2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel evaluation: An awesome engine improve, however it’ll value you

We love the rugged look of the Rubicon.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Jeep Gladiator pickup will get a brand new diesel engine choice for 2021. It is the identical 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 you will discover within the Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500, pushing out 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. However with its $6,000 premium over the usual powertrain, is it adequate to warrant that further value?

LikeTons of low-end torqueSmooth freeway mannersFuel financial system benefitsUnmatched off-road chops

Do not LikeDiesel engine is expensivePayload and towing scores undergo

To seek out out, we head for the sand dunes of Glamis, California. Theoretically, no less than, the elevated low-end torque and revised gearing within the eight-speed automated transmission ought to be a boon for off-roading, letting us hold momentum without having to vary gears. The opposite advantage of this engine is gasoline financial system, and the Gladiator Rubicon EcoDiesel is rated to return 22 miles per gallon mixed. (Sport and Overland fashions can obtain 24 mpg.) After 500 miles of driving and a tough day within the dunes, we’re seeing 21.Eight mpg. Fairly good.

The Gladiator has an Off-Highway Plus setting that sharpens the throttle response in four-wheel-drive excessive gear for faster bursts of energy if wanted. The Gladiator has no hassle attacking dune faces, scrambling up and over hills with out challenge. It even powers out of a small, V-shaped gap within the dunes that may suck different automobiles in like quicksand, the Jeep’s Falken Wildpeak 285/70R17 tires aired right down to 17 psi for further grip within the tender sand.

With the Gladiator Rubicon’s strategy angle of 43.Four levels, we are able to hold the entrance finish straight and never fear about plowing into something on the best way up or down a dune. The Jeep additionally has 11.1 inches of floor clearance, although the Gladiator’s wheelbase, which is longer than a Wrangler’s, reduces the breakover angle to 20.Three levels. Relying on the form of the dune, this implies carrying simply sufficient pace to slip the Jeep over the crest, however not a lot that the Gladiator launches into the air.

The Gladiator has no drawback dealing with nearly any off-roading state of affairs, together with the rocks and ruts at California’s Hungry Valley playground close to Gorman. Once more, the low-end diesel torque makes it straightforward to steadily modulate the facility whereas climbing a steep rock face, and applied sciences like Selec Velocity, which is actually off-road cruise management, imply we are able to hold a gradual tempo with out consistently having to work the throttle.

The EcoDiesel engine is at present obtainable within the Jeep Gladiator, Wrangler and Ram 1500.


After all, the EcoDiesel engine is not simply nice for off-roading. The sleek torque supply means the Gladiator is nice to drive on pavement, simply dealing with the steep grades of the Grapevine on California’s I-5 freeway with out the fixed must downshift. (We have pushed the Gladiator with the gas-fed 3.6-liter V6 right here and it isn’t practically nearly as good.) Mixed with the Gladiator’s lengthy wheelbase and revised rear suspension, that is arguably the perfect setup for many who would possibly must do lengthy treks on the freeway, although it is nonetheless not what we would name luxurious. It is extra comfy than a Wrangler, however nonetheless very a lot a Jeep.

Diesel engines are nice for towing, however as a consequence of some engine cooling points, Jeep really recommends pulling a most of 6,000 kilos with the Gladiator Rubicon EcoDiesel. That is a full 1,000 kilos lower than a truck outfitted with the three.6-liter V6. Payload drops a bit, too, from 1,160 kilos within the gasoline truck to 1,075 within the EcoDiesel.

Engine apart, the Rubicon EcoDiesel is essentially the identical as another Jeep Gladiator. The inside supplies are good, however not nice, and there are a surprisingly massive variety of consolation and comfort facilities, particularly for a truck so off-road targeted. The leather-based seats supply heating and cooling, and niceties like full LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert can be found, albeit as choices.

It’s going to take you anyplace.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The non-obligatory 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment display screen is nearly as good right here as it’s in another Jeep, and contains off-road pages that present issues like pitch, roll and your precise GPS coordinates. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot are included with the $1,895 infotainment improve, too.

The one massive demerit towards the Gladiator EcoDiesel is its value. The diesel engine improve is a full $6,000 — $4,000 for the engine itself after which $2,000 for the necessary eight-speed automated transmission. That brings the $45,370 beginning value (together with $1,495 for vacation spot) of a Gladiator Rubicon as much as $51,370. Load it up with choices and you may nearly hit $70,000. The truck seen right here stickers for $64,495.

Candy because the diesel engine is, we aren’t certain it is definitely worth the improve, contemplating the gasoline financial system advantages are fairly small. It makes the Gladiator nicer for on-road driving, certain, however each certainly one of these vans, no matter engine, is a complete champ off-road. We dig the EcoDiesel engine, however simply as it’s within the Wrangler, with its massive value premium, it isn’t precisely essential choice on this in any other case nice truck.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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