Crossover & Midsize

Will the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Be a Better Truck?

With all the news about the 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the Jeep Gladiator seems to be on the back burner. But is the 2021 Jeep Gladiator receiving any upgrades? Will it be a better Jeep truck?

What’s new for the 2021 Jeep Gladiator?

Actually, not much is changing for the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. Because the Jeep Gladiator just made its debut in 2020, it’s still pretty new. So, it’s safe to expect a majority of aspects from the 2020 model to be carried over.

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

For example, there are no exterior changes for the 2021 model. Jeep remains confident with its design, despite being hit with minor resistance from truck drivers who think it’s too expensive.

They want for towing abilities and comfort instead of the rugged look and off-roading features. However, the Gladiator may be misunderstood. It’s a more robust and capable version of the Jeep Wrangler.

Hydro Blue Jeep Gladiator parked in sand
Jeep Gladiator Hydro Blue

The Gladiator can tow up to 7,760 lb instead of only 3,500 lb like the Wrangler. Plus, the Jeep Gladiator has a longer wheelbase, giving it a smoother and more comfortable ride.

But anyway, here’s what’s new. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator will get full-time four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case. The Rubicons will get a Roc-Trac transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range ratio.

The Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator will stick with its current V6 engine in most models, but the new EcoDiesel Gladiator will arrive soon. This should get off-roaders excited since diesel engines provide more torque for crawling over obstacles. Plus, diesel engines offer a better MPG, last longer, and are better for towing.

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With the Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel, you’ll find a 3.6-liter turbo-diesel engine that pumps out 260-hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. It will be paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that’s specifically calibrated to operate at low, off-roading speeds. There is not a manual option with the diesel engine.

The official numbers haven’t been released, but Jeep expects the EcoDiesel Gladiator to have a better fuel economy. The Jeep Wrangler has a five mpg increase with the diesel engine. Also, it delivers an increased range of 75 to 100 more miles. The Jeep Gladiator Ecodiesel should be available by the third quarter of the year.

New Jeep Gladiator trims

Two new Jeep Gladiator trims will be introduced for 2021, the Willy’s trim and the 80th Anniversary trim. The Jeep Gladiator Willy’s trim is a throwback to the original Wrangler and includes unique touches such as a “Willys” decal on the hood and black-out elements.

2021 Jeep Gladiator hauling a classic Jeep Wagoneer
2021 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

It will include a 4×4 tailgate decal, a gloss black grille, body-colored fender flares, black fog lamp bezels, 17-inch mid-glass black aluminum wheels, BFGoodrich KM2 mud-terrain tires, Rubicon cab rock rails, red performance shocks, and a Trac-Loc anti-spin rear differential. The Willy 2TW Select Equipment technology and convenience groups will also include things like power locks and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary trim celebrates Jeep’s birthday with body-colored fender flares, grey exterior accents, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and 80th anniversary badging. It will come with the 8.4-inch infotainment screen and convenience features such as remote start.