Look! Up there on the ridge. It’s a truck! No, it’s a Jeep. Wait, no, it’s both. The Jeep Gladiator is classified as a midsize pickup, but it’s certainly not your typical truck. It’s probably easier to think of it as a longer four-door Wrangler with a 5-foot cargo bed in place of the traditional cargo area. As such, the Gladiator isn’t quite as capable in the wilderness as a Wrangler. Nor is it as maximally utilitarian as some other midsize trucks. But it does get you a unique mix of the two.
The Jeep Gladiator enters its third year of production in 2021. Notable for this year is a new optional diesel engine. This 3.0-liter diesel V6 provides 260 horsepower and a stout 442 lb-ft of torque. More than just an extra powertrain choice, this addition gives the Gladiator even greater appeal if you’re one for road-tripping or overlanding and want the most range possible out of your rig.
Is the 2021 Gladiator right for you?
We recommend the Gladiator in the midlevel Overland trim. Beyond the bare-bones base Sport trim, it offers power windows and locks as well as a larger infotainment system, smartphone connectivity, and access to most of Jeep’s optional features. But we certainly wouldn’t blame buyers for gravitating toward the Rubicon and Mojave trim levels since they offer a uniquely high level of rock-crawling and desert-hopping capability.
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a five-passenger, four-door midsize truck. It only comes in a crew-cab configuration that’s available in four trim levels: Sport, Overland, Rubicon and Mojave. All come with a 5-foot cargo bed and four-wheel drive.
A choice of two engines is available. They are:
A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the 3.6-liter engine, and an eight-speed automatic is optional. The diesel comes exclusively with an eight-speed automatic. The diesel isn’t available on the range-topping Mojave, but all other engine-transmission combos are available across the Gladiator lineup.
The Gladiator’s base trim, the Sport, is equipped with:
Other standard Gladiator equipment includes:
Several packages are available for the Sport, including the Willys Sport, the Sport S, the Willys and the 80th Anniversary Edition. They offer a variety of aesthetic touches on the exterior of the Gladiator along with various upgrades to the Jeep’s interior tech, breaking up most of the features that come standard on the Overland.
The Overland adds to the Sport’s standard features with:
The Rubicon trim provides more off-road capability with standard features such as:
Finally, there’s the Mojave. It’s similar to the Rubicon but lacks the locking front differential and disconnecting stabilizer bar. Instead, it’s designed for higher-speed off-road driving with:
All trims can be equipped with a variety of options including:
Additional notable options for the Gladiator, available as stand-alone items or in packages, include:
Available driver safety aids include: