Jeep Gladiator in the towing vehicle test: Nostalgia pulls
The fact that the Gladiator is based on the Wrangler not only ensures a nostalgically cool look – it also has advantages. But there are also disadvantages, such as the moderately precise steering and the rather unsteady straight-line stability on uneven roads.
Gladiator with V6 MultiJet from Fiat Powertrain
It’s no different in the Gladiator. Output has increased by a further 14 hp and torque by 30 Nm compared to the previous Grand Cherokee version. And that really gives you a boost – spontaneously and vigorously right from the start.
The eight-stage automatic torque converter from ZF also comes from the Grand Cherokee IV. It shifts smoothly and quickly.
A particularly nimble response to the accelerator pedal was apparently more important than low engine speeds when it came to tuning: although the engine builds up a lot of torque from the bottom up, the automatic transmission tends to downshift excessively when towing a trailer, even if you only want to accelerate very slightly; and especially on winding and mountainous routes, it often leaves the lower gear unnecessarily long.
Power at 1/min
Torque at 1/min
all wheel drive
loading area L/B
roof load (with hardtop)
V6 cylinder, turbo diesel, front longitudinal
194 kW (264 hp) at 3600
Eight-speed torque converter automatic with off-road reduction
semi-permanent via electrically controlled multi-disk clutch for FA; can be locked and switched off
Rigid axle, coil springs vuh
ventilated slices/ slices
ABS, ESP with trailer stabilization
ladder frame; 2 pcs. off. pick-up body with removable Hard top, 4 doors
This has a restless effect and makes the engine seem to rev over with effort – which it also audibly announces to the inside: Apparently, people thought that the powerful engine sound went with the Gladiator’s macho character.
Oddly low-mounted trailer hitch
Luckily, the relatively high engine speed level does not lead to excessive consumption: the 13.07 liters of diesel on the total measuring lap are perfectly fine in view of the magnificent power delivery.
However, it can be seen that the frequent shifting gears in the hilly first part of the measuring lap causes the diesel consumption to increase.
The very low-mounted trailer hitch seems strange. Not only does it severely limit the rear approach angle, even when the tow bar is removed.
60-100 km/h (kick down)
80-120 km/h (kick down)
Standard fuel consumption/CO2 emissions (WLTP)
Test consumption Ø
MEASURED VALUES WITH TRAILER 2.0 t
60-80 km/h (kickdown)
Test consumption Ø
theoretical climbing ability with 2.0 t trailer load
Theoretical climbing ability with max. trailer load
9.2-9.7L D/100km/ 241-254g/km
55.2%/20.7° in 4L: 150.1%/56.3°
48.2%/19.4° in 4L: 131.0%/52.6°
The low coupling point also allows the trailer to stand clearly “downhill” – and makes it difficult to achieve a sufficient vertical load with tandem axles.
It’s also a pity that Stellantis apparently didn’t bother to release more than the strange 2721 kilos of trailer load. The Gladiator would effortlessly pull the 3.5 tons permitted by most other pick-ups.