Here Is Why the V6 EcoDiesel Is the Best Choice for the 2021 Jeep Gladiator

Introduced earlier this year, the new Gladiator brings improvements and a new EcoDiesel engines to Jeep’s popular pick-up truck model.
2021 Jeep Gladiator 7 photos
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If you are a fan of the versatile Wrangler and its legendary off roading capabilities but a pickup truck is the type of vehicle that suits your needs, the 2021 Gladiator is the truck for you.

It comes in a variety of trims and has many solid features, like the ability to remove the doors, roof and even lower the windshield, although this is more of a Jeep tradition than anything practical.

A new addition to the Gladiator range is the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine shared with the Wrangler and the Ram 1500. It is available with the Gladiator Sport, Overland and Rubicon models.

2021 Jeep Gladiator V6 EcoDiesel
The third-generation diesel engine produces 260 hp and a healthy 442 lb.-ft. of torque, being connected to the TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission designed by ZF.

The power reaches the wheels through Dana 44 front and rear heavy-duty axles with a 3.73 axle ratio, which comes as standard on the three models that feature the EcoDiesel.

A Rock-Trac, two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio is available as standard on the Rubicon models as well, while a Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-gear ratio is available on the Sport and Overland models.

Whether or not the EcoDiesel is the engine for you depends on how and for what you will be using the truck.

If you need it to tow things, we can tell you from the start that you might want to get the gasoline engine. But if you will be getting the new Gladiator for effortless conquering of rough terrain, we encourage you to opt for the diesel.

2021 Jeep Gladiator
The torque provided by a diesel engine is well documented. Although the EcoDiesel engine on the Gladiator offers a little less horsepower than its gasoline counterpart, the torque it provides is a lot higher.

That translates into improved fuel economy but, more importantly for a midsize truck, it allows the diesel Gladiator to make up for the shortcomings of the gas-powered V6 by providing much better low-end torque.

It starts to kick in at about 1,500 rpm and continues full-on until the 3,500-rpm power peak. The difference is extremely obvious when you are driving the truck, even if it is the heaviest Rubicon model.

Although the truck is predominantly developed for rough terrain, it does an incredible job on the tarmac, making you feel that you are driving a sportier truck with much more horsepower.

One of the downsides of diesel engines is the horribly generic engine sound, but thanks to the build quality of the powertrain, if you feel like dropping the windows, removing the top and having an engaging drive, it will not sound like you’re driving a tractor, as the V6 is pretty silent as far as diesel engines go.

On roads of trails with a steep incline, the Gladiator will cruise with ease and you won’t have to drop gears or over-rev the engine to do so, as you would have to with the gas engine.

2021 Jeep Gladiator
Diesels also have a high compression ratio so, when you have to descent, you only have to lift your foot off the throttle, rarely having to use the brakes.

All these qualities are best highlighted when tackling unforgiving terrains. The Gladiator, which has amazing off-road capabilities, will be a bigger beast on the trails with the V6 EcoDiesel.

You will be able to crawl over the most demanding environment without having to rev the engine until you can make an omelet on the hood. This results in fuel savings, less stress on the engine and an easier drive.

As mentioned before, one downside of this powertrain is that the towing capacity decreases to a maximum of 6,500 pounds (2349 kilograms) when compared to the V6 Pentastar gas engine's 7,650 pounds (3470 kilograms).

The other downside is the price. The Gladiator already has one of the steepest base prices in its class, and to get the EcoDiesel you must pay an extra $6,000 regardless of the trim level you choose.

It is up to you to decide what you want the Gladiator for and if the answer is “off-roading” then we believe that the extra $6,000 is well worth it.


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