Diesel vs hybrid. In this TFLcar ‘mashup’ video review, we test the highway fuel economy of the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee against the hybrid powertrain of the 2016 Toyota RAV4. The diesel-powered mid-size SUV is EPA-estimated at 28 mpg on the highway. The RAV crossover, with its Toyota hybrid system, is supposed to achieve 31 mpg at highway speeds according to the EPA.
The Grand Cherokee’s turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 makes 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. torque. Jeep claims the Grand Cherokee’s driving range is 730 miles, and says the EcoDiesel engine will tow 7,400 pounds. An 8-speed automatic transmission comes with 2WD or 4WD versions.
The fourth generation RAV4 gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2016 and is now being offered for the first time with a hybrid powertrain. Presumably, it will cover for the Prius V as it slips off Toyota’s list of hybrid offerings. Powertrain and platform are shared with its more pricey cousin, the Lexus NX 300h.
Total output for the gas-electric powertrain is 194 horsepower. EPA-estimates put the popular Toyota crossover at 34 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. Light towing is possible, with a maximum capacity of 1,750 pounds and maximum tongue weight of 150 pounds.
Both crossovers have all-wheel drive, the difference between the two is that the Grand Cherokee uses Jeep’s COMMAND-TRAC 4WD system that sends power to the rear wheels until shifted in four-wheel drive mode. Whereas an Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT-i) delivers the power to the front wheels, and in back is what Toyota calls Electronic On-Demand AWD with intelligence (AWD-i). This rear-wheel system senses slippage and comes on as needed to augment traction.
|2016 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SUMMIT 4×4||2016 TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID XLE|
|Price as tested||$56,180||$34,510|
|Engine||3.0L V6 EcoDiesel||2.5L DOHC I4|
|240 @ 3,600 rpm||150 hp @ 5700 rpm|
|420 @ 2,000 rpm||152 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm|
|Electric system power||N/A||N/A|
|N/A||141 hp (front) | 67 hp (rear)|
|Drivetrain layout||Quadra-Drive II® 4WD System||AWD|
|Net system output||240 hp / 420 lb-ft||194 hp / 206 lb-ft|
|Curb weight||5,374 lbs.||3,925 lbs.|
|Estimated fuel economy (city/hwy mpg)||TBD/30/30.4 mpg (observed)||34 / 31 / 26.7 (observed)|