Best Diesel SUVs of 2020

SUVs are probably best known as being large and exceptionally thirsty in terms of fuel consumption, but not all of them come with gas engines - you can also buy a diesel SUV. Although not as common as in other parts of the world, there are diesel SUVs in the USA. Generally equipped with a turbo, these diesel-powered engines are cheap to run yet provide a lot of torque.

Our reviews will give you access to the best information on these niche vehicles, and will tell you if your chosen model is reliable too, giving you the scoop on a used version, too. Whether the US models you like are all new 2020 editions or a bit older, we provide comprehensive coverage on models from today and back to 2019 and 2018.

What SUVs Have Diesel Engines

There are numerous brands that offer this type of engine in various models. Jeep has the Grand Cherokee, Land Rover has its Discovery, and BMW has the X5. The Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GL, and the GMC Yukon are among those that ship with diesel engines, too, with Chevrolet’s Tahoe and Suburban having late availability to such a mill as well.

Most Reliable Diesel SUVs

None of the crossovers on our list are particularly bad, nor have there been any serious recalls on the majority. Still, the complex systems on luxury models like those from Land Rover may be prone to failure. For this reason, we would recommend opting for something simpler and more common, such as the Grand Cherokee. This Jeep has been around for ages and is still one of the best. Should you need something with even better 4x4 skills and ruggedness, the Jeep Wrangler is another fine choice.

What to Consider Before Buying

If you’re after something torquey with enough power to conquer both the highway and the trail, there are a few characteristics to mull over. You should think about suspension, both for competence and comfort, for starters. An attractive design is also important, as is cargo space. Affordability and reliability are arguably most critical, and the best diesel SUVs will thus be those that perform well in all of these areas.

Pros

  • Mountains of torque
  • More impressive towing capacities
  • Better gas mileage
  • More rugged, less wear and tear

Cons

  • Not particularly fast
  • Shorter service intervals
  • Coarse engine sounds
  • Regular maintenance needed

Specifications

The USA has many options for people seeking a multi-purpose vehicle, whether it be for daily commuting, weekend adventures, or leisurely trips. The specifications that will keep this sort of purchase at a high value will be ones that generally have the following:

  • Automatic transmissions: The auto ‘box is generally favored in order to maximize comfort and its’s ability to handle higher outputs
  • AWD: Four-wheel-drive makes finding traction on slippery terrain much easier and adds grip for pulling weightier loads
  • Suspension: A soft setup helps with rebound over big shocks and improves satisfaction on the road, off-setting an often gruff-sounding motor
  • Ground clearance: Something usually present in this segment is good ground clearance to aid climbing over obstacles and traversing rougher terrain
  • Economy: Excellent gas mileage is a typical by-product of oil-burners such as these
  • Strong torque figures: Outputs from diesel hubs are mostly associated with far more torque, thanks to the way it burns fuel, making it ideal for pulling or hauling.

Purchasing Advice

So many different marques compete in this category, which makes it tricky to select the best diesel crossover for your needs. At the top of your list of requirements should be the reliability, torque, price, and features count. The more you can get for your money and the less a car will cost you in the long run, the better. You may also want something that holds a good resale opportunity. How much it will cost you at the pump, it’s off-road prowess, as well as a high rating for hitching a trailer, can be crucial to making the right decision. Compare your requirements with what is on offer and what you deem absolutely necessary - this means potentially negotiating a better price, or facilitating a prime deal. Peruse our roster of best diesel SUVs for 2020, too.

FAQs about Diesel Crossovers

Why is a diesel better than a gas engine?

Fuel efficiency and torque are the main reasons behind opting for a diesel. For those who haven’t yet contemplated it, the gas mileage and torque numbers are generally better than those of gas-powered machines.

What should I pay?

Depending on your needs, you could spend anything from $25,000 to almost $200k. A reasonable amount to spend that will return a good spread of features is around $60,000.

Are diesel engines paired with manual gearboxes?

Some do, but most markets lean towards automatics, and these days, it’s more difficult to find a manual version of a car than an auto.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2020 Land Rover Range Rover
8.5
BuzzScore
10
Design
10
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
9
Infotainment
6
Reliability
8
Safety
7
Value
#2
2020 Chevrolet Equinox
7.8
BuzzScore
6
Design
6
Performance
8
MPG
8
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value
#3
2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
7.8
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
6
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
7
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value
#4
2020 Land Rover Discovery
7.3
BuzzScore
6
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
7
Reliability
7
Safety
7
Value