Mentioned as an aside to Automotive News Europe reporters covering the 2013 Shanghai auto show, Jeep global chief Mike Manley quietly confirmed that the European-spec 2014 Jeep Cherokee would be offered with a Fiat turbodiesel I-4 when it goes on sale in Europe in the third quarter of 2013. We're reasonably sure the engine will be Fiat's 2.0-liter JTDM MultiJet engine offered in the Alfa Romeo 159 and other models. In that application, the engine produces 168 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

Although that's less horsepower than the Cherokee's standard 2.4-liter MultiAir I-4 in the U.S. market, it's more torque than the optional 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6, which produces 271 hp and 239 lb-ft of torque. It would also likely return even better fuel economy than the base 2.4-liter MultiAir engine, which Jeep promises will top 31 mpg in front-drive trim.

The diesel may be paired with a manual transmission in Europe, but it's unknown if this will be an exclusive configuration, or if the diesel will also be offered with the nine-speed automatic. The Cherokee's 948TE transmission, built under license from ZF by Chrysler, has a maximum torque capacity of 332 lb-ft, which would easily accommodate the diesel's torque output.

With the introduction of the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the announcement of its availability in the 2014 Ram 1500, prospects are promising for the eventual offering of a diesel option in the Cherokee for the U.S. market, but Chrysler will likely use the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 as test cases before committing to a diesel for the U.S.-spec Cherokee.

Source: Automotive News Europe