Jeep loves a graphics package. The Wrangler predecessor, the CJ series, came in numerous different graphics packages over the years. These different trim models rarely offered much in the way of any sort of performance enhancement. They were merely aesthetic changes. Admittedly, they were incredibly cool, but it has left people wondering if newer models sporting fancy graphics are actually better or just look cool with stickers and bigger tires. The Mojave is a package available from the Gladiator that is more than just stickers and tires.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave got some serious upgrades
Jeep fans are stoked to join in the fight for desert supremacy with the Gladiator Mojave. The desert-themed Jeep pickup is the first Jeep to really go for the Baja-style truck. The Ram 1500 TRX and the Ford Raptor have been slugging it out for the coolest desert sled truck, and Jeep wanted to play.
At this point, it’s not really fair to compare the Ram TRX and Raptor to the Jeep Gladiator Mojave. Sure the Jeep is crazy expensive and was meant to compete with the other trucks, but it just can’t, and we should have known that. Jeeps rarely compare to other vehicles well because they are rarely held to the same standard. Competition aside, the Gladiator Mojave is decently equipped.
The suspension is everything in the dunes
The thing that all three popular dessert runners have in common is a specially tuned suspension. Road & Track reports the Jeep Gladiator Mojave is set up with new internal-bypass Fox shock absorbers. These things are cooler than the other side of the pillow. If you ever see proper trophy trucks when they jump and land without any fuss, it’s due to shocks like these. The farther the shocks travel, the stiffer they get, making them super dynamic.
The suspension upgrades don’t stop with fancy shocks; the Mojave also gets hydraulic jounce bumpers, which sit at the end of the suspension’s travel that help absorb the shock of a big drop. As a last resort, the frame has been reinforced with extra stiffness around the suspension mounting points to handle the gnarliest abuse. On top of all of this, Jeep also lifted the Gladiator 1 inch to give the Mojave more clearance. It is also a bit wider to give the truck some added stability.
The 2020 Jeep Mojave has a bit more than the suspension
Of course, Jeep added big ol’ fat tires because it’s still a Jeep. The Gladiator Mojave sports 33-inch All-Terrains; very Jeepy. Other than the tires, the Mojave also gets a sand-focused Off-Road Plus driving mode that makes the Jeep a desert monster.
The Jeep Gladiator Mojave misses its chance of being great
Jeep did the Jeep thing and gave the desert rally designed Gladiator Mojave a solid front axle. The same thing that makes solid front axles great for rock crawling is the same thing that makes them suck on the road and for high-speed desert carving; whatever happens to one side happens to the other. Independent front suspension is really what you want on something like the Mojave. With IFS, If you hit a rut on one side, the other side of the vehicle will remain stable. With solid axle trucks, if you hit a rut on one side, the other side will be upset. This is not ideal.
Jeep tried with Mojave and it’s cool, but just didn’t quite make it to being worth it
The result of all of these enhancements makes for a really cool truck. However, the Jeep Gladiator Mojoave simply doesn’t compete with other desert-minded trucks on the market. The Mojave starts at $43,875, and as tested by Road & Track, the price was a nose-burning $60k. For that money, the Raptor and Ram TRX are head and shoulders and long scaly tails ahead of the Jeep.