The Best Diesel SUV Options in 2019
While diesel SUVs are less common than their gas-powered counterparts, there are quite a few advantages to buying one of these vehicles. First and foremost is the efficiency advantage, which helps offset some of the poor gas mileage that some traditional SUVs can have. Some also see better performance from diesel engines.
Despite an emissions scandal including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other manufacturers, the Environmental Protection Agency notes that diesels are cleaner than they’ve ever been, thanks to fuel and exhaust system advances. However, their bad reputation over the past few years may give you pause. In addition, there are generally fewer new diesel vehicles today than in years past. However, that leaves room for newcomers, which are included on our list of six notable diesel SUVs for sale so far in 2019 plus two 2018 models. Mazda lists a diesel version of its CX-5 SUV as a future vehicle on its website, but has been promising one since at least 2017.
The Best Diesel SUVs in 2019
- 2019 Chevrolet Equinox
- 2019 GMC Terrain
- 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
- 2019 Jaguar F-Pace 20d AWD
- 2019 Land Rover Discovery
- 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
- 2018 BMW X5 35d XDrive
- 2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
32 combined, 28 city/39 highway MPG
4.4 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.5 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (20 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
As one of the most affordable diesels on this list (though significantly more than the gasoline-powered version at a base $23,800), the Equinox is an alluring option for those looking for a new diesel SUV in 2019. It’s one of two Chevrolet car and SUV options offered as a diesel, along with the Cruze sedan. This diesel vehicle is an ideal option for those who do lots of highway driving, as it gets 39 miles per gallon on the highway. The diesel powertrain is available on both the LT and Premier trim levels and is available with all-wheel drive.
32 combined, 28 city/39 highway MPG
Not yet rated by KBB experts; 3.3 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (8 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
It’s not surprising that this vehicle gets equally good gas mileage, as its General Motors sister Equinox above — so for highway commuters, there are actually two good options here. However, the higher price tag might be a deterrent for budget-conscious buyers. GMC vehicles are considered to be one step above the Chevrolet option in terms of luxury, hence the extra charge.
25 combined, 22 city/30 highway MPG
4.3 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.9 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (47 reviews)
While a diesel option doesn’t appear to be an option for 2019, you may be able to find a 2018 model still available. The five-seat SUV only offers a diesel option for the Limited trim and above, hence the hefty price tag. One of the Jeep’s biggest advantages is its off-road capability as a 4X4 — though we focused on the 4X2 Limited here — as it’s able to confidently handle snow, dirt and rock. It also boasts an impressive tow rating that’s a bit above 6,000 pounds (except for the sterling trim), so if that’s something you need, the Jeep Grand Cherokee might be a great option.
29 combined, 26 city/33 highway MPG
4.1 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (2 reviews)
For those looking for something just a little bit more than the German luxury SUVs have to offer, there’s the Jaguar F-Pace. The diesel version is not all that far from the F-Pace’s $44,600 starting price. You’ll also like the fact that a rearview camera, sunroof and forward collision mitigation are all standard in 2019, and several driver assistance features are now available even on lower trim levels.
23 combined, 21 city/26 highway MPG
3.9 out of 5 by KBB experts; not yet rated by consumers on Edmunds
In addition to offering a diesel engine, the Discovery also boasts a third-row seat, making this vehicle a little bit more friendly for family adventures. A wi-fi hotspot is also available, as are a panoramic sunroof and a power-gestured tailgate. Despite the luxury interior, it might be worth noting that the diesel engine’s gas mileage isn’t much to be excited about, though it does have a slight advantage over the Discovery’s 16 city and 21 highway gas alternative. It’s worth noting that the smaller Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a diesel option, only the full-size Discovery.
28 combined, 26 city/30 highway
Not yet rated by KBB experts; 5.0 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (2 reviews)
While most brands tend to put a large upcharge on their diesels, the Velar’s diesel option runs on the lower-priced end of Range Rover’s diesel options — the Range Rover Sport with a diesel engine, below, starts around $69,000. And for those looking at the Velar, the S might be the best of the options at hand here — its four-cylinder turbodiesel is surprisingly spry and efficient (it should be noted, however, that the Sport diesel is a V6). All-wheel drive is standard on the Velar, as are safety features like autonomous emergency braking, a rear parking aid, and lane departure warning.
25 combined, 23 city/29 highway
4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.1 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (15 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
Though the diesel version was discontinued for 2019, it’s still possible to find a diesel-powered 2018 X5 out there. BMW also produced its 3 Series wagon and sedan with a diesel variant in 2018, so the brand is no stranger to giving options. While it’s at quite a higher price point than some of the vehicles listed previously here, this price does include all-wheel drive. The X5 is a bit larger than the others on this list, as it’s available with three rows of seating.
24 combined, 22 city/28 highway MPG
4.3 out of 5 by KBB experts; 5.0 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (1 review)
The Range Rover Sport may be considered a step below the more expensive Land Rover Range Rover, which also offers a diesel option; however, the two cars are on par with each other, though the Sport edges it out with its lower price point. The diesel engine is available on the base SE trim and HSE trim. In addition to a third-row seat, it still offers all the luxury features you’d want in a Range Rover, and four-wheel drive is standard, as is a self-leveling air suspension system. While still being sophisticated, the Range Rover Sport is still rugged enough to make it off the beaten path.
Financing your diesel SUV
When you’ve found the right diesel SUV for your needs, it’s time to finance. You can find financing offers through a dealership, bank, credit union or online lender, but it’s always best to shop around. Getting pre-approved might be a great way to do this. That way, you’ll know that you’re getting the best rate possible on your auto loan.
To select these SUVs, we considered available models with an MSRP of $80,000 or less. We also considered ratings, choosing diesel vehicles with ratings of 3 or higher from Kelley Blue Book experts or consumers on Edmunds when available. Safety ratings were also considered when available from the IIHS and NHTSA. All prices listed are for the base price of the diesel model indicated.
MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.