Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Makes Off-Roading Even More Fun

The anticipated 2020 model of the Jeep Gladiator didn’t disappoint. The newer, 2021 version of the Gladiator is drawing a lot of attention from Jeep lovers, wanting to get their hands on one. What is so great about the newer model?

The 2021 version released a Jeep Gladiator with an EcoDiesel motor, which proves to be invaluable to off-roaders. MotorTrend explains their thoughts on the initial review of the Gladiator diesel and how well it performed.

The EcoDiesel engine vs the gas-powered V6

The EcoDiesel in the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that produces 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. The gas-powered version is a 3.6-liter V6 motor that puts out 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The EcoDiesel is on the low end for horsepower but more than makes up for it with the amount of torque it generates. 

Jeep offers a six-speed manual transmission along with the option to upgrade to an eight-speed automatic for the gas-powered V6. The EcoDiesel, however, will not have the manual gearbox paired with it. You will only get an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

When it comes to fuel economy, the gas-powered version can get 22 mpg on the highway when you use the automatic transmission. If you have the manual, that number increases to 23 highway mpg. The diesel engine surpasses the gas V6. It’s rated to get 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined. 

The Jeep’s 2020 Gladiator model, the gas V6, has a towing capacity of 7,650 lbs. But the new diesel version is much lower than that. It can only tow up to a maximum of 6,500 lbs, which is around 1,000 lbs less. 

Will the EcoDiesel engine handle off-road conditions?

The vehicle tested by MotorTrend was a Rubicon model, which is not only the largest Jeep, but it also has the heaviest curb weight. Because of the extra pounds, it would put more strain on the diesel engine. Despite the added weight, the Jeep Gladiator had no problem plowing through the terrain they used on their test run. 

MotorTrend pegged it the “king of the dirt,” idling over anything and everything in its path. This gives it an advantage over the gas-powered version because the gas V6 needs to work harder to climb over obstacles. 

To add to the experience, the EcoDiesel motor allows you to use hill descent and low gears to drive down steep hills, going as little as 6 mph without taxing the brakes or the motor. 

While they weren’t able to test the overall speed, they estimate that the Jeep Gladiator diesel will probably go about eight seconds for a 0-to-60 mph run. That figure is based on a diesel Wrangler they tested before. 

Overview of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator

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The Jeep Gladiator is basically a cross between a Wrangler and a pickup. To go along with the Jeep style, this 2020 model of the Gladiator offers you a choice of a hard top, a soft convertible top, or the Freedom top, which has removable panels.

Unlike most Jeeps on the market, it’s a four-door model instead of the iconic two-door common with their SUVs. But you will still have the option to remove them should you want the open air experience the Jeep offers. 

This model can hold up to five passengers with the two rows of seats with a decent amount of head and legroom. Its five-foot cargo bed gives you about 35.5 cubic feet of storage space. Should you need more room, there’s an extender available that will give you another 4.5 feet with the tailgate down. 

While the 2020 Gladiator offers a thrilling ride, the 2021 EcoDiesel promises to bring even more thrills. Especially for those who consider themselves off-roading enthusiasts.