The Jeep Gladiator is the latest model to join the ranks of America’s most recognizable off-roading brand. In contrast to its other siblings, the Jeep Gladiator also has a functional cargo bed, giving it the greatest towing capacity. However, there is still one question on everyone’s minds: where is the Gladiator’s V8 option?
Is the Jeep Gladiator worth it?
The Jeep Gladiator is available in nine trim levels (per Jeep’s website), but even the base Sport model is decently-equipped. It comes with tow hooks, skid plates, a two-speed transfer case, halogen headlights, and all-season tires with 17-inch wheels. Full-time 4WD can be added for an additional fee.
The Jeep Gladiator Sport can also get rock sliders, splash guards, LED lights, tubular side steps, and a hard-top roof. Several tow packages and upgrades for the cargo box are also on offer. However, the Gladiator Sport only offers bare-bones infotainment technology.
The same is true for the Willys Sport model, though this one adds a limited-slip rear differential and rock rails. Upgrading to the Gladiator Sport S gives you smartphone integration, a 7-inch touchscreen, and power windows. The Willys model has a few extra tech features, plus the benefits of the Willys Sport trim.
Shotgun riders get heated seats and a heated steering wheel. The Jeep Gladiator Willys also comes with a slew of safety features. These include automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, rear parking sensors, and forward-collision warning.
The Jeep Gladiator Overland is almost identical to the Sport S mode, but it has standard LED lights and tubular steps. The 80th Anniversary trim comes with special badging, plus a better sound system. The Jeep Gladiator Mojave and Rubicon have all the same tech as the Sport S, plus additional off-roading equipment.
The Rubicon comes equipped with an electronic sway bar, Fox shocks, front and rear locking differentials, an optional steel bumper, and 33-inch tires. The Mojave model mostly has the same features, but its shocks are bigger, and it has more ground clearance. However, the Mojave also only has a rear-locking differential and no optional steel bumper for easy winch attachment.
The Jeep Gladiator High Altitude is definitely the most luxurious of the pack. A full-leather interior and seats are standard for this trim, as well as an upgraded audio system and built-in navigation. It also has a unique exterior thanks to its color-matching hardtop, fenders, and bumpers.
What are the powertrain options for the Jeep Gladiator?
Currently, the Jeep Gladiator only has two V6 engines on tap. The standard offering makes 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. This engine gives the Gladiator a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds and a payload of 1,700 pounds.
The turbodiesel V6 makes 260 hp and 442 hp, combined with a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission. This engine is faster and can tow substantially more than the standard V6-equipped Gladiator, up to 7,650 pounds. The EcoDiesel engine is also predictably more efficient, rated for 22/28 mpg city/highway.
Will there ever be a V8 option?
Don’t be disappointed just yet: the Jeep Gladiator could get a V8 in the near future. After teasing a Hemi V8 for the Wrangler last summer, the special 392 version was announced for a 2021 release. It will reportedly have a 6.4-liter V8 capable of 470 hp.
However, when MotorTrend questioned Jeep about a possible Gladiator V8, a spokesperson said Jeep wouldn’t commit to one at this time. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 was apparently greenlit a few years prior.
However, if the Gladiator’s sales and popularity can reach the heights of the Wrangler’s, we think the automaker might reconsider.