35   |   2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Interior
Photo 22/35   |   When Jeep puts the Trailhawk badge on something, it’s not like other automakers slapping “Sport” onto their hybrid model. The name means business, and the ’17 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has the four-wheeling chops that allow it to keep up with the Wrangler, with quite a bit more comfort.
Photo 23/35   |   2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Front Passenger Side Static

Jeep


Grand Cherokee
Jeep’s Grand Cherokee gets more luxurious and more capable with the addition of a Trailhawk model (finally!) and a Summit model for 2017. Diesel fans can celebrate, because the familiar 240hp 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 engine is available in either trim. Notable feature additions for the Trailhawk include Quadra-Drive II, a real electronic limited-slip differential, a unique version of the Quadra-Lift air suspension, Selec-Speed Control with Hill Ascent Control, skidplates, an anti-glare hood decal, and a bunch of accent pieces to set it apart from garden-variety JGCs (think badges, accent stitching, and black/leather/suede seats). The Summit raises the bar on luxury for the Grand Cherokee, with a full leather interior (which sports a Nappa leather-wrapped dash, center console, door panels, and Laguna leather seats), acoustic windshield and side-window glass, active noise cancellation, Berber carpet mats, a 19-speaker 825-watt Harman Kardon sound system, and a suede headliner. Pricing for the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is not confirmed, but the Summit should be close to the $55,290 MSRP of the previous Summit model. The Trailhawk is anticipated to retail around $47,000.
Photo 24/35   |   The Td6 turbodiesel V-6 engine powers 90 percent of Land Rover Range Rovers sold in Europe, and 50 percent of them sold across the globe. It’s about time it got here to the U.S. And, with its 443 lb-ft of torque arriving at 2,000 rpm, it might also be the perfect powerplant match for the ’17 Range Rover’s demeanor.
Photo 25/35   |   2016 Range Rover Interior
Photo 26/35   |   2016 Range Rover Sport Engine
Photo 27/35   |   2016 Range Rover Sport Front Driver Side Motion

Land Rover


Range Rover and Range Rover Sport
The ’17 Land Rover Range Rover Td6 and Range Rover Sport Td6 are not changed significantly from the ’16 models, since they were just introduced. If you’re looking for more interior space, greater off-road capability, and a plusher experience, the Range Rover will likely be your cup of tea. If you want something luxurious but with a touch more agility and sport, the Range Rover Sport might fit the bill. Both models were rated by the EPA for 22/29 mpg city/highway in 2016, but they have not been rated for ’17. Pricing shouldn’t deviate much from ’16: The Range Rover Td6 started at $87,445, and the Range Rover Sport Td6 started at $67,445.
Photo 28/35   |   The ’17 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has styling updates inspired by the fullsize S-Class, cues that forever banish the smaller sedan’s “Baby Benz” reputation to the history books.
Photo 29/35   |   2017 Mercedes C Class C350e Pictured Front Passenger Side Motion

Mercedes-Benz


C-Class
Provided it receives EPA approval, the ’17 Mercedes-Benz C300d 4Matic sedan will be the German luxury carmaker’s first diesel-powered compact model offered in the U.S. in many years. Under the hood, the C300d sports a 2.1L twin-turbocharged I-4 engine that produces 195 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, since the model has not been approved by the EPA (all ’17 model year vehicles face increased scrutiny and many have been delayed because of the more thorough testing), the fuel-economy estimates and MSRP are not confirmed. We expect fuel economy to surpass the heavier E250 BlueTec, which got a 28/42 mpg city/highway rating, and anticipate the price will be in the mid-$40,000 range, since the nondiesel C300 4Matic starts at $40,950.
Photo 30/35   |   The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class boasts a features list that’s not only generous, but also ground breaking, with a number of firsts for production vehicles, such as Pre-Safe Sound, which emits “pink noise” to prepare your ears’ natural defenses for the loud noises of an accident.
Photo 31/35   |   2017 Mercedes E Class E300 Pictured Rear Passenger Side Static
Photo 32/35   |   The instrument cluster and infotainment screen are a seamless 12.3-inch screen.
E-Class
Mercedes-Benz also introduces the latest-and-greatest, all-new ’17 E-Class, which boasts cutting-edge technology, such as near-autonomous driving systems, a sumptuous new interior, an exterior that builds on the lines of the S- and C-Class, and the first “Car-to-X” communication system that allows the E-Class to communicate information about driving conditions to the cloud and to receive early notification of upcoming hazards. Mercedes-Benz has not committed to bringing a diesel variant to the U.S. market yet, but there are two engines to choose from in Europe: An all-new 2.0L I-4 from the E220d that makes 194 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.0L V-6 that makes 255 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque from the E350d. We anticipate a future diesel E-Class to have an MSRP in the $55,000 to $60,000 range with the V-6, or less with the I-4.
Photo 33/35   |   More than 20 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV was introduced initially as a replacement for the G-Class but ended up vaulting the automaker into a segment that has now surpassed the midsize sedan as the most purchased new-vehicle style. Mercedes-Benz now fields five SUVs.
Photo 34/35   |   2017 Mercedes GLE Class Interior
Photo 35/35   |   The new front end of the ’17 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class borrows from the design language used in the C-, E-, and S-Class cars, more closely tying the SUV line together with the automobiles.
GLE-Class SUV
The ’17 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class continues without many significant changes, since the model was updated in 2016. But, with that being said, it’s a good-looking luxury SUV, with styling that’s reminiscent of the S-, C-, and now E-Class lines. The interior is comfortable and can be fitted with a few excellent leathers and open-grain wood paneling. A price is not yet confirmed for ’17 models, but we do not expect it to change much from that of the ’16 GLE-Class, which started at $53,425. GLS-Class SUV
For 2017, the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class three-row SUV gets a significant refresh, with new front and rear bumpers, LED taillights, a nine-speed automatic transmission (with more modes), the Airmatic air suspension system, a redesigned interior with an improved center console, and a range of new light-alloy wheels. The diesel-powered version is called the GLS350d 4Matic and has a 3.0L V-6 engine that makes 255 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The engine, which also powers the GL350 BlueTec, is the subject of a class-action lawsuit that alleges it uses an emissions “defeat device” similar to the one at the center of the Volkswagen diesel scandal. Neither the EPA nor Mercedes-Benz are saying the lawsuit is related to the delay that’s affected all diesel models across the market. We anticipate the GLS350d will start around $65,000.

Diesel Woes: 2016
If you find yourself flipping back and forth between the beginning and end of this buyer’s guide, wondering where the 13 or so Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche models are, we have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is, you can still buy a Porsche Cayenne and a Volkswagen Beetle; the bad news is, not with a diesel engine. Since September 2015, the details of a scheme perpetrated by the Volkswagen group (including VW, Audi, and Porsche in the U.S.) have become more clear. From 2009 to 2015, models equipped with the 2.0L I-4 or the 3.0L V-6 TDI engines feature software that functions as an emissions “defeat” device, which detects when the vehicle is being emissions tested and activates full emissions controls during the test. The problem is that the vehicles then deactivate a number of the emissions controls for improved performance and economy, while emitting up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen-oxide emissions (NOx). Those “clean diesels” aren’t as clean as consumers were led to believe.
Volkswagen has agreed to either buy the affected models back from customers (based on their retail value as of September 2015, just prior to the public disclosure of the emissions issues), terminate leases, or provide an EPA-approved modification that will bring the vehicles back into compliance with emissions standards. No fixes were approved at the time of publication, but testing in conjunction with the California Air Resources Board has begun and could lead to a fix that would allow owners who want to keep their TDI vehicles to do so without producing excessive pollution. All told, there are nearly 475,000 VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel cars and SUVs sold in the U.S. with the “cheat” software that will need to be bought back, or repaired.
DIESEL ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS
BMW
Displacement: 2.0L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 180 hp at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft at 1,750 to 2,750 rpm
Induction: Single variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.30 x 3.50 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Aluminum
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: I-6
Power: 255 hp at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft at 1,500 to 3,000 rpm
Induction: Single variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.30 x 3.50 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Aluminum
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Jaguar
Displacement: 2.0L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 180 hp at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 318 lb-ft at 1,750 to 2,500 rpm
Induction: Singe turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.30 x 3.60 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Aluminum
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Jeep
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: V-6
Power: 240 hp at 3,600 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm
Induction: Single variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.60 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Land Rover
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: V-6
Power: 254 hp
Torque: 440 lb-ft at 1,750 rpm
Induction: Single variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.31 x 3.54 inches
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Mercedes-Benz
Displacement: 2.1L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 195 at 3,800 rpm (C300d, E300d*)
Torque: 369 lb-ft at 1,600 to 1,800 rpm (C300d, E300d*)
Power: 201 hp at 3,800 rpm (GLE300d)
Torque: 369 lb-ft at 1,600 to 1,800 rpm (GLE300d)
Induction: Dual sequential turbochargers
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.90
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Aluminum
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Displacement: 3.0L
Configuration: V-6 72-degree
Power: 240 hp at 3,600 rpm
Torque: 455 lb-ft at 1,600 to 2,400 rpm
Induction: Single variable geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.62 inch
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

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