While the full-size pickup trucks remain the dominating force in the car industry in the US, with the recent introduction of the Ford Ranger and Wrangler-based Jeep Gladiator, the mid-size segment is also on expansion. The Wrangler-derived, mid-size pickup has rugged character and unmatched off-road capability but with the introduction of the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel, the model boosts its already impressive off-roading and efficiency further.
The new Gladiator diesel version gets a familiar EcoDiesel V-6 engine found also in the Wrangler SUV and full-size Ram 1500 pickups truck. Jeep said that the diesel option will be available on the Sport, Overland and Rubicon trims. The brand revealed the engine’s performance but remained silent about its fuel efficiency. The oil-burring engine will be a pricey option over the base V-6 engine when the model goes on sale in the third quarter of the year.
With the diesel option in the range, the Jeep Gladiator offers a more powerful and torquier alternative to the Duramax diesel-powered Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel: Design
The Gladiator enters the new model year with the unchanged personality and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel looks also the same as the non-diesel versions except a few details. The EcoDiesel V-6 powered model gets appropriate badging and trim-specific features.
The Jeep Gladiator shares the design language with the timeless Wrangler SUV but it sits on the 19 inches longer wheelbase and has additional 12 inches of the frame to accommodate a 5-foot cargo bed.
Naturally, the model has a signature seven-slot grille and round headlights up front. Other Wrangler’s signature elements are also present including chunky fenders, removable doors with exposed hinges, and removable soft or hard tops.
The base Sport version comes with the 17-inch steel wheels and all-season tires while the Overland switches to the 18-inch alloy wheels mixed with the body-color fenders and side steps. The hardcore Rubicon model gets massive 33-inch all-terrain tires, additional body protection and rock rails.
The cabin of the upcoming Gladiator including the diesel-powered versions returns in the same form.
The Gladiator has a vertical dash with well-arranged controls and clear instruments. The model possesses also supportive seats and a powerful climate system. The driving position is also good with excellent road visibility.
The model can be equipped with some premium comfort features and modern tech and safety systems. There are various material patterns at disposal.
At the equipment level, the Sport version starts with the manual doors and windows, a 5-inch enter display, 8 speakers and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. There are also Bluetooth and voice command capability in the base version as well as a rearview camera.
The Overland version adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED ambient lighting, automatic headlights, etc. This version exploits also upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch display and Apple Car Play and Android Auto capability.
The Rubicon boosts the off-road capability with upgraded underpinning, massive all-terrain tires, locking front and rear differentials, Fox shocks, and more.
2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel: Powertrain
Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel comes with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbocharged V-6 engine under the hood. The model uses a reconfigured 8-speed automatic transmission calibrated to manage low, off-road speeds. The low-end torque transmission works in pair with a standard 2-speed transfer case.
The engine is good for 260 hp and torque of 442 lb-ft. The Duramax diesel in rival Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks makes 188 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
All Gladiator diesel models come with a 3.73 rear axle ratio. The models get also Dana 44 and heavy-duty axles. The Sport and Overland trims feature a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, part-time transfer case. The mighty Rubicon version relies on a transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range ratio.
As for the fuel efficiency, Jeep hasn’t revealed ratings yet. The Diesel-powered Wrangler delivers 22 mpg city, 29 highway and 25 mpg combined. The mid-size Chevy Colorado Diesel manages 23 mpg combined.
2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel: Release, Price
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel will go on sale in the third quarter of the year. The diesel-powered version will have about $6000 premium price over the base V-6-powered models. So, the starting price of the Jeep Gladiator Diesel will be at about $41, 000.