Well, the CRD's are "dogs" compared to most gassers, if you are looking to bolt away from the light when it changes. Torque is the feature of any diesel. And since diesel has a higher BTU energy content that gasoline, any diesel will blow away the gassers on fuel mileage. My CRD, out of the box stock engine, has consistently gotten above 30 on highway trips and gets around 25-26 year round for all miles. But then, we don't do a lot of city driving, but we do live rural and the CRD has to deal with a lot of gravel roads and bad snow storms. Show me a Liberty gasser that even comes close. And at the same time, it can pull a fully loaded 300 gallon fuel wagon thru the field on our farm without a hickup.
I agree with others here that the diesel is not for those that just start and drive. It does require a higher level of attention and even a different mindset driving it to get the best out of it. Mine, to date, has around 75,000 miles on it and has NEVER had a single problem. Original EGR, brakes, etc and runs great. I did a few minor modifications immediately when I purchased it new that many other CRD owners have done, but still have not invested in the ECM tune (but seriously considering that one). Did cut off the Cat and put a dynomax flow thru exhaust on it. And, of course, gave it a little lift with the Frankenlift II kit and went with greasable upper and lower ball joints in the front.
Based on the one you test drove, I would really go thru it and have the dealer repair everything, or the deal is off. Don't just get the price knocked down to compensate. It gets fully repaired or the deal is off. Fixing problems with the CRD is not for the faint of heart. Even after they claim to fix things, as part of the test drive again, I would take it to a good mechanic in your area and have them really go over it. Sure, might cost you up to 50 bucks, but money well spent. If you got an oil leak near the front tire, would bet a CV is boot is shot. Just a note... the CV axles are NOT the same as on the 3.7 gasser models. You will have to shell out more for them on the CRD.
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