What Does the 4.0 in an SUV Mean?

July 4, 2017

Four-by-four, six-cylinder–there are a lot of numbers to consider when looking at SUVs. The number 4.0 in most SUVs indicates engine size–specifically the 4.0L inline-six used by Chrysler, Jeep and AMC.

The 4.0L inline-six cylinder engine popularized by the Jeep SUVs was actually designed and first used by AMC. The AMC/Chrysler/Jeep alignment of the 1980s brought the 4.0L to the Jeep stable, where it became a regular in the Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. The 4.0L was used until 2007.

The 4.0L inline six in Jeep SUVs got between 177 to 190 horsepower depending upon the year of engine production. Those 4.0s produced in the 1980s had lower horsepower, while those in the 1990s to 2000s boasted higher numbers.

Fun Facts:
One of the most popular SUV engines ever produced, Tori Tellem of JP Magazine writes that many Jeep owners “have experience with no other engine except the current 4.0L because it has a reputation of cracking 200,000 miles without as much as a hiccup.”

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