It’s something Fiat Chrysler’s been promising for awhile, but the wait is (hopefully) just about over. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel should be with us in the coming months, but before that a TFLtruck reader spotted this interesting mule when it stopped by their local dealership.
From the front, this looks like your standard Gladiator Rubicon with one exception. This example is sporting a hood from the Gladiator Mojave, without any decals on the hood marking this out as either model. That said, it does look like this truck has the typical “Trail Rated” badge on the side, rather than the “Desert Rated” badge we saw on the Mojave. Other than that, it’s pretty typical Gladiator from the front.
Move around to the back, however, and we clearly see the EcoDiesel badge on this Gladiator. This is the same badge we saw in earlier spy shots of the Wrangler before its launch, as well. The Wrangler ended up getting an EcoDiesel sticker rather than this badge in the final version, so we’ll see if this ends up making it on the truck instead. Nevertheless, here’s some proof that yes, the Gladiator EcoDiesel does exist. More to the point, the fact that we can see it clear as day suggests we’ll actually start seeing it on dealer lots as well.
This Gladiator had Michigan manufacturer plates, but it’s also interesting to see this model equipped with Euro-spec taillights.
Gas or diesel: Which would you choose?
Currently, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is only available with one engine. The 3.6-liter Pentastar gas V-6 is the heart of the current Gladiator lineup. At the moment, you can get that engine with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed manual. When the EcoDiesel engine makes its way to the lineup, it sadly won’t have the manual option. Instead, what it will have is 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque if it’s tuned the same as the Wrangler, which ought to be a great addition for a midsize truck. After all, the Chevy Colorado makes great use of its 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder engine thanks to its 369 lb-ft of torque. In the Ram 1500, the EcoDiesel engine makes an even more impressive 480 lb-ft of torque.
That torque should make the Gladiator a much more competent towing rig than the gas V-6, which struggles a bit when faced with a towing challenge around its 7,000 pound (in the Rubicon trim) capacity:
What’s more, the low-end grunt can also make the Gladiator Rubicon more formidable as a Jeep off-road as well. When we recently tested the Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel, we noted how that torque comes in handy in technical, low-speed maneuvers on the trail. Then again, the EcoDiesel V-6 will also be a pricey upgrade over the base V-6.
FCA hasn’t announced pricing for the Gladiator EcoDiesel yet, but if the Wrangler is any indication the diesel will run a few thousand dollars over the Pentastar-equipped models. That means we’ll easily see the Rubicon model eclipse $50,000 and maybe run well past $60,000 when you fully spec it out. Would you pay the extra premium for the EcoDiesel in the Gladiator?Let us know what you think in the comments below!