How Much Worse Is the Jeep Truck MPG Than the Wrangler?
The Gladiator is the first Jeep truck since the Comanche was discontinued in 1992. It’s based on the Wrangler, but has a longer wheelbase and a short bed. So just how bad is this truck’s fuel mileage? Well, the Wrangler’s mpg is nothing to brag about, but similar Gladiator configurations are not that much worse. The Gladiator gets approximately one mpg less across the board. But there’s one powerplant, unique to the Gladiator, that actually makes it one of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks you can buy.
Does the Gladiator get worse fuel mileage than the Wrangler?
When both the Gladiator and Wrangler are equipped with the same gas V6 and transmission, the Wrangler gets about one mpg better fuel efficiency. But upgrade the Gladiator to the turbodiesel, and it blows the SUV’s efficiency out of the water.
The Jeep Wrangler offers several engines, including a fuel-efficient turbocharged I4 engineered by Jeep’s parent company—Stellantis. But the most traditional engine for this SUV is the 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6 shared across much of Chrysler Corporation’s lineup.
If you configure a four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission, you can expect to see 18 city/23 highway mpg (20 combined)—according to the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov.
You can order the Gladiator in this exact same configuration. The Jeep truck’s efficiency lags behind the SUV’s by one mpg in every metric: 17 city/22 highway mpg (19 combined).
The ever-traditional Jeep Wrangler is actually one of the last three-pedal vehicles available. Many trim level’s base transmission is a six-speed manual. With the manual option, a V6 Wrangler gets 17 city/23 highway mpg (19 combined). A Gladiator with a manual should see similar mpg up on the highway: 16 city/23 highway mpg (19 combined).
The EcoDiesel Gladiator is one of the most fuel-efficient Jeeps
The Jeep Wrangler was briefly available with a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 (the EcoDiesel) borrowed from the Ram 1500 pickup truck. Jeep discontinued the option for the 2023 model year, but the EcoDiesel lives on in the Gladiator pickup truck.
This engine, powerful enough to push a full-size Ram down the road, just idles along in the Gladiator. The result is one very efficient and refined mid-size pickup truck—according to MotorTrend.
As you might imagine, the overbuilt EcoDiesel doesn’t have to use a lot of fuel to move the Gladiator. And for this reason, a diesel Gladiator is very energy efficient for a truck. It’s also more efficient than most Wrangler SUVs.
Jeep only offers its EcoDiesel Gladiator truck with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This configuration gets 22 city/28 highway mpg (24 combined).
Jeeps aren’t known for their fuel efficiency
Some of the things that make a Jeep a Jeep really hit them in the MPG. This includes the SUV’s square utilitarian shape, heavy body-on-frame, solid axle construction, and meaty off-road tires. The Gladiator is no different. Its increased size and weight make it less efficient than most Jeeps.
The EcoDiesel Gladiator does have excellent fuel mileage. But upgrading to this engine will cost you at least $4,000. Car and Driver figures you’ll have to drive it 60,000-100,000 miles—depending on the price of diesel fuel—before you see any overall cost savings.