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The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is the truck that has taken your local trails and malls by storm. It’s tough, comfortable, capable, and offers real utility.

What’s New for the 2021 Jeep Gladiator?

Only released back in 2019, the new 2021 Jeep Gladiator gets a new diesel motor to pair with its original gas-burner. This diesel makes 442 lb-ft of torque and helps the Gladiator reach a commendable 24 mpg combined rating from the EPA. Otherwise, this is still the off-road capable truck we’ve come to know.

2021 Jeep Gladiator - jeep.com

2021 Jeep Gladiator – jeep.com |  Shop 2021 Jeep Gladiator on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $36,555

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

4WD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

17 City / 22 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Excellent capability

New diesel is great

Unlimited customizability

Not economical

Iffy on-road behavior

Can’t wait for a 392

2021 Gladiator Specs

Trims & Pricing

Sport - $36,555
Willys Sport - $38,655
Sport S - $39,955
Willys - $42,215
Overland - $42,995
Freedom - $43,220
80th Anniversary - $44,750
Rubicon - $46,835
Mojave - $46,835
High Altitude - $54,100

2021 Jeep Gladiator Powertrain

2021 Jeep Gladiator 3.6L V6 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator 3.6L V6 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a rugged vehicle in everything that it does. It feels like the truck that it is. Every movement is a bit rougher than one might initially expect from a vehicle that costs this much. It’s not totally uncivilized, it’s just less refined than competitors like the Land Rover Defender. At the same time, it’s really similar to something like the Toyota Tacoma. On-road manners aren’t where the Jeep Gladiator shines. It’s a bit tough to place on the road. It’s not smooth or easy to drive. The suspension struggles to handle poor road conditions without communicating most of the vibrations to the cabin.

2021 Jeep Gladiator 3.0L V6 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator 3.0L V6 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Both engines are high points though. They’re powerful and easy to use. The 3.6-liter V6 makes 285-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the new 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine puts out 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. We like both the standard 6-speed manual and the 8-speed automatic transmissions too. The manual is easy to place and offers the most engagement while the automatic is smooth and efficient. That trend continues long after the road runs out. That’s where the Gladiator is at home. It has an uncanny ability to progress down trails that seem impassable. Sight lines are good and the way that the tires communicate the rugged surface below explains why they’re so verbose everywhere else.

Towing & Payload

2021 Jeep Gladiator - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

The Gladiator can tow up to 7,650-pounds when properly equipped. We love that and it’s cool that even Gladiators that aren’t kitted out for towing can still tow at least 4,000-pounds. Payload maxes out at 1,700 pounds, so that bed space should come in handy.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Fuel Economy & MPG

The regular gas-powered 2021 Jeep Gladiator isn’t very fuel-efficient. It gets 19 mpg combined regardless of which transmission you pick. The diesel makes some progress with a combined rating of 24 mpg according to the EPA. A 4xe model in the future may help even more in this category.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

This truck is all about work and the interior reflects that. The surfaces in the 2021 Jeep Gladiator are mostly made of hard plastic. It’s not luxurious, but it’s easy to clean and hard to break. We do love the layout. It’s unique to Jeep and makes the vehicle feel special. The switches feel nice to use too. Let’s dig into how it feels to sit in though.

First, the taller models are harder to get into for the average-sized person. In addition, the seats are good, but not particularly impressive. They provide decent support, but we’d like to see more adjustability. The Nappa leather units in the High Altitude are a great demonstration of what’s possible. We’d like to see a level in between those and normal seats.

We love all the cargo space available with the Gladiator. The bed is a big step forward, but the interior is nicely laid out too with lots of little storage cubbies. It’s great to see functionality reigning supreme in this Jeep truck.

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Entertainment & Technology

2021 Jeep Gladiator - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

If we have any recommendation about the infotainment system in the 2021 Jeep Gladiator, it’s to avoid the small 5-inch screen if at all possible. It’s not a terrible system, but it feels about 5 years too old to be in a modern vehicle. The available 7-inch and 8.4-inch options both come with an updated Uconnect system too. They also get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay unlike the tiny unit. The premium Alpine sound system is a great addition too. It’s one of the features that really feels like it’s a luxury item in the Gladiator and will make every trip more enjoyable. Jeep also includes some nice USB ports and a 115-volt power outlet in select models.

Safety Features

If there’s one area that the 2021 Jeep Gladiator needs to improve on, it’s safety. The NHTSA hasn’t evaluated the Gladiator. The IIHS has looked at the Gladiator, but didn’t give it any awards. In addition to misses there, the truck doesn’t come with any standard advanced safety features. You can opt for tech like blind-spot warning, adaptive cruise, or parking sensors, but all come at a cost.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Trims & Pricing

2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport - carsforsale.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport - carsforsale.com

Sport – $36,555

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator starts out with 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, crank windows, a single USB port, a manually-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and cruise control. The 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system is the only one in the lineup that doesn’t get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s connected to an eight speaker sound system. Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The diesel engine with 442 lb-ft of torque is available too.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys Sport - carsforsale.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys Sport - carsforsale.com

Willys Sport – $38,655

Go for the Willys Sport and you’ll get rock rails, 32-inch Mud-Terrain tires, a limited-slip differential, a 3.5-inch driver information display, and a black grille.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport S - carsforsale.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport S - carsforsale.com

Sport S – $39,955

The Sport S gets a few upgrades over the base Sport, including body-colored fenders, power windows, power door locks, and heated mirrors.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Willys – $42,215

The Willys gets a 7-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the same standard equipment from the Willys Sport. The biggest difference between the two is that the Willys gets access to more equipment like LED headlights, LED fog lights, and half-doors.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Overland - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Overland - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Overland – $42,995

The Overland is one of the first big steps towards comfort for the Gladiator. In addition to the features from the Willys, it gets automatic headlights, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and two USB ports.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Freedom - carsforsale.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Freedom - carsforsale.com

Freedom – $43,220

Jeep Gladiator Freedom buyers get 17-inch wheels, LED headlights and fog lights, rock rails, steel bumpers and tow hooks, and a black soft-top.

2021 Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

80th Anniversary – $44,750

Those who go for the 80th Anniversary will get 18-inch wheels, berber floor mats, remote vehicle start, and a large 8.4-inch infotainment system hooked up to a premium Alpine audio system.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Rubicon – $46,835

The Rubicon is built to the hilt to go off-road. It gets 33-inch AT tires, high clearance fender flares, skid plates, steel rock rails, Fox shocks, and a special transfer case with up to an 84:1 crawl ratio.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Mojave – $46,835

The Mojave is also built for off-roading, but it’s built more for desert running rather than rock crawling. It gets Fox Bypass shocks, a 7-inch driver information display, and a 1-inch lift.

2021 Jeep Gladiator High Altitude - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
2021 Jeep Gladiator High Altitude - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

High Altitude – $54,100

Consider the High Altitude as the luxury 2021 Jeep Gladiator. It features 20-inch wheels, quilted Nappa leather seats, the 8.4-inch infotainment system, integrated navigation, LED headlights, tail lights, fog lamps, and DRLS, as well as blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors.

Warranties

Jeep offers a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty in concert with a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty on the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. They also provide three years of complimentary maintenance, which is fantastic.

What we think

2021 Jeep Gladiator - jeep.com

2021 Jeep Gladiator – jeep.com |  Shop 2021 Jeep Gladiator on Carsforsale.com

Don’t buy the 2021 Jeep Gladiator if you’re looking for a luxurious off-road experience. It can’t provide that. What it can provide is the ability to go way off-road without compromising comfort or cargo space. Nothing else on the market is exactly like it.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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