The king of the rocks is now the king of the desert.
When I first drove the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, I believed I’d discovered my off-road dream truck. Solid axles, a loopy crawl ratio, entrance and rear differential lockers and a convertible in addition? Hell sure. But then Jeep unveiled the Gladiator Mojave, and now that I’ve had an opportunity to place it by means of its paces, effectively, transfer over, Rubicon.
LikePurposeful suspension upgradesNo noticeable loss in different off-road abilitiesEasy-to-use Uconnect infotainment techThe roof comes off!
Don’t LikeReduced tow ratingFully loaded fashions get fairly costly
The Mojave is simply provided with four-wheel drive and a two-speed switch case. It’s additionally solely obtainable with Jeep’s 3.6-liter V6 engine, and whereas a six-speed guide transmission is normal, you’ll be able to go for an eight-speed automated for $2,000.This can be the primary car to get Jeep’s new Desert Rated badge. This signifies that, along with the entire ordinary off-road stuff that goes into incomes the Trail Rated badge, the Gladiator Mojave is prepped for high-speed desert working. I’m speaking about bombing by means of whoops and scrambling up dunes. Yes, any Gladiator can do issues like this, however with its 1-inch entrance elevate and utterly retuned suspension, the Mojave will get by means of this sort of terrain simpler and quicker.
Both the entrance and rear suspension get revised Fox internal-bypass shocks with distant reservoirs. The entrance provides a Mojave-exclusive hydraulic Fox jounce shock for additional damping functionality. Think of this as a shock inside a shock, capable of take up extra-hard hits with out compromising general journey high quality.Out within the desert, the Mojave’s suspension has no hassle dealing with the impacts from 1.5-foot-deep whoops, and extra importantly, does so with out shedding stability. If I ran this identical course in a Gladiator Rubicon, the entrance finish would flip right into a pogo stick.
The Gladiator Mojave will get Jeep’s Off-Road Plus setting, which can be obtainable on the Rubicon. Activating this in 4WD High, the Plus mode makes the throttle extra responsive, switches up the shift factors for the automated transmission and reduces the intervention of the digital stability management. Combined with the added jounce shocks, this makes the Mojave way more succesful for higher-speed desert working.
Which brings me to energy. With 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from this naturally aspirated V6, the Mojave undoubtedly is not as fast as a Ford F-150 Raptor. On the opposite hand, I’m not likely certain a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro might sustain, what with its equally powered V6 and fewer subtle suspension.The Mojave’s four-wheel-drive system is upgraded to deal with increased off-road speeds, too. The Mojave will get Jeep’s Command-Trac expertise with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and whereas this implies the Mojave will not have as a lot torque at gradual speeds because the Rubicon, this enables it to be pushed quicker in its lowest off-road gear. This is an effective factor: The Mojave is constructed extra for the dunes and desert, the place momentum is essential, in contrast with the Rubicon, which is supposed to deal with rocks, the place gradual pace is required.Despite this much less aggressive gearing, the Mojave ought to nonetheless be greater than able to dealing with rocky trails, because of its wonderful suspension geometry. The Mojave even has a greater method angle than the Rubicon because of its 1-inch entrance elevate: 44.7 levels in contrast with 43.4 levels within the Rubi. The breakover angle is a tiny bit higher, 20.9 levels in contrast with 20.3 levels. For the rear, the Rubicon wins right here by a nostril: 26 levels in contrast with 25.5 levels within the Mojave. The Mojave additionally has 11.6 inches of floor clearance, which is a skosh increased than the Rubicon.Up entrance, there is a 1-inch elevate in contrast with a Gladiator Rubicon, in addition to a hydraulic Fox jounce shock for higher damping.
When the going does get rocky, the Mojave has a 57.3:1 crawl ratio with the guide transmission, or 52.6:1 with the automated. These numbers finest rivals just like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro by a protracted shot, however aren’t fairly as strong because the Gladiator Rubicon. What’s extra, the Mojave would not have a entrance diff locker, just like the Rubicon does, however other than probably the most excessive conditions, I am unable to think about the Mojave not having sufficient functionality to get by means of 95% of your rock-crawling wants. Oh, and that aforementioned Off-Road Plus mode? Activate this once you’re in 4WD Low and it truly does the reverse of its motion in 4WD High, softening the throttle response and protecting the engine’s energy on faucet for regular crawling.I do have a few very minor off-road points, nevertheless. The Mojave cannot be had with the Rubicon’s winch-ready, metal entrance bumper, so I’m left with the plastic bumper with its pretend vents. Also, regardless that the Mojave comes with sand-slider facet rails, and I can add the non-obligatory metal rock-slider rails, there is no safety for the truck’s mattress, and I do know sooner or later the rear goes to smack one thing.As for the Mojave’s on-road manners, it drives like another Gladiator. That is to say, it wanders a bit and the steering is fairly imprecise. The journey high quality is very nice, although, particularly for a truck with a solid-axle configuration. Where Jeeps had been as soon as relegated to the gradual lane, toddling alongside at 60 mph as a result of something quicker felt harmful, the Gladiator’s fashionable chassis and nice suspension imply I can set the cruise management at 75 mph and calm down. Yes, there’s quite a lot of highway noise from the 33-inch Falken Wildpeak tires, however contemplating their meaty tread, it is to be anticipated.The inside carries over unchanged, full with Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system on an 8.4-inch touchscreen.
Oh, and what about truck stuff? The Mojave’s utility is correct in the midst of the Gladiator lineup. Depending on trim degree the Gladiator can haul anyplace from 1,105 to 1,700 kilos within the mattress and has a towing vary of 4,000 to 7,650 kilos. The Mojave can deal with 1,200 kilos of payload and tow as much as 6,000 kilos with the automated transmission. Opt for the guide, although, and that drops to 4,500 kilos. If you desire a Gladiator with most towing capability, get a Gladiator Sport with the max tow bundle.Visually, the Mojave has a number of visible cues that set it other than different Gladiators. You’ll discover the Desert Rated badging, clearly, in addition to the large “Mojave” textual content on the hood. But additionally take a look at the large hood scoop, in addition to the orange tow hooks. The tow hooks are a pleasant contact, however nearly seem like a mistake when mixed with the purple paint of my check truck.Inside, the Mojave’s entrance seats are extra closely bolstered than those you may discover in different Gladiators, which makes them extra snug on pavement and filth alike. The orange accents proceed inside, however they’re much less egregious right here, providing a neat distinction towards the black or grey inside coloration schemes.Otherwise, the Mojave’s cabin is rather like each different Gladiator, with an obtainable 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment display. I like Uconnect for its strong set of options, together with an off-road web page that tells me pitch and roll information, the truck’s latitude and longitude coordinates, steering angle and gauges for issues like oil and transmission temperatures. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each normal, and there are USB-A and USB-C ports, in addition to 12-volt and 115-volt retailers, to maintain every little thing charged.$62,000 is rather a lot for this truck, as examined. But not many different vans can deal with the dunes like this Gladiator.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave begins round $45,000, together with $1,495 for supply. But my tester, which is just about loaded with heated leather-based seats, LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise management, a body-colored hardtop, gloss black 17-inch wheels and a forward-facing path digicam, plus a number of different niceties, is available in at a lofty $62,115.The closest competitor is basically the Chevy Colorado ZR2 with its trick Multimatic suspension. I’d have an interest to place the 2 up towards one another within the desert, and since a loaded Colorado ZR2 Bison is about $10,000 lower than my check Mojave, it’d show to be a greater general cut price. There’s additionally the F-150 Raptor, which begins within the mid-$50,000 vary, however is greater and has a ton extra energy. Of course, the Jeep is a convertible…Really, all of it type of comes right down to what you propose to do together with your Gladiator. The Rubicon is extra fitted to rocks, however it’s extra of a desert jogger than runner. The Mojave will do all of the issues a regular Gladiator can do, however the worth premium is basically solely price it if you are going to go to the dunes. It could be costly, however it’s completely my off-roader du jour.