2021 Jeep Gladiator Diesel Arriving Soon With 442 Pounds-Feet of Torque

2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel

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By Joe Bruzek

You asked for it, and it’s here: The 2021 Jeep Gladiator with a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine goes on sale in the third quarter. This is the first time Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ EcoDiesel engine is fitted between the Gladiator pickup truck’s fenders, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The 260-horsepower engine with 442 pounds-feet of torque is already available in the Wrangler SUV, and the Gladiator has been a known target for the EcoDiesel since its debut.

Related: 2020 Jeep Gladiator MPG: Not the Worst, Not the Best

“Before we introduced [the] Gladiator, one of the most common questions consumers asked us was, ‘Will you please offer a Jeep truck?’, followed closely by, ‘Will it be offered with a diesel engine?’,” said Jim Morrison, head of Jeep North America, in a statement.

What do we know about the diesel Gladiator? Power and torque, for one, as well as a few claims about its fuel economy and range. Jeep expects its range to top all other mid-size trucks, the benchmark for which are the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon with their own diesel engine, GM’s 2.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 181 hp and 369 pounds-feet of torque, and has a maximum EPA-estimated range of 483 miles.

Jeep expects the Gladiator diesel to top its current best fuel economy of 19 mpg combined. If the Gladiator gets fuel economy like the Wrangler’s 22/29/25 city/highway/combined mpg and uses the same 21.5-gallon tank, then the Wrangler’s EPA-estimated 538 miles of range should easily accomplish its long-range goal.

The Gladiator diesel uses a beefier eight-speed automatic transmission (8HP75 versus the gas-powered eight-speed’s 850RE), and farther into the driveline, the axles will only be stuffed with a 3.73 axle ratio versus the available 4.10 ratio on the gas engine. The additional torque offered by the diesel engine could be enough grunt to overcome the need for higher engine speeds offered by the 4.10s, and, of course, the 3.73s should help with fuel economy versus 4.10s.

Payload and towing numbers haven’t been announced yet, but FCA spokesperson Trevor Dorchies says to expect towing to be on par with the Gladiator Sport and Overland trims of 6,000-pounds.              

The Jeep Gladiator diesel is available for order now, with deliveries expected in the third quarter. 

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