The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Isn’t Actually Good at Being a Truck

Truck buyers have certain expectations that any truck must live up to. In the truck market, marking all the boxes on the checklist is what determines whether a truck rises to the top of the list. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator meets a lot of those expectations with some significant towing upgrades and the option of an eco-diesel power plant, mounting a significant challenge in its class. However, the Mojave package, when it comes to being a truck and doing traditional truck things, tends to leave critics and buyers wanting.

The Mojave trim on the 2021 Jeep Gladiator fails to meet basic truck expectations

The Jeep Gladiator Mojave maintains that classic, rugged Jeep look along with all the Gladiator’s and adds some classic off-roading features, like a more substantial suspension, but MotorTrend notes that the Mojave trim is “less fun for doing actual truck stuff.” What truck features is the 2021 Mojave trim missing?

Most people buy a truck because they want to haul stuff in the back, which is the idea behind having that large open area behind the cab. The Mojave configuration just doesn’t cut it when it comes to hauling, allowing a payload capacity of only 1,200 pounds of both people and stuff.

The Jeep Gladiator Mojave’s hauling capacity is equal to that of the Gladiator Rubicon and 500 pounds less than base Jeep Gladiators, which are a bit more competitive to other truck models in the same class but demonstrating a distinct disadvantage in the overall truck market.

Both towing capacity and how the Gladiator Mojave handles towing are additional problem areas. Base model Jeep Gladiators have a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds, holding its own with other V6 powered trucks in the same class. In contrast, the Gladiator Mojave’s towing capacity drops to just 6,000 pounds (4,000 pounds with manual transmission), which is even lower than the Rubicon trim’s towing capacity. How it tows is also a concern for critics and buyers.

MotorTrend’s reviewer says, “the truck was nearly undrivable and borderline dangerous pulling a trailer.” Essentially, the stability and sway control features in base model Jeep Gladiator models are not features included in the Mojave trim package.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave was not designed to do truck stuff. If you want a truck that does the thing you expect a truck to do, there are plenty of better options. It makes you wonder why Jeep bothered to invest in upgrading hauling and towing capacity, which adds to the Jeep Gladiator Mojave’s starting price. To be fair, the Mojave trim was meant for a different purpose.

Extreme off-roading is the Jeep Gladiator Mojave’s designed function

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

If it is not good at truck stuff, then what is the purpose of offering the Jeep Gladiator Mojave trim? Features like 2.5-inch-diameter internal bypass Fox Shox with remote reservoirs, front suspension hydraulic bump stops, a wider front track, a manually lockable rear axle, a brake-based torque-vectoring front axle, and Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires are the primary features added to the base model Jeep Gladiator to create the Mojave trim.

Though it is less capable of extreme rock-crawling than the Rubicon trim, the Jeep Gladiator Mojave can hammer over rugged terrain at higher speeds without succumbing to the abuse. MotorTrend’s critic nails down the real motivation behind spending extra money on the Mojave trim package is to be able to “rip around off-road cackling like an idiot, enjoying every moment of it.”

When it comes to being a truck, the Mojave trim doesn’t behave

Maybe the automotive world needs to come up with a unique name for the niche filled by the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave. It is essentially a high-speed, off-roading phenom for those who thrive on pushing the limits in rugged terrain. However, when it comes to acting like a more civilized truck, the Mojave trim package doesn’t behave like critics and buyers expect a truck to behave.