Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Has 1 Scary Flaw

The Jeep Gladiator has been the talk of the town for the past year, but in a very Jeepy way; people seem to dig it, but it rarely seems to hit the mark. Its wheelbase is too long, the ride is rough, and now the towing is sketchy and dangerous. Seems like a dagger for a pickup truck. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator got some good upgrades, but there are still some killers lurking around the Jeep pickup.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator has some downsides but has one serious flaw

The new Jeep pickup got a great new turbodiesel V6 that has earned many testers’ praise, including the folks over at MotorTrend. The New Mojave trim also comes with a high-performance suspension that allows it to handle that newly found speed and power with grace and ease. 

RELATED: Jeep Got the 2020 Gladiator Wrong

The new V6 diesel brings a welcomed low-end grunt to the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. Not only does it have the torque to rip up the trail, but it also gets up to 60 mph, about a second faster than the gas-powered version. It also earns the Gladiator a Best-in-Class award for fuel economy. 

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

While these upgrades to the Mojave are really cool, they don’t come without sacrifice. MotorTrend says that whether due to the diesel engine’s extra weight or the squishy upgraded suspension, the Gladiator both plain and Mojave is sketchy on the towing and payload capacity side of things. 

MT describes the towing experience as “scary and, frankly, bordering on dangerous.” That is a tough critique. Honestly, that is about as bad a critique as a truck can get. The Gladiators were hooked up to a 5,200-lb Airstream Flying Cloud camper. Keep in mind that the Gladiators (depending on which package) can tow 6,000-6,500 pounds, leaving plenty of room for the Airstream. Unless the roads were straight and smooth and there was no wind, the Jeeps struggled to pull the trailer without cheek-clinching drama. 

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator simply couldn’t control the trailer

The trailer would dance in and out of the desired lane if there were any departure from perfect road and weather conditions. This is pretty much the worst-case scenario for anyone pulling a trailer. The tester states, “I experienced more trailer anti-sway stability control intervention in a one-hour freeway drive behind the wheel of the Gladiator than I have in the entirety of my 12-year vehicle testing career.” 

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator isn’t all involuntary bodily excretions 

2021 Jeep Gladiator mudding on steep trail
2021 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

Aside from the swaying trailer, another writer at MT commented that while taking the 2021 Gladiator through the car wash, the roof leaked. A leaking roof on a brand new car is beyond “inexcusable,” as he put it; it’s infuriating and sloppy. 

Even still, people love their Jeeps

I love Jeep, mostly the Wrangler and its variants, but I have a soft spot for the marque across the board. Things like this are frustrating, though. Sometimes it feels as if Jeep figures, “ well, the people who love our trucks will love them no matter what, so we don’t have to worry all that much with the finishing touches.” I am, of course, being a little unnecessarily ugly here, but I do find myself wondering why Jeep doesn’t fix things like this? People love the trucks, just finish the job and change Jeep from a company of “seeing the potential” to one who’s greatness can’t be denied.