It’s a big week for off-road vehicle news and the granddaddy of them all has some big diesel news. Jeep says the ordering is now open for the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel and buyers should have the mid-size pickup in their driveway by the third quarter. This is the first time the popular Gladiator will be equipped with the EcoDiesel and the diesel should give the Gladiator great driving range.
The New Gladiator 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6
Jeep says the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will give the Gladiator unmatched off-road capability with 260 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque. The EcoDiesel will be available on the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport, Overland and Rubicon models. Although Jeep is not yet releasing the fuel economy numbers, they say the EcoDiesel will deliver the highest driving range on one tank of fuel ever for the Gladiator.
“Before we introduced 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?’ While we know the answer to the first question, I’m pleased to answer the second with a resounding, ‘Yes!’,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – North America. “Gladiator’s combination of unmatched off-road capability and the vehicle’s fun-to-drive on-road performance, best-ever Gladiator fuel economy and incredible driving range underwrite the fact that our customers knew exactly what they were asking for.”
More 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Details
The new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine, which is built at the FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy, will have engine stop-start technology to further improve the fuel economy. The EcoDiesel V-6 has a newly added TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission, calibrated to handle both on and off-road driving. The transmission is designed to optimize fuel economy, performance and the truck’s 4x4 capability. Several design changes have been made to the third generation EcoDiesel engine to minimize noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) for Gladiator drivers and passengers.
According to Jeep, the EcoDiesel V-6 has a new generation water-cooled turbocharger to increase efficiency.
The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system design has been updated to a dual loop (low and high pressure) system. The new circulation system minimizes turbocharger energy losses and increases fuel economy.
The diesel engine’s turbo Charge Air Cooler (CAC) is located at the base of the grille, in front of the radiator, to maximize cooler temperatures.
More Convenient Diesel Exhaust Fluid Changes
You still have to deal with the pesky diesel exhaust fluid, but Jeep has made it easier and more convenient. A new 5.1-gallon diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is located immediately behind the fuel tank with refill location next to the diesel fuel filler. DEF refills align with oil changes lasting up to 10,000 miles. Levels are monitored via a new DEF gauge in the front cluster.
There is no question that Jeep fans have been impatiently waiting for the EcoDiesel engine. Some people love diesel and the additional fuel economy it can offer. Ram has been successful with its new EcoDiesel. The new generations have better acceleration and handling without any of the old diesel drawbacks. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation probably pushed the availability of diesel back, but ordering is now open and the EcoDiesel versions are almost here. Look for them on dealer lots in the third quarter.
Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.