2019 Diesel Car and SUV Buyer’s Guide

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

Austin Lott
Aug 27, 2018
Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers
The steady march toward a future of crossovers and SUVs continues, and diesel fans everywhere have even more options to choose from. For 2019, there are 11 new vehicles available from dealership showrooms with the driveability and fuel economy for which diesel engines are known.
Though there are fewer luxury vehicles than in past years, diesel-powered cars and sport utilities are being offered by more mainstream brands than ever before, and that’s not even counting a few latecomers (detailed on page TK).
We’ve detailed all the changes for each model, curated specifications, and found the very best photography to showcase 2019’s new vehicles. Flip through this guide and enjoy the pictures, but don’t stop there—get out and testdrive something, too. From go-anywhere luxury to tackling the daily commute, there’s definitely something for everyone.

Chevrolet

Photo 2/25   |   Guide 2019 Chevrolet Cruze And Cruzehatch

Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze gets a new look for 2019 as part of a design refresh that affects the Malibu and Spark as well. The grille, headlights, and fascia are all-new, as are LED lighting features front and rear. Cruze is still available in two body styles: sedan and hatchback. Notably, the manual transmission option is discontinued, leaving all models with the capable nine-speed automatic. The 1.6L turbodiesel I-4, which makes 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, is good for an EPA-estimated 31/48 mpg city/highway in the sedan and 30/45 mpg in the hatchback. Prices start at $24,670 for the sedan and $26,310 for the hatchback.
Cutline:
Chevrolet’s Cruze diesel is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles (other than a hybrid) available in 2019.
The previous generation of Cruze was also available with a diesel engine, which took a short hiatus in 2016 with the introduction of a new body style.
Photo 3/25   |   Guide 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Action

Equinox

A redesigned Chevrolet Equinox was introduced in 2018, and it remains one of only a few midsize crossovers to offer a torque, oil-burning engine. The ’19 Equinox—and platform-mate GMC Terrain—share the same 1.6L turbodiesel I-4 found in the Chevrolet Cruze. The engine makes 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, which is enough power to let the crossover pass on the highway with ease. The engine, which is known as a “Whisper Diesel,” is far quieter than the clattery units of years past. Front-wheel drive is standard on the Equinox, but all-wheel drive is available. EPA estimated fuel economy is 28/39 mpg city/highway for the front-wheel-drive model and 28/38 mpg for all-wheel drive. Pricing is estimated to start around $32,500 for front-wheel-drive and $33,200 for all-wheel-drive models.
Photo 4/25   |   Guide 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Interior
When our sister magazine Motor Trend tested the diesel Equinox, the editors found the crossover is smooth and quiet, and the cabin is more isolated from drivetrain vibrations than the smaller Cruze. With the diesel engine, the crossover can be an excellent companion for long distances. Also, Motor Trend editors noted that in their real-world fuel-economy testing, the Equinox exceeded EPA estimates and managed 33.1/46.7 mpg city/highway.
Cutline:
The ’19 Chevrolet Equinox’s ride, which errs on the side of relaxed, is a perfect match for the 1.6L I-4 turbodiesel powerplant, with its copious torque and 39 mpg highway fuel-economy rating.
When compared with the compact Cruze sedan, the Equinox offers a quieter cabin that is more isolated from powertrain vibrations.
If you’re looking to stretch your time between fill-ups, opt for the all-wheel-drive Equinox, which has a 15.6-gallon fuel tank compared with the 14.9-gallon tank on front-wheel-drive models.

GMC

Photo 5/25   |   Guide 2018 Gmc Terrain Action

Terrain

GMC’s ’19 Terrain is a stylistically diverse take on the successful combination General Motors hit on with its Chevrolet Equinox. The Terrain takes the 1.6L turbodiesel I-4 and wraps it in a more upscale package than the Chevy. The exterior falls in line with the rest of the GMC lineup, with a large chrome-trimmed grille and an interior that sports more soft-touch materials and less hard plastics. Additions for 2019 include a pair of new styling packages, the Black Edition and Chrome Edition. The name says most of what you need to know, and each has a unique grille, wheels, and various trim pieces in either black or chrome. The Driver Alert II package, available on the SLT trim, adds adaptive cruise control and front pedestrian braking. The adaptive cruise control is definitely worth the extra money for long-distance drivers. Also new for 2019 are a Smokey Quartz Metallic exterior paint color and an HD rear-vision camera. Prices for the GMC Terrain with front-wheel drive and the diesel engine start around $32,500, rising to approximately $34,500 with all-wheel drive.
Photo 6/25   |   Guide 2018 Gmc Terrain Static
Cutline:
Long gone are the days of a mere badge-and-grille change. Though the ’19 GMC Terrain shares a platform with the Chevrolet Equinox, it has a unique style that keeps the good stuff and puts a GMC spin on the rest of the two-row crossover.
The pair of special-edition models add even more character to the GMC, something not available on the platform-mate Chevrolet Equinox.

Jaguar

Photo 7/25   |   Guide 2018 Jaguar Xe Action

XE

Jaguar’s smallest sedan, which competes with the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, is the only entry-luxury option for buyers who want a diesel engine in 2019. BMW followed Mercedes’ lead from 2018 by pulling the remaining diesel models from its lineup for lack of sales. Jaguar is still committed though, knowing that for many buyers, the pairing of luxury and diesel’s torque make them inseparable. The XE sports a 2.0L I-4 engine that makes 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque, paired with the widely used ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is impressive, with an EPA-estimated 32/42 mpg city/highway for the rear-wheel-drive model and 30/40 mpg for all-wheel drive. Diesels start at $38,220 with rear-wheel drive and $40,720 with all-wheel drive.
Photo 8/25   |   Guide 2018 Jaguar Xe Static
Cutline:
If you want a small luxury sedan with a diesel engine, the Jaguar XE is the only game in town for 2019.
Even the entry-level Jaguar XE contains a handful of thoughtful touches that remind you of the car’s luxury roots, including a rotary shift-knob that rises out of the console when you start the car.
It’s hard to believe a luxury sedan with a diesel engine that looks this good also gets between 30 and 40 mpg.
Photo 9/25   |   Guide 2018 Jaguar Xf Action

XF

If a midsize luxury sedan with a diesel engine is what you’re looking for, you have a single option: the ’19 Jaguar XF. Ever since the emissions scandal forced Audi from the segment, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz declined to offer a diesel, leaving Jaguar as the lone brand. Despite lacking competition, Jag’s XF delivers on the luxury experience and is particularly at home on the highway. The Ingenium 2.0L I-4 makes 180 hp and 318 lb-ft and is rated at 31/42 mpg city/highway by the EPA. Though the brand has a rich history, it has also embraced the high-tech side of new luxury with passive-open technology for the trunk and several new driver-convenience features. Unlike some of the competition, Jaguar’s active safety technology falls more in the “driver assistance” category instead of the “nearly autonomous.” Jaguar seems to want to encourage people to actually drive their cars. Pricing for the ’19 Jaguar XF diesel starts at $50,270.
Photo 10/25   |   Guide 2018 Jaguar Xf Static
Cutline:
With an EPA-estimated 31/42 mpg city/highway, Jaguar’s ’19 XF is a midsize luxury sedan you can enjoy with longer distances between fill-ups.
If you select the premium interior update package, you can choose from 10 different colors for the leather seating.
When you’re driving a luxury sedan, it’s the little things that remind you it’s not just another car, including air vents that rotate open and a rotary shift-knob that rises up when you push the ignition.

F-PACE

The Jaguar F-PACE gets a few minor updates for 2019, including a few new active safety features and the latest 10-inch infotainment system. Automated emergency braking and lane-keep assist are added to the roster of standard features. We suggest getting the optional adaptive cruise control with the newly available steering assist, which is a fatigue-reducing system that helps keep the Jag centered in its lane. The difference is noticeable when you’re putting lots of miles on. The 10-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment system is a nice upgrade over the previous system. The F-PACE diesel is powered by the 2.0L Ingenium I-4 that makes 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque, which is EPA-estimated to get 26/33 mpg city/highway. Prices start at $48,500.
Photo 11/25   |   Guide 2018 Jaguar F Pace Action
Cutline:
For 2019, Jaguar’s hit luxury sport crossover adds active safety tech and a new infotainment system that makes it even nicer to spend time in.
The latest 10-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment system features more tablet-like capabilities, like swiping and pinch-to-zoom gestures.
An optional massive panoramic glass roof on the Jaguar F-PACE lets drivers and passengers take in the scenery while driving.

Jeep

Photo 12/25   |   Guide 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Action

Grand Cherokee

Jeep’s Grand Cherokee continues to be available with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 in three models for 2019: Limited, Overland, and Summit. The powerplant is unchanged from previous years, making 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough torque to match the 7,200-pound towing capacity of the Hemi-equipped Grand Cherokee, but with far better fuel economy. The diesel Grand Cherokee is rated at 21/28 mpg city/highway by the EPA. Changes to standard equipment for 2019 include the addition of blind-spot monitoring, the latest Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch screen, a few new colors, and a pair of new wheel options. The Overland model gets 20-inch Heritage wheels as standard equipment, while an optional 20-inch wheel is available for Summit models. The three new exterior colors are Slate Blue, Green Metallic, and Sting Gray. Prices for a ’19 Jeep Grand Cherokee start at $46,440 for a four-wheel-drive Limited with the EcoDiesel V-6.
Cutline:
Need to spend a lot of time on the road but don’t know when the weather could take a turn for the worse? A ’19 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel is a good option.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel is a do-it-all vehicle, with amazing range, competent towing, and seriously luxurious (and comfortable) available interior options.

Land Rover

Photo 13/25   |   Guide 2018 Range Rover Velar Static

Range Rover Velar

Range Rover’s ’19 Velar is a midsize luxury SUV that splits the difference between the automaker’s small Evoque and the iconic Range Rover Sport. The interior combines a pair of 10-inch touchscreens with two multi-function knobs inset in the lower screen for a sleek look. The SUV can’t be mistaken for anything but a Range Rover, but it is powered by the 2.0L Ingenium turbodiesel I-4 instead of the V-6 engine found in the bigger Range Rover Sport. The Velar is accordingly more efficient, rated at 26/30 mpg city/highway. An available adaptive cruise control system with Queue-Assist for piloting the Velar through stop-and-go traffic really helps make the midsize even more livable. That, and it almost goes without saying the Velar has an all-wheel-drive system that rises to the occasion when navigating difficult surfaces is needed. If you’re looking for something luxurious with a diesel and the capability of a Range Rover, the ’19 Velar starts at $57,195.
Photo 14/25   |   Guide 2018 Range Rover Velar Action
Cutline:
Though the youngest of the Range Rover stable, the ’19 Velar sets the stage for a round of updates to its iconic older siblings.
The Velar has capacitive steering wheel controls that illuminate when driving and fade to gloss black to match the center console when the SUV is off.
Photo 15/25   |   Guide 2019 Range Rover Sport Action

Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport only occasionally undergo any sort of serious changes, but in 2019 both models get exterior refreshes to go with an all-new interior. The dual-touchscreen arrangement from the Velar makes its way into the two flagship SUVs. Think sleek screens, metal surrounds, and lots of leather. The exterior is changed subtly, with a new grille, front bumper, and LED headlights. The Range Rover is even more luxurious, from redesigned seats front and rear that heat nearly every part that contacts a passenger’s body to a gesture-activated sunblind that opens or closes with the wave of a hand. Also new is the “Activity Key” wristband, which allows owners to leave the key fob locked in the car safely while exercising, surfing, or doing anything they’d rather not carry a key for. The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Td6 are both powered by a 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 that makes 254 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The torque of a diesel combined with a fuel range of more than 650 miles between fill-ups is a nice complement for a luxury SUV. Prices for the Sport start at $69,745 and the Range Rover at $90,345.
Photo 16/25   |   Guide 2019 Range Rover Sport Interior
Cutline:
Outside, the changes are subtle at best, but inside, the ’19 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport feel newer without compromising their heritage. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
When properly equipped, the Range Rover’s rear seats can be folded or reconfigured via the car’s upper touchscreen or remotely via a mobile app. Know you’ll have your hands full? Why not fold those seats in advance.
The long-wheelbase Range Rover gives rear-seat passengers an additional 7.3 inches of legroom.
Photo 17/25   |   Guide 2019 Range Rover Action Highway
Photo 18/25   |   Guide 2019 Range Rover Action Water Crossing
Photo 19/25   |   Guide 2019 Range Rover Interior Rhd

Discovery

After being reintroduced to the U.S. market in 2017, the Discovery gets a handful of updates in 2019 that make the seven-passenger SUV even more appealing. First off, the 3.0L diesel engine is now available in all three of the Discovery’s trim levels and is just a $2,000 premium over the gasoline powerplant. Like the V-6 found in the Range Rover, Discovery’s turbodiesel makes 254 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Inside, the HSE and HSE Luxury are available with the automaker’s second-generation head-up display, and all models are equipped with the latest Touch Pro Navigation system on a 10-inch touchscreen. In addition to a suite of optional active safety features, including an adaptive cruise control system with the ability to cope with heavy traffic, emergency braking is standard on all models. Pricing starts at $55,085, which is significantly lower than 2018, since the diesel engine is available on the SE trim and not just the HSE and above.
Photo 20/25   |   Guide 2019 Land Rover Discovery Action
Photo 21/25   |   Guide 2019 Land Rover Discovery Interior
Photo 22/25   |   Guide 2019 Land Rover Discovery Interior Seating
Cutline:
Want seating for seven and more of the latest active-safety technology on a platform with a go-anywhere, anytime reputation? Head to the ’19 Discovery.
The Land Rover Discovery is so good off-road that it took First and Second Place in Four Wheeler magazine’s SUV of the Year comparison for 2018. They surmised the Discovery had far more “Range Rover” in it, without compromising any of that Land Rover capability.

Late to the Party?

Unfortunately, three guests that RSVP’d for this new car and SUV party had not arrived by the time this report went to press. They’re midsize two-row crossovers that join the ’19 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain as the mainstream crossover segment heats up. Hyundai plans to offer a diesel engine in its Santa Fe, which will also be shared with the Santa Fe’s corporate sibling at Kia, the Sorento. The third is the Mazda CX-5, which promises to be the sporty handler of the bunch. Why the delay? Since Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions scandal in 2015, the EPA has significantly lengthened the certification process for new diesel models, in part for more robust testing. Here’s what we know about each.
Photo 23/25   |   Guide 2019 Hyunda Santa Fe Static
Hyundai Santa Fe
With the introduction of the fourth-generation ’19 Hyundai Santa Fe, the automaker announced a diesel engine joins the list of options. The 2.2L I-4 produces 190 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. The diesel Santa Fe is also the only model to feature third-row seating, with a pair of “occasional use” seats that fold flat to the floor. The company plans to announce specifics by early 2019.
Photo 24/25   |   Guide 2019 Kia Sorento Static
Kia Sorento
The’19 Sorento shares much with Hyundai’s Santa Fe, so it’s an easy jump to say it will sport the same 2.2L I-4 engine. We speculate this because although Kia officially committed to bringing a diesel to market in the Sorento, specifics were not available as we went to press. The Sorento is a three-row crossover that’s offered with both front- and all-wheel drive, which will make it an even more competent offering with a diesel engine.
Photo 25/25   |   Guide 2018 Mazda Cx 5 Static
Mazda CX-5
Mazda’s ’19 CX-5 is arguably one of the best-looking two-row crossovers on the market, and the idea of one equipped with a diesel engine that doesn’t compromise its sporting character makes it an intriguing idea worth waiting for. In the past, Mazda has reiterated that it doesn’t just want to bring a diesel to the market, the automaker wants to bring one to the U.S. that doesn’t compromise even an inch on its mission to deliver cars and crossovers that drive as good as they look. The EPA officially released the CX-5 diesel’s efficiency numbers, pegged at 28/31 mpg city/highway for the two-wheel drive and 27/30 for the four-wheeler.

The Shifting Landscape

Things have changed a bit in the new-diesel segment. The big shift for 2019 is the departure of BMW and the entrance of Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda. BMW follows the lead of Mercedes-Benz and cites a lack of sales as the reason for dropping the diesel offerings from its lineup. In the past few years, we’ve seen all the major luxury players introduce hybrid versions of many models, and BMW confirms that while diesel sales declined, the company’s hybrid and electric sales are up 73 percent compared with the first quarter of 2017. The sales numbers seem to suggest that luxury buyers are moving away from diesel, at least those who shop for German luxury imports. Despite the shift in the landscape, new diesels aren’t going anywhere soon; they have moved to the mainstream of high-volume crossovers. Aside from the lineup Volkswagen fielded, the budget-conscious buyer was limited to few options for quite some time. Now, General Motors has a diesel sedan and hatchback, as well as two crossovers with oil-burning engines. To top it off, they’ll likely be competing with diesel crossovers from Korea and Japan by the end of 2019. Competition is one of the best drivers of quality and price for consumers, so we can’t wait to see how the mainstream shapes diesel for the U.S. market.

DIESEL ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS

General Motors – LH7
Displacement: 1.6L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 137 hp
Torque: 240 lb-ft
Induction: Variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.14 x 3.15 inches
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Aluminum
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic, six-speed manual
Hyundai/Kia
Displacement: 2.2L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 190 hp
Torque: 322 lb-ft
Induction: Variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.36 x 3.78 inches
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder
Head Material: Aluminum
Block Material: Aluminum
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Jaguar/Land Rover
Displacement: 2.0L
Configuration: I-4
Power: 180 hp
Torque: 318 lb-ft
Induction: Variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.30 x 3.60 inches
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
Torque: 420 lb-ft
Induction: Variable-geometry turbocharger
Bore x Stroke: 3.27 x 3.60 inches
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: 443 lb-ft
Induction: 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

SOURCES:


Chevrolet
media.chevrolet.com/

GMC
media.gmc.com/

Hyundai
hyundainews.com

Jaguar
media.jaguar.com/

Jeep
media.fcanorthamerica.com/

Kia
kiamedia.com

Land Rover
http://media.landrover.com/

Mazda
insidemazda.mazdausa.com

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