When the Jeep Gladiator debuted, a gas engine was the only powertrain on offer, which left many Jeep diehards wondering when this new pickup would use the Wrangler's optional diesel engine. But if there's one thing parent company Fiat Chrysler is good at, it's jamming every engine they produce into just about every model they make. Thus, it's diesel Gladiator time, baby.
Jeep on Friday unveiled the 2021 Gladiator with an optional 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6. Making a proper 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, this engine offers a mix of fuel economy and capability, and it'll be offered on Sport, Overland and Rubicon trims, so nobody feels left out. The V6 mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission calibrated specifically for diesel engines. A 5.1-gallon diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank should allow owners to add new fluid in conjunction with oil changes about every 10,000 miles.
Helping the Gladiator EcoDiesel move over terrain is a pair of Dana 44 solid axles front and rear with a 3.73 axle ratio. A two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low range comes standard on Rubicon, while Sport and Overland variants get a case with a 2.72:1 low range.
We're still waiting on information about pricing and fuel economy, but considering the Gladiator EcoDiesel goes on sale in the third quarter, those details should be out soon. For context, the EcoDiesel V6 is a $4,000 premium on the Wrangler, so it should stand to reason that the price will be similar for the Gladiator. In terms of efficiency, the EPA hasn't yet released figures, but diesel Wranglers achieve 22 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway and 25 combined, so the Gladiator and its slightly bulkier setup should slide in under that.