Beginning next month, Land Rover will begin selling two diesel models in America for the first time, and this is just the first wave of oil-burning British SUVs coming our way. Along with its sister company Jaguar, Land Rover is preparing a diesel blitz that starts with the Range Rover Td6 and Sport Td6, which will only carry a $1,500 premium over their gas-powered equivalents.
The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Td6 comes ashore with a price of $87,445, while the 2016 Range Rover Sport Td6 starts at $67,445, including destination. Both models get the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with 254 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, offering similar driving characteristics as the superchargered 5.0-liter V8 but with better fuel economy.
Keep in mind, however, that the offering of diesel engines is more to the benefit of Jaguar Land Rover than to consumers. Diesel engines are an increasingly popular means of meeting government-mandated fuel efficiency standards. While Land Rover isn’t citing any specific MPG figures just yet, it is saying that its diesel engine is 32-percent more efficient than the supercharged gas V6. That engine received a 17 city/23 highway/19 combined mpg rating in the 2015 model, so that means fuel economy could be as high as 30 mpg on the highway…in a Range Rover.
Performance doesn’t suffer either, with the Td6 Sport model sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, on par with most midsize family sedans. Of course you won’t get anywhere near 30 mpg if you’re stomping the gas pedal at every stoplight, but at least on paper Land Rover can claim that it’s bringing its fleet wide fuel economy up to government standards, and there are plenty more diesel models to come. The rest of the Jaguar Land Rover lineup, including the Discovery SUV and new Jaguar XE sedan will come to America offering diesel options. But will consumers buy them?
More to the point, with gas prices now down to pre-recession levels, should anybody bother with the more efficient diesels? Or did Jaguar Land Rover get to the efficiency party just a tad too late?