We knew Jeep is coming back to the truck market after thirty years. However, until the release date, we didn’t know its name. Wrangler pickup and Scrambler were the most likely outcomes, but the carmaker named the truck Jeep Gladiator. It brought everything fans expected. Even the diesel unit is coming for the upcoming model. Still, not too many experts predicted it will be a V6 unit. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel is going to take advantage of the unit used but its larger sibling, Ram 1500.
The only rival in the mid-size segment will be Chevy Colorado Diesel (and its mechanical twin GMC Canyon). Still, General Motors cannot respond to 260 hp and 450 lb-ft coming from the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel. More truckmakers will also explore this market in the following seasons, and some are not interested in this dying segment. Instead, Toyota will develop a hybrid unit.
The 2021 Gladiator EcoDiesel is now official and its price will start at $41,000. If you don’ like this unit, you can always downtune the configuration with a petrol V6 engine. We can’t wait to test the turbodiesel powerplant with the Rubicon package.
2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Specs
A V6 is a large engine and many were surprised when FCA decided to go with this unit for its mid-size truck. Back in 2019, all three big US truckmakers introduced diesel engines for the half-ton segment. FCA, Ford, and General Motors are using the same displacement, 3.0-liter, for Ram 1500, F-150, and Silverado 1500. The outputs of the EcoDiesel mill are 260 horsepower and 440 lb-ft, which is less than the competition. However, converted to towing capacity, Ram 1500 can haul nearly 2,000 pounds more than Silverado, and only 100 lbs less than F-150 Diesel.
Well, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel is not coming with the towing capacity of 11,500 pounds. Instead, the company tunes it to match the specs of the only other diesel truck in the segment, Chevy Colorado. There is more potential which will be used if needed. Ford and Nissan might also step into the same segment pretty soon. An 8-seed automatic transmission sends power to rear wheels and optionally all four corners. A petrol V6 is available with a manual gearbox, which is not the case for the EcoDiesel.
Like said, the only rival to the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel will be Chevrolet Silverado Diesel. GMC Canyon is considered as the same vehicle, at least mechanically. Engineers tuned Chevy mid-size truck to produce 190 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque, which is not much worse than the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel Colorado will be able to tow 7,700 lbs, which is the class-leading output. The new Gladiator is configured for 7,650 lbs, but the engine still has more potential. On the Ram 1500, it makes 11,500 pounds.
In the future, we might see more mid-size pickups with diesel engines. The most likely debut is a 2.2-liter turbodiesel unit for the Ford Ranger Raptor. The Blue Oval company currently offers only a turbo-four engine. So, either diesel or V6 will join the lineup. Nissan could also go ahead with a diesel version of Frontier, which can borrow the drivetrain from its international sibling, Navara. Finally, Toyota is not likely to join the party. Instead, the Japanese giant is reportedly after the hybrid setup. Jeep might do the same since sources are reporting the Wrangler is spied with the PHEV system.
2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Rubicon
The second engine option will be available all across the Gladiator lineup. Even the base Sport edition is going to offer a diesel unit. Still, we are looking for the high-end, off-road specialist, Rubicon. The combination of additional features and the high-performance engine will make differences in the class. We can be sure the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Rubicon will compete with the most capable models in the segment – Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
Definitely, the performance upgrades are the highlights of the Rubicon trim. There is a special 4×4 drive with exceptional crawl ration. Also, the package includes locking differentials on both ends. Large tires will reduce vibrations. Rubicon graphics on the hood and special interior accents are making it easy o recognize, inside and out.
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel will use the same pattern as the Wrangler SUV. The engine upgrade will cost $4,000 and the automatic gearbox with 4×4 adds $2,000 more. With the Sport package, the diesel engine is available at $41,000. If you want to bring it on, the Rubicon package comes with even more cool features. You will have to pay $10,000 more for them, though. A mid-range offer will cost $48,000. The Overland package is more focused on the convenience than the off-road utility. So, you are getting the latest options for the Uconnect infotainment. Sadly, navigation is not part of the package.