Trackhawk vs. Wrangler JK – Which is Worse for Fuel Economy: Big Engine or Big Tires? [Video]

There are certain requirements to be fuel efficient…and these cars ignore them. But which one is the least efficient?

When you think “Jeep”, what immediately springs to mind? Odds are its a lifted Wrangler JK, like Tommy’s 2016 two-door Sport with a 3-inch Teraflex Alpine CT3 kit. What you wouldn’t imagine, more than likely, is a 707 horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with huge Brembo brakes and bright yellow calipers. However, they do both exist, and they are both Jeeps. While the approaches to these two cars could not be more different, they do converge in one area – fuel economy.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is massively powerful, but not that great for fuel economy. [Photo: FCA]
You’d assume a supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 with 707 horsepower would get terrible fuel mileage. And you’d be right – in fact, the EPA rates the Trackhawk at 11 City/17 Highway/13 Combined MPG. In this day and age, that puts it will within gas guzzler territory. Even in the cruise, most trucks can beat 17 MPG. Then again, that’s the price you pay for massive horsepower. And, as we’ve established in earlier reviews, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is so quick, and sounds so good, you can’t help but keep your foot out of it. Just one stab at the accelerator, and you’re grinning like an idiot for the next half hour, or perhaps that was just me.

Wrangler JK
While the Trackhawk banks on power, the Wrangler emphasizes off-road ability. [Photo: TFLcar]
The Wrangler JK, on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. We don’t have huge horsepower here – just a 285 horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. However, this particular Wrangler Sport has a few modifications. There’s the aforementioned lift, and then there’s the 35-inch Firestone Destination M/T2 tires. Big and chunky, these tires are well-suited for off-roading. On the road…not so much. However, the Wrangler JK does have a six-speed manual transmission, so can Roman get higher MPGs in the Colorado mountains as a result? Check out the video above to find out!

Follow TFL on the Easter Jeep Safari – Subscribe and support TFL on Patreon!

Stay tuned to for much more from this year’s Easter Jeep Safari! We’ll be covering the trail ride events as well as FCA’s seven new concepts making their appearance in Moab.

Thank you for watching, and be sure to subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more news, views, and real-world reviews! Also, if you enjoy this sort of content, consider supporting TFL on our Patreon page. We strive to create as much engaging content as we possibly can, and that’s only possible with your support!