This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

This 30-MPG Jeep Could Have Been the Tesla SUV -- Almost

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Jeep Grand Cherokee (JGC) offered by Fiat (FIATY) subsidiary Chrysler is a large two-row (five-seat) SUV that unlike most other SUVs these days is "trail rated" and truly ready for off-road performance. It's basically the American Range Rover.

For many years, the JGC badly trailed the competition in terms of overall comfort and refinement. Finally, those dark years are over. In an overhaul that recently entered production, the JGC got three things that has put it near the top of the SUV game:

  1. The interior was improved on all fronts, including new electronics and infotainment.
  2. The transmission is now a German 8-speed, sort of like BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
  3. The new optional engine is a diesel, yielding 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

So what we have here is a car that is assembled in Detroit but has an Italian diesel engine, and a German 8-speed automatic transmission. David Ricardo must be smiling from his grave because this is international comparative advantage at its finest.

The JGC is a car with off-road capabilities that most people probably don't need, and almost no other quiet and comfortable car offers. It has higher ground clearance, more aggressive approach and departure angles, and more settings for off-road behaviors, than most other non-exotically-priced off-roaders such as the Mercedes G and equivalent.

These superior off-road capabilities make the JGC suitable for people who face harsh physical obstacles where they drive. Perhaps you are a farmer, a hunter, oil driller or live where there is lots of snow. You might live in North Dakota, Montana or Alaska.

Normally, this kind of vehicle could never exceed 25 mpg on the highway, typically yielding less. One of the reasons is that all of this high ground clearance and 4x4 capability adds weight and reduces aerodynamic performance.

The addition of a diesel option for the JGC has now improved both the torque and fuel economy materially. It is rated at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. In 850 miles of driving over 11 days, I achieved 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The diesel engine is a $4,500 option and will therefore take a long time, and many miles, to pay off. That said, in recent years diesel versions of all other cars have yielded better second-hand values. I suppose this will be the case here as well.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
FIATY $8.98 0.84%
AAPL $128.45 -1.50%
FB $78.94 -1.80%
GOOG $558.64 0.57%
TSLA $203.45 -1.80%

Markets

DOW 18,132.70 -81.72 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,104.50 -6.24 -0.30%
NASDAQ 4,963.5270 -24.3630 -0.49%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs