2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave review: Desert runner

Matthew N. Henry

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

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

Emme Hall/Roadshow

When I first drove the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, I thought I might discovered my off-highway desire truck. Good axles, a nuts crawl ratio, entrance and rear differential lockers and a convertible to boot? Hell yes. But then Jeep unveiled the Gladiator Mojave, and now that I have had a probability to set it by way of its paces, properly, move above, Rubicon.


  • Purposeful suspension updates
  • No obvious decline in other off-highway talents
  • Uncomplicated-to-use Uconnect infotainment tech
  • The roof will come off!

Never Like

  • Reduced tow ranking
  • Totally loaded types get rather costly

The Mojave is only available with four-wheel generate and a two-pace transfer situation. It truly is also only out there with Jeep’s three.6-liter V6 engine, and whilst a 6-pace manual transmission is regular, you can opt for an 8-pace automated for $two,000.

This is also the first automobile to get Jeep’s new Desert Rated badge. This implies that, in addition to all of the normal off-highway stuff that goes into earning the Trail Rated badge, the Gladiator Mojave is prepped for higher-pace desert jogging. I am speaking about bombing by way of whoops and scrambling up dunes. Yes, any Gladiator can do matters like this, but with its one-inch entrance lift and completely retuned suspension, the Mojave will get by way of this form of terrain less complicated and faster.

Both of those the entrance and rear suspension get revised Fox inside-bypass shocks with distant reservoirs. The entrance adds a Mojave-distinctive hydraulic Fox jounce shock for further damping functionality. Assume of this as a shock within a shock, in a position to absorb further-hard hits devoid of compromising general experience high quality.

Out in the desert, the Mojave’s suspension has no trouble dealing with the impacts from one.5-foot-deep whoops, and extra importantly, does so devoid of shedding steadiness. If I ran this exact same class in a Gladiator Rubicon, the entrance stop would flip into a pogo stick.

The Gladiator Mojave will get Jeep’s Off-Road Moreover environment, which is also out there on the Rubicon. Activating this in 4wd Large, the Moreover method helps make the throttle extra responsive, switches up the shift points for the automated transmission and minimizes the intervention of the electronic steadiness management. Merged with the additional jounce shocks, this helps make the Mojave much extra able for greater-pace desert jogging.

Which delivers me to electric power. With 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from this naturally aspirated V6, the Mojave surely is not as quick as a Ford F-one hundred fifty Raptor. On the other hand, I am not truly guaranteed a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro could maintain up, what with its equally driven V6 and much less advanced suspension.

The Mojave’s four-wheel-generate method is upgraded to tackle greater off-highway speeds, much too. The Mojave will get Jeep’s Command-Trac engineering with a two.72:one small-vary equipment ratio, and whilst this implies the Mojave will never have as a lot torque at gradual speeds as the Rubicon, this permits it to be driven faster in its lowest off-highway equipment. This is a great factor: The Mojave is designed extra for the dunes and desert, in which momentum is crucial, in contrast with the Rubicon, which is meant to tackle rocks, in which gradual pace is necessary.

Even with this much less aggressive gearing, the Mojave need to even now be extra than able of dealing with rocky trails, many thanks to its superb suspension geometry. The Mojave even has a far better technique angle than the Rubicon many thanks to its one-inch entrance lift: 44.7 degrees in contrast with forty three.four degrees in the Rubi. The breakover angle is a tiny little bit far better, twenty.nine degrees in contrast with twenty.three degrees. For the rear, the Rubicon wins below by a nose: 26 degrees in contrast with 25.5 degrees in the Mojave. The Mojave also has eleven.6 inches of floor clearance, which is a skosh greater than the Rubicon.

Up entrance, you can find a one-inch lift in contrast with a Gladiator Rubicon, as properly as a hydraulic Fox jounce shock for far better damping.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

When the going does get rocky, the Mojave has a 57.three:one crawl ratio with the manual transmission, or fifty two.6:one with the automated. These figures most effective rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro by a very long shot, but are not quite as strong as the Gladiator Rubicon. What’s extra, the Mojave would not have a entrance diff locker, like the Rubicon does, but apart from the most excessive predicaments, I won’t be able to envision the Mojave not possessing enough functionality to get by way of ninety five% of your rock-crawling needs. Oh, and that aforementioned Off-Road Moreover method? Activate this when you happen to be in 4wd Very low and it truly does the reverse of its action in 4wd Large, softening the throttle reaction and retaining the engine’s electric power on tap for constant crawling.

I do have a couple of pretty slight off-highway issues, having said that. The Mojave won’t be able to be had with the Rubicon’s winch-all set, steel entrance bumper, so I am remaining with the plastic bumper with its bogus vents. Also, even while the Mojave will come with sand-slider side rails, and I can increase the optional steel rock-slider rails, you can find no defense for the truck’s mattress, and I know at some issue the rear is going to smack one thing.

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 rather obscure. The experience high quality is truly great, while, specially for a truck with a sound-axle configuration. In which Jeeps were being the moment relegated to the gradual lane, toddling together at sixty mph simply because everything faster felt risky, the Gladiator’s modern-day chassis and excellent suspension mean I can set the cruise management at 75 mph and loosen up. Yes, you can find a whole lot of highway sounds from the 33-inch Falken Wildpeak tires, but thinking of their meaty tread, it really is to be anticipated.

The interior carries above unchanged, comprehensive with Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment method on an 8.four-inch touchscreen.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Oh, and what about truck stuff? The Mojave’s utility is appropriate in the middle of the Gladiator lineup. Dependent on trim stage the Gladiator can haul wherever from one,a hundred and five to one,700 lbs . in the mattress and has a towing vary 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 automated transmission. Opt for the manual, while, and that drops to four,500 lbs .. If you want a Gladiator with greatest towing skill, get a Gladiator Sport with the max tow deal.

Visually, the Mojave has a several visible cues that set it aside from other Gladiators. You are going to discover the Desert Rated badging, naturally, as properly as the large “Mojave” text on the hood. But also check out the huge hood scoop, as properly as the orange tow hooks. The tow hooks are a great touch, but virtually seem like a miscalculation when combined with the pink paint of my exam truck.

Inside, the Mojave’s entrance seats are extra intensely bolstered than the types you can expect to obtain in other Gladiators, which helps make them extra comfortable on pavement and dust alike. The orange accents keep on inside, but they are much less egregious below, giving a neat distinction versus the black or gray interior colour strategies.

Normally, the Mojave’s cabin is just like every single other Gladiator, with an out there 8.four-inch Uconnect infotainment monitor. I like Uconnect for its strong set of functions, which includes an off-highway web page that tells me pitch and roll information, the truck’s latitude and longitude coordinates, steering angle and gauges for matters like oil and transmission temperatures. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are the two regular, and there are USB-A and USB-C ports, as properly as twelve-volt and a hundred and fifteen-volt retailers, to maintain every thing charged.

$62,000 is a whole lot for this truck, as examined. But not several other trucks can tackle the dunes like this Gladiator.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave begins all over $45,000, which includes $one,495 for delivery. But my tester, which is rather a lot loaded with heated leather seats, LED lights, blind-location monitoring, adaptive cruise management, a physique-colored hardtop, gloss black seventeen-inch wheels and a ahead-struggling with trail camera, additionally a several other niceties, will come in at a lofty $62,a hundred and fifteen.

The closest competitor is truly the Chevy Colorado ZR2 with its trick Multimatic suspension. I might be fascinated to set the two up versus each and every other in the desert, and due to the fact a loaded Colorado ZR2 Bison is about $10,000 much less than my exam Mojave, it may well demonstrate to be a far better general deal. There is certainly also the F-one hundred fifty Raptor, which begins in the mid-$50,000 vary, but is larger and has a ton extra electric power. Of class, the Jeep is a convertible…

Actually, it all form of will come down to what you strategy to do with your Gladiator. The Rubicon is extra suited for rocks, but it really is extra of a desert jogger than runner. The Mojave will do all the matters a regular Gladiator can do, but the value premium is truly only well worth it if you happen to be going to go to the dunes. It may well be costly, but it really is totally my off-roader du jour.

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