2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave review: Desert runner

The king of the rocks is now the king of the desert. Emme Hall/Roadshow When I very first drove the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, I thought I would found my off-highway dream truck. Solid axles, a insane crawl ratio, front and rear differential lockers and a convertible to boot? Hell sure. […]

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

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

Emme Hall/Roadshow

When I very first drove the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, I thought I would found my off-highway dream truck. Solid axles, a insane crawl ratio, front and rear differential lockers and a convertible to boot? Hell sure. But then Jeep unveiled the Gladiator Mojave, and now that I’ve experienced a prospect to set it by way of its paces, properly, shift about, Rubicon.


  • Purposeful suspension upgrades
  • No apparent reduction in other off-highway abilities
  • Quick-to-use Uconnect infotainment tech
  • The roof comes off!

Never Like

  • Reduced tow ranking
  • Entirely loaded designs get really expensive

The Mojave is only supplied with four-wheel push and a two-pace transfer situation. It can be also only readily available with Jeep’s three.6-liter V6 engine, and while a 6-pace manual transmission is standard, you can decide for an 8-pace computerized for $2,000.

This is also the very first motor vehicle to get Jeep’s new Desert Rated badge. This means that, in addition to all of the typical off-highway things that goes into earning the Path Rated badge, the Gladiator Mojave is prepped for higher-pace desert operating. I am talking about bombing by way of whoops and scrambling up dunes. Yes, any Gladiator can do points like this, but with its one-inch front lift and wholly retuned suspension, the Mojave will get by way of this form of terrain simpler and more rapidly.

Both of those the front and rear suspension get revised Fox internal-bypass shocks with remote reservoirs. The front adds a Mojave-exclusive hydraulic Fox jounce shock for further damping ability. Think of this as a shock inside a shock, able to take in further-hard hits with no compromising in general trip top quality.

Out in the desert, the Mojave’s suspension has no trouble handling the impacts from one.5-foot-deep whoops, and more importantly, does so with no getting rid of stability. If I ran this exact course in a Gladiator Rubicon, the front close would change into a pogo adhere.

The Gladiator Mojave will get Jeep’s Off-Street Furthermore location, which is also readily available on the Rubicon. Activating this in 4 wheel drive Higher, the Furthermore mode will make the throttle more responsive, switches up the change details for the computerized transmission and lowers the intervention of the digital stability regulate. Combined with the included jounce shocks, this will make the Mojave much more able for higher-pace desert operating.

Which provides me to ability. With 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from this naturally aspirated V6, the Mojave unquestionably is just not as fast as a Ford F-150 Raptor. On the other hand, I am not seriously certain a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro could keep up, what with its in the same way powered V6 and considerably less sophisticated suspension.

The Mojave’s four-wheel-push process is upgraded to tackle higher off-highway speeds, way too. The Mojave will get Jeep’s Command-Trac know-how with a 2.seventy two:one small-array gear ratio, and while this means the Mojave will never have as a great deal torque at gradual speeds as the Rubicon, this allows it to be pushed more rapidly in its cheapest off-highway gear. This is a great factor: The Mojave is crafted more for the dunes and desert, the place momentum is critical, compared with the Rubicon, which is intended to tackle rocks, the place gradual pace is required.

Despite this considerably less intense gearing, the Mojave really should nevertheless be more than able of handling rocky trails, many thanks to its fantastic suspension geometry. The Mojave even has a superior tactic angle than the Rubicon many thanks to its one-inch front lift: forty four.7 levels compared with 43.four levels in the Rubi. The breakover angle is a small little bit superior, 20.9 levels compared with 20.three levels. For the rear, the Rubicon wins below by a nose: 26 levels compared with twenty five.5 levels in the Mojave. The Mojave also has 11.6 inches of floor clearance, which is a skosh higher than the Rubicon.

Up front, you will find a one-inch lift compared with a Gladiator Rubicon, as properly as a hydraulic Fox jounce shock for superior damping.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

When the heading does get rocky, the Mojave has a fifty seven.three:one crawl ratio with the manual transmission, or fifty two.6:one with the computerized. These numbers greatest competition like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro by a extensive shot, but usually are not quite as robust as the Gladiator Rubicon. What is actually more, the Mojave won’t have a front diff locker, like the Rubicon does, but apart from the most serious cases, I can’t visualize the Mojave not owning ample ability to get by way of 95% of your rock-crawling needs. Oh, and that aforementioned Off-Street Furthermore mode? Activate this when you are in 4 wheel drive Very low and it really does the reverse of its motion in 4 wheel drive Higher, softening the throttle reaction and retaining the engine’s ability on tap for constant crawling.

I do have a few of really minor off-highway troubles, on the other hand. The Mojave can’t be experienced with the Rubicon’s winch-prepared, metal front bumper, so I am remaining with the plastic bumper with its bogus vents. Also, even even though the Mojave comes with sand-slider side rails, and I can increase the optional metal rock-slider rails, you will find no safety for the truck’s bed, and I know at some position the rear is heading to smack a little something.

As for the Mojave’s on-highway manners, it drives like any other Gladiator. That is to say, it wanders a little bit and the steering is really vague. The trip top quality is seriously great, even though, in particular for a truck with a reliable-axle configuration. Where Jeeps were being when relegated to the gradual lane, toddling along at sixty mph simply because just about anything more rapidly felt unsafe, the Gladiator’s present day chassis and excellent suspension signify I can set the cruise regulate at seventy five mph and loosen up. Yes, you will find a great deal of highway sounds from the 33-inch Falken Wildpeak tires, but thinking about their meaty tread, it really is to be expected.

The interior carries about unchanged, entire with Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment process on an 8.four-inch touchscreen.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Oh, and what about truck things? The Mojave’s utility is appropriate in the middle of the Gladiator lineup. Based on trim level the Gladiator can haul anyplace from one,a hundred and five to one,seven-hundred lbs . in the bed and has a towing array of four,000 to 7,650 lbs .. The Mojave can tackle one,two hundred lbs . of payload and tow up to 6,000 lbs . with the computerized transmission. Choose for the manual, even though, and that drops to four,five hundred lbs .. If you want a Gladiator with highest towing capability, get a Gladiator Sport with the max tow deal.

Visually, the Mojave has a couple visual cues that set it apart from other Gladiators. You’ll see the Desert Rated badging, naturally, as properly as the large “Mojave” text on the hood. But also check out out the huge hood scoop, as properly as the orange tow hooks. The tow hooks are a great contact, but just about glance like a oversight when mixed with the red paint of my check truck.

Inside, the Mojave’s front seats are more heavily bolstered than the kinds you will uncover in other Gladiators, which will make them more relaxed on pavement and filth alike. The orange accents carry on within, but they are considerably less egregious below, giving a neat distinction from the black or gray interior coloration schemes.

Otherwise, the Mojave’s cabin is just like just about every other Gladiator, with an readily available 8.four-inch Uconnect infotainment screen. I like Uconnect for its robust set of features, together with an off-highway web page that tells me pitch and roll data, the truck’s latitude and longitude coordinates, steering angle and gauges for points like oil and transmission temperatures. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the two standard, and there are USB-A and USB-C ports, as properly as twelve-volt and one hundred fifteen-volt shops, to keep anything billed.

$sixty two,000 is a great deal for this truck, as examined. But not quite a few other trucks can tackle the dunes like this Gladiator.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave starts off all-around $forty five,000, together with $one,495 for supply. But my tester, which is really a great deal loaded with heated leather seats, LED lighting, blind-place monitoring, adaptive cruise regulate, a overall body-colored hardtop, gloss black 17-inch wheels and a forward-dealing with path camera, in addition a couple other niceties, comes in at a lofty $sixty two,one hundred fifteen.

The closest competitor is seriously the Chevy Colorado ZR2 with its trick Multimatic suspension. I would be fascinated to set the two up from every other in the desert, and since a loaded Colorado ZR2 Bison is about $10,000 considerably less than my check Mojave, it may possibly establish to be a superior in general cut price. You can find also the F-150 Raptor, which starts off in the mid-$fifty,000 array, but is even larger and has a ton more ability. Of course, the Jeep is a convertible…

Definitely, it all form of comes down to what you plan to do with your Gladiator. The Rubicon is more suited for rocks, but it really is more of a desert jogger than runner. The Mojave will do all the points a standard Gladiator can do, but the cost quality is seriously only really worth it if you are heading to stop by the dunes. It may possibly be expensive, but it really is definitely my off-roader du jour.

Rosa G. Rose

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