It’s one of those weeks when a lot of automotive news comes out at the same time. There was Jeep Grand Wagoneer news. That followed by the Jeep Wrangler 4xe news. Then, there was news of 2021 Wrangler and Gladiator details. I guess it was all Jeep news, but it’s the last one that I want to focus on. See, I have developed an unhealthy obsession with the Wrangler and the Gladiator, and today’s announcement of Gladiator EcoDiesel tow ratings and fuel mileage is rather important to me.
In July, Jeep, to no one’s surprise, announced the Gladiator EcoDiesel model but provided few details on it. Today, they gave us what we wanted:
- The Gladiator EcoDiesel has a maximum trailer weight limit of 6,500 pounds. That is significantly lower than that of the gasoline Gladiator Sport with Max Tow Package at 7,650 pounds. Bummer. But surely that 6,500-pound trailer will be much easier to pull with the diesel-powered engine and its delightful torque.
- The Gladiator EcoDiesel fuel economy is 22/28/24 mpg (city/highway/combined) on the Sport and Overland models. It’s 20/25/22 on the Rubicon, with its bigger tires. This is not much better than the Gladiator Rubicon with the 3.6-liter V6. That one gets 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
That diesel torque is a wonderful thing. But given the lower maximum tow rating, not significant fuel mileage improvement, and the expected $6,000 price increase of the diesel powertrain, we should question if this engine will be a hot ticket on the Gladiator. For comparison, the Chevy Colorado diesel gets 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway (18/22 for the ZR2 model), so the Jeep still has an advantage. But the Colorado diesel 4WD can tow 7,700 pounds.
Maybe we need a Gladiator 4xe hybrid then?