2021 Jeep Gladiator

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  • Overview

    A silver 2021 Jeep Gladiator is angled left.

    The 2021 Jeep Gladiator might be classified as a midsize pickup truck, but it isn't what you consider a typical truck, far from it. To be more accurate, the Jeep Gladiator is basically a cross between a Wrangler and pickup truck; that is, a four-door Wrangler with a cargo bed. What this all means is that the Gladiator is quite capable of getting you through rough terrain should you be a fan of off-road adventures, while still able to haul off the stuff in your garage that needs to go to the landfill. 2021 marks the third production year of the Gladiator, and Jeep has a few notable additions that give the unique vehicle greater appeal.

    Probably the top feature is the addition of a diesel engine. The 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel option provides 260 horsepower and an impressive 442 lb-ft of torque. While the power is nice, the fuel-efficient diesel engine will also appeal to those who will be taking their Gladiator on long trips. If the unique cross between a Wrangler and pickup truck isn't enough to sway you to look into the Gladiator, the diesel engine option should certainly tip the scale. At its core, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a winning combination of power, off-road capabilities, and Jeep character. Let's take a closer look at everything the 2021 Jeep Gladiator has to offer.


    Horsepower (HP)


    Torque (lb-ft)


    Max Towing Capacity (lbs)

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  • Performance

    A red 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is off-roading on a rocky trail.

    Jeep offers a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower as its base engine. The Gladiator's base engine is more than sufficient for even the toughest tasks, and the manual transmission makes it even more enjoyable for those who have mastered the art of shifting. If manual shifting is not your thing, you can choose the eight-speed automatic transmission, which offers well-timed and smooth gear changes. The manual V6 engine gets 16 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway, while the automatic V6 gets 17 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway.

    Jeep also offers a 3.0-liter turbodiesel with 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The turbodiesel engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and boasts 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. You will notice that the diesel engine delivers noticeably quicker acceleration than the gas engine, which makes it excellent for off-roading or towing. For those who choose the diesel option, you will love the instant response when putting your foot down on the pedal.

    Off-Road Performance

    As with most modern trucks, the Gladiator has grown more comfortable and enjoyable to drive on paved roads. But as good as it is on the blacktop, the Gladiator is a monster on the off-road trails. It will easily and gracefully crawl over rocks and bumps and through ruts - especially since every Gladiator comes standard with a true 4x4 drivetrain. When it comes to off-road trucks, the Gladiator is the king of the mountain.

    If you have ever wanted a Wrangler or other Jeep model but needed something with a bit more utility, the Gladiator is a good way to break into the Jeep community. With its off-road performance, open-air driving experience, and the ability to haul cargo, the Gladiator is truly a winner. For those who have already experienced driving or owning a Jeep and desire to switch to a truck, the Gladiator has been a long time coming. The Gladiator is a truly unique truck that deserves a closer look.

  • Models

    A grey 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave is off-roading in desert sand.

    The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a four-door midsize truck that comfortably seats five passengers. Unlike its competitors, it comes standard with important features such as a crew-cab and four-wheel drive. All four trim levels also offer two engine choices: a base 3.6-liter V6 or the turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel. We will go into more details in a bit. The 3.6-liter engine comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission - you read that correctly, a manual transmission. However, an eight-speed automatic transmission is an option for the base engine and comes standard with the diesel engine should you prefer not to row your own gears.

    Levels of Comfort

    The Sport is the Gladiator's base trim, and it is equipped with a 5-inch central display, cruise control, manual door locks, crank windows, and an eight-speaker audio system. It is a pretty basic package, but since it is a Jeep, other standard features include removable doors, a fold-down windshield, and a folding soft top. The Sport is a great introduction to the Jeep world, or it can serve as the perfect base for a custom off-road rig.

    The Overland trim offers everything standard with the Sport trim with added features, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch central display infotainment system, power door locks, power windows, automatic headlights, heated power mirrors, and more. As you can see, the Overland trim is a big step up concerning convenience and comfort features. If you want a comfortable truck at a reasonable price, this is the trim for you.

    Off-Road Monsters

    The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is the choice for those who desire to explore trails and appreciate off-road adventures. The Rubicon trim provides drivers with more off-road features such as Fox shock absorbers, locking front and rear differentials, and a two-speed transfer case that offers better gearing when driving in off-road conditions. It also stands out from a crowd with its large 33-inch all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, and steel skid plates and rock rails to better protect the body.

    While the Gladiator Rubicon is built for narrow backwoods trails and technical rock climbing, the Mojave trim is designed for Baja-style high-speed desert running. That is not to say the Mojave trim isn't capable of maneuvering through tricky off-road conditions, but the open desert is where it excels. The Mojave lacks a disconnecting stabilizer bar and locking front differential, but it comes with a wider track, larger shocks, and unique factory hydraulic jounce-dampers.

  • Design

    A person is riding a four-wheeler up ramps into the bed of a silver 2021 Jeep Gladiator while parked on beach sand.

    The Jeep Gladiator seats five comfortably in standard cloth upholstery and manually adjustable seats. However, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel are all optional. Both the front and rear seat areas offer plenty of legroom and headroom, which is wonderful for taller occupants. The view from the driver's seat is excellent, and there is good visibility in all directions, even with the doors and roof still attached.

    Standard interior features include a rearview camera, a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, USB ports, and push-button start. There are also numerous available features, including larger 7-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreens, a navigation system, automatic climate control, and remote start, to name just a few. You can also opt for the fully removable hardtop and removable front panels instead of the standard soft top.

    Jeep Looks and Utility

    The Gladiator is basically a Wrangler with a cargo bed, and you can see the obvious resemblance. The addition of the cargo bed gives the Gladiator a square look, which certainly gives it character. A whole new look is achieved when the doors and top are removed. And as with any Jeep product, the Gladiator sports the iconic 7-slot grille. The Rubicon and Mojave trim levels feature large fender flares to accommodate the substantial all-terrain tires as well as prominent red tow hooks.

    The 5-foot cargo bed has a payload rating of up to 1,700 pounds, which is about what you can expect on other midsize pickup trucks. The load floor sits low, so it is easier to reach over when loading or unloading materials; this also means that the Gladiator's cargo bed is easily accessible from any side. The tailgate is wide and can lock into place in the half-open position, which just happens to line up with the fender top, so long hauling boards or other long materials is easier. Finally, the Gladiator is rated to tow up to 7,650 pounds, giving you the added utility of hitching a trailer when the bed alone isn't enough.

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