2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel official: More torque and more range

Jeep is adding a new diesel option for its pickup truck, with the 2021 Gladiator EcoDiesel headed to dealerships later this year. One of the most-requested options, Jeep claims, for its long-anticipated truck, the EcoDiesel will use a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 to offer a significant uptick in torque compared to the gas engine.

Since it launched in 2019, the Gladiator has been offered with a single engine. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 – paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic – is good for 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

In comparison, the EcoDiesel Gladiator will offer more torque, at 442 lb-ft, and less horsepower, at 260 hp. There'll be no manual option, Jeep says: instead, it'll pair the diesel with a TorqueFlite 8HP75 8-speed automatic as standard. That decision, the automaker claims, is down to the extra torque that the gearbox needs to handle.

It won't be a simple automatic, however. Jeep says that it has calibrated it with low RPM shifts in mind, as well as in consideration of both on- and off-road use of the truck. There'll be more than 40 individual shift maps, for example, running the gamut from fuel economy through performance and 4x4 capability.

What may be just as important to buyers, though, is overall range. Jeep says the Gladiator EcoDiesel will offer the highest driving range on a single tank of fuel for any Gladiator variant. The 2020 Gladiator 3.6-liter V6 is currently rated by the EPA for 418 miles of total range on a full gas tank.

Jeep isn't just changing the engine and transmission. There's a new exhaust gas recirculation system, plus a new Charge Air Cooler, while a 5.1 gallon diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is right behind the regular fuel tank. Its refills will align with oil changes lasting up to 10,000 miles, Jeep says, with a new DEF gauge being added to the driver's instrumentation.

Initially, the EcoDiesel will be offered as an option on the Gladiator Sport, Overland, and Rubicon trims. Third-generation Dana 44 front and rear heavy-duty axles are standard, with a 3.73 axle ratio. Rubicon models get a Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio; Sport and Overland get a Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio.

Orders are being taken from today, Jeep says, though the diesel pickups themselves aren't expected in dealerships until later in Q3 2020. Pricing has not been confirmed at this stage.