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

The Land Rover LR4 has the off-road chops to match the JGC, but no diesel engine in the U.S. -- not yet, anyway. If you're willing to sacrifice the diesel engine as a competitive requirement, the landscape opens up dramatically including the Chevrolet Tahoe and the expensive Toyota (TM) Land Cruiser.

The JGC Limited 4x4 starts at around $38,000, but with the $4,500 diesel option as well as some other options you really want it ends up around $48,000. This is a good value given its unique attributes and surprisingly strong execution in terms of lacking annoying faults.

On the other hand, from a competitive perspective, the JGC diesel doesn't have a direct competitor in the U.S. market right now. A truly off-road capable luxury five-seat large SUV that can tow 7,200 lbs and has a diesel engine? JGC diesel is a class of its own.

While this car is totally inappropriate overkill for the regular suburban commuter in most warm/mild U.S. climates, it is the ideal vehicle for the rural farmer living in under many feet of snow, and with a need to go hunting in the forest and tow a heavy boat. With the caveat that I tend to prefer electric cars such as Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S, I give the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel a strong recommendation for the right kind of buyer with these kinds of extreme needs.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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