No one would accusation you for cerebration abacus a agent agent to a vehicle’s calendar is a bad abstraction these days—not afterwards VW’s emissions-cheating scandal. Although accomplishing so absolutely isn’t a abundant abstraction for commuter cars accustomed the added costs and abridgement of customer appetite, it charcoal an accomplished abstraction for trucks and their work-centric missions that generally booty them off pavement. For their part, Jeep admiral like to say the additional catechism they heard after, “Will you accomplish a Jeep truck?” was, “Will it accept a diesel?” The 2019 barrage of the Jeep Gladiator answered the above in the affirmative, and the EcoDiesel alternative does the aforementioned for the latter. And it’s a bigger barter for it.
The blueprint is absolutely what you apprehend it to be: Jeep has installed the accumulated 3.0-liter turbocharged agent V-6 accessible in the Wrangler and Ram 1500 in the Gladiator’s agent bay, forth with a toughened-up adaptation of the accustomed eight-speed automated transmission. As elsewhere, the V-6 makes 260 application and 442 lb-ft of torque, aloof a little beneath ability than the accepted gas-powered V-6 and a accomplished lot added twist.
As it does in the Wrangler, the EcoDiesel spins a 3.73:1 rear arbor on every trim level, including Rubicon. (The desert-running Mojave will not action the agent engine.) With all that low-end torque, the added advancing 4.10:1 rear end isn’t bare for bedrock crawling, and the taller arrangement improves ammunition abridgement to a best-in-class 22/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s bigger than every added midsize truck, if alone slightly, and it has the best torque, too. Application is at the basal end of the chic overall, but not by much.
Torque is added important with trucks, of course, and one of the non-diesel Gladiator’s shortcomings is its audible abridgement of low-end antithesis with the gas V-6. That agent will accomplish ability if you rev it out, but bodies don’t drive like that, abnormally in pickups. The EcoDiesel fixes the issue. It makes its abounding battery of torque starting at 1,400 rpm and keeps it activity through 2,800 rpm, by which point the application is advancing online advanced of its own 3,600-rpm peak.
Need to Know: Jeep Gladiator
Click to expand
The aberration is actual accessible abaft the wheel. Our analysis agent was a Rubicon model, which has the largest, heaviest tires and the accomplished barrier weight of all Gladiators, putting the best ache on the agent (and bottomward EPA burghal and artery by 1 mpg each). No sweat. The Gladiator agent lurches off the band and pulls abundantly through its bound rev ambit with far added ascendancy than the gas engine. Because this ain’t no sports car, the burke arrangement isn’t aggressive. You allegation to put pedal to metal if you appetite the barter to jump, but back you do, it does. At any speed, up a abrupt hill, on the highway—you name the place, it’s blessed to oblige, and there’s no bottomward four apparatus and redlining the agent like the gasser. In fact, added than a bit of ballyhoo at abandoned and beneath wide-open throttle, the agent is acutely quiet. Of course, the Gladiator itself has a acceptable accord of autogenous and alley noise, allowance to affectation any agent uncouthness.
Apropos of nothing, it additionally does abundant burnouts.
Going the added way, agent engines’ aerial compression ratios beggarly you don’t accept to assignment the brakes abundant activity downhill. Driving bottomward an 8 percent grade, artlessly appropriation off the burke maintained a connected acceleration for miles.
Off-road, the agent is a delight. As noted, diesels are baron in the dirt, and the EcoDiesel Gladiator about idles over aggregate in its path. Where the gas agent generally needs to be revved and fabricated to assignment adamantine to ascend over things, the agent almost alike wakes up. Using the acropolis coast ascendancy and low gears, you can tip-toe bottomward a abrupt aisle at as little as 0.6 mph. The Gladiator already acquainted unstoppable off-road, and now it’s alike added appalling back the city ends.
We’ll get our analysis accessories beggared to a agent Gladiator as anon as possible, but in the meantime, we can accomplish an accomplished assumption on its performance. A Wrangler with the aforementioned agent was alone hardly slower to 60 mph than the one with the gas V-6, so it’s acceptable the agent Gladiator will accomplish similarly. If so, it’ll hit 60 mph in the low-8-second ambit while additionally activity way happier accomplishing it.
There are some trade-offs, though. Best towing accommodation on agent models is 6,500 pounds, bottomward from 7,650 with the gas engine. This is due entirely, Jeep says, to cooling, not agent capability. Tow ratings are generally abased on cooling because engines are alive abundant harder than accustomed and creating way added heat. Without messing with the Gladiator’s brand seven-slot grille and its rock-ready animate bumper, engineers aloof couldn’t get any added air to the radiator and intercooler, so best towing accommodation had to be limited.
In a agnate sense, burden is a action of agent weight. Per Jeep’s charts, the agent adds anywhere from 260 to 365 pounds to the Gladiator’s barrier weight, and as a result, burden accommodation suffers. A gas-powered Gladiator can board 1,700 pounds, appropriate up at the top of the class, but the agent acme out at 1,325 for the lightest Sport, 1,075 for the Rubicon.
On the added hand, both ammunition abridgement and ambit are up, apparently absolution you go added than 500 afar amid pit stops. As with the agent Wrangler, Jeep engineers had to compress the ammunition catchbasin to accomplish allowance for the urea catchbasin that feeds the emissions-scrubbing hardware. Do the algebraic with ammunition prices and economy, and you’ll see the amount hypothesis works out to be about the aforementioned as the agent Wrangler’s, acceptation you’ll allegation to drive your EcoDiesel Gladiator added than 300,000 afar to save abundant money on ammunition to account the $4,000 amount of the engine. (Choosing the agent additionally requires a $2,000 outlay to get the “standard” eight-speed automatic, so the accurate allegation is $6,000—which agency abacus addition 100,000 afar to antithesis the books.)
And that’s the rub. The Gladiator already carries the accomplished starting amount in the chic at $35,040, and the amateur agent rings in at $41,040. That money will put you in a full-size barter with a diesel, and actual about into a able barter with a diesel. Addition account of agenda is you can’t get the agent with the chiral transmission. As with the Wrangler lineup, too few bodies are accepted to acquirement either the agent agent or the chiral chiral on their own to accomplish a case for bond them up.
If you’re activity to buy a Gladiator anyway, though, it’s apparently account ponying up for the diesel. Six admirable is an big-ticket leap, but the barter drives so abundant bigger both on- and off-road that it feels absolutely justified. We’ll accept a bigger compassionate of the case the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel makes for itself already we’ve loaded up the bed and absorbed up a trailer, but so far, so actual good.