The Fast Lane Car Goes Towing with the 2014 Grand Cherokee ECODiesel

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When you think of towing, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably a diesel motor.  In the front of a pickup truck.  Not in a Jeep sold in America.  But that’s exactly what the guys at The Fast Lane Car were thinking: hauling a 5,740-pound boat behind the 2014 Grand Cherokee ECODiesel.

They were also planning on timing it from zero to 60 mph with and without its water-going caboose, at a mile above sea level.

Although the 3.0-liter V6 oil-burner churns out 240 horsepower and a stout 420 pound-feet of torque, its $4,500 price ballooned TFLCar’s Overland tester’s as-tested sticker to $53,685.  Up to 30 highway miles per gallon and a 730-mile range should have taken some of the sting out of checking that option.

Those are (mostly) good numbers, but Roman Mica was primarily interested in how quickly the GC went from a dead stop to 60 mph.  Unladen, it made Mica wait at least 9.19 seconds.

As you can imagine, those times tanked after the trailer and boat were hooked up.  That’s not to mention the fact that managing editor Andre Smirnov was also riding shotgun.  He and Mica set out to determine if the sand-bagged rig could hit 60 in 17 seconds.

It did not.

Despite engaging sport mode and pre-spooling the ECODiesel’s turbo, the fellows only managed a 19.97-second run – the best of two.

There were two factors to blame: a power band that snapped after 2,000 rpm and the elevation in Colorado, which Mica claimed slows acceleration times by one or two tics.

Nevertheless, he and Smirnov decided to see what times a gasoline pickup could knock off.  Any guesses as to which truck they picked?  The answer—and its run numbers—might surprise you.  Find out if you were right by clicking the link, below.

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum, Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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