2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave review: Desert runner

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

The king of the rocks is now the king of the desert.


Emme Hall/Roadshow

When I initially drove the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, I imagined I’d uncovered my off-highway desire truck. Stable axles, a nuts crawl ratio, entrance and rear differential lockers and a convertible to boot? Hell indeed. But then Jeep unveiled the Gladiator Mojave, and now that I have had a probability to put it via its paces, nicely, shift around, Rubicon.

Like

  • Purposeful suspension updates
  • No noticeable decline in other off-highway qualities
  • Simple-to-use Uconnect infotainment tech
  • The roof arrives off!

You should not Like

  • Reduced tow score
  • Fully loaded models get fairly expensive

The Mojave is only presented with four-wheel generate and a two-velocity transfer situation. It’s also only out there with Jeep’s 3.six-liter V6 engine, and though a six-velocity guide transmission is normal, you can opt for an 8-velocity automated for $2,000.

This is also the initially automobile to get Jeep’s new Desert Rated badge. This suggests that, in addition to all of the regular off-highway stuff that goes into earning the Trail Rated badge, the Gladiator Mojave is prepped for large-velocity desert functioning. I’m conversing about bombing via whoops and scrambling up dunes. Yes, any Gladiator can do issues like this, but with its one-inch entrance lift and wholly retuned suspension, the Mojave will get via this form of terrain less complicated and speedier.

Both of those the entrance and rear suspension get revised Fox interior-bypass shocks with distant reservoirs. The entrance provides a Mojave-special hydraulic Fox jounce shock for added damping functionality. Consider of this as a shock inside a shock, ready to take up added-difficult hits with out compromising in general journey quality.

Out in the desert, the Mojave’s suspension has no hassle handling the impacts from one.5-foot-deep whoops, and additional importantly, does so with out losing steadiness. If I ran this exact same course in a Gladiator Rubicon, the entrance conclusion would turn into a pogo adhere.

The Gladiator Mojave receives Jeep’s Off-Road Plus environment, which is also out there on the Rubicon. Activating this in Four wheel drive Significant, the Plus manner can make the throttle additional responsive, switches up the change factors for the automated transmission and minimizes the intervention of the digital steadiness manage. Merged with the additional jounce shocks, this can make the Mojave considerably additional capable for greater-velocity desert functioning.

Which delivers me to electricity. With 285 horsepower and 260 pound-ft of torque from this in a natural way aspirated V6, the Mojave certainly is just not as rapid as a Ford F-one hundred fifty Raptor. On the other hand, I’m not seriously absolutely sure a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro could hold up, what with its likewise powered V6 and less refined suspension.

The Mojave’s four-wheel-generate procedure is upgraded to tackle greater off-highway speeds, also. The Mojave receives Jeep’s Command-Trac technology with a 2.seventy two:one lower-selection gear ratio, and though this suggests the Mojave is not going to have as substantially torque at gradual speeds as the Rubicon, this enables it to be driven speedier in its cheapest off-highway gear. This is a excellent matter: The Mojave is developed additional for the dunes and desert, where momentum is crucial, in contrast with the Rubicon, which is meant to tackle rocks, where gradual velocity is needed.

Irrespective of this less intense gearing, the Mojave should really continue to be additional than capable of handling rocky trails, many thanks to its excellent suspension geometry. The Mojave even has a far better approach angle than the Rubicon many thanks to its one-inch entrance lift: forty four.7 degrees in contrast with forty three.4 degrees in the Rubi. The breakover angle is a very small bit far better, twenty.nine degrees in contrast with twenty.3 degrees. For the rear, the Rubicon wins listed here by a nose: 26 degrees in contrast with 25.5 degrees in the Mojave. The Mojave also has eleven.six inches of floor clearance, which is a skosh greater than the Rubicon.

Up entrance, there is a one-inch lift in contrast with a Gladiator Rubicon, as nicely as a hydraulic Fox jounce shock for far better damping.


Emme Hall/Roadshow

When the likely does get rocky, the Mojave has a 57.3:one crawl ratio with the guide transmission, or 52.six:one with the automated. These quantities greatest competition like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro by a prolonged shot, but usually are not pretty as robust as the Gladiator Rubicon. What’s additional, the Mojave won’t have a entrance diff locker, like the Rubicon does, but apart from the most serious scenarios, I cannot envision the Mojave not getting enough functionality to get via 95% of your rock-crawling desires. Oh, and that aforementioned Off-Road Plus manner? Activate this when you are in Four wheel drive Very low and it essentially does the reverse of its action in Four wheel drive Significant, softening the throttle response and trying to keep the engine’s electricity on faucet for continuous crawling.

I do have a few of very insignificant off-highway challenges, however. The Mojave cannot be had with the Rubicon’s winch-ready, steel entrance bumper, so I’m left with the plastic bumper with its fake vents. Also, even nevertheless the Mojave arrives with sand-slider facet rails, and I can increase the optional steel rock-slider rails, there is no safety for the truck’s bed, and I know at some place the rear is likely to smack some thing.

As for the Mojave’s on-highway manners, it drives like any other Gladiator. That is to say, it wanders a bit and the steering is fairly obscure. The journey quality is seriously good, nevertheless, in particular for a truck with a reliable-axle configuration. In which Jeeps were once relegated to the gradual lane, toddling alongside at 60 mph because everything speedier felt dangerous, the Gladiator’s present day chassis and fantastic suspension signify I can established the cruise manage at seventy five mph and loosen up. Yes, there is a ton of highway noise from the 33-inch Falken Wildpeak tires, but thinking about their meaty tread, it’s to be expected.

The inside carries around unchanged, full with Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment procedure on an eight.4-inch touchscreen.


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Oh, and what about truck stuff? The Mojave’s utility is right in the center of the Gladiator lineup. Depending on trim degree the Gladiator can haul everywhere from one,105 to one,700 pounds in the bed and has a towing selection of 4,000 to 7,650 pounds. The Mojave can tackle one,two hundred pounds of payload and tow up to six,000 pounds with the automated transmission. Choose for the guide, nevertheless, and that drops to 4,500 pounds. If you want a Gladiator with maximum towing skill, get a Gladiator Activity with the max tow offer.

Visually, the Mojave has a few visible cues that established it apart from other Gladiators. You’ll detect the Desert Rated badging, of course, as nicely as the giant “Mojave” text on the hood. But also test out the huge hood scoop, as nicely as the orange tow hooks. The tow hooks are a good touch, but almost appear like a miscalculation when put together with the pink paint of my exam truck.

Within, the Mojave’s entrance seats are additional heavily bolstered than the kinds you may come across in other Gladiators, which can make them additional snug on pavement and filth alike. The orange accents carry on within, but they are less egregious listed here, featuring a neat distinction towards the black or grey inside color techniques.

Normally, the Mojave’s cabin is just like every other Gladiator, with an out there eight.4-inch Uconnect infotainment monitor. I like Uconnect for its robust established of options, together with an off-highway web site that tells me pitch and roll knowledge, the truck’s latitude and longitude coordinates, steering angle and gauges for issues like oil and transmission temperatures. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are each normal, and there are USB-A and USB-C ports, as nicely as 12-volt and a hundred and fifteen-volt stores, to hold everything billed.

$62,000 is a ton for this truck, as tested. But not lots of other trucks can tackle the dunes like this Gladiator.


Emme Hall/Roadshow

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave commences all over $forty five,000, together with $one,495 for delivery. But my tester, which is fairly substantially loaded with heated leather-based seats, LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise manage, a human body-coloured hardtop, gloss black 17-inch wheels and a forward-facing trail digicam, additionally a few other niceties, arrives in at a lofty $62,a hundred and fifteen.

The closest competitor is seriously the Chevy Colorado ZR2 with its trick Multimatic suspension. I’d be fascinated to put the two up towards every other in the desert, and given that a loaded Colorado ZR2 Bison is about $10,000 less than my exam Mojave, it may well prove to be a far better in general bargain. There is certainly also the F-one hundred fifty Raptor, which commences in the mid-$50,000 selection, but is even bigger and has a ton additional electricity. Of course, the Jeep is a convertible…

Actually, it all form of arrives down to what you prepare to do with your Gladiator. The Rubicon is additional suited for rocks, but it’s additional of a desert jogger than runner. The Mojave will do all the issues a normal Gladiator can do, but the selling price top quality is seriously only worth it if you are likely to pay a visit to the dunes. It may well be expensive, but it’s totally my off-roader du jour.