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Towing with the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel, surprising MPG?

Towing with the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel

This is 3,000 pounds of trailer and cargo. That’s about half the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel truck’s max towing capacity of 6,000 lb. (Photo by Tim Esterdahl)

When Tim had the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel, he decided to test its towing capabilities with a quick run up the pass near his home. This is about a 60-mile round trip with an elevation change of about 500 feet, starting at around 3,000 feet above sea level.

So, it’s not a huge mountain climb but a good test for towing the EcoDiesel.

Let’s start with the numbers

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel is capable of towing 6,000 pounds. For this test, Tim used a Diamond C double axel dump trailer with a hydraulic dump lift. This trailer weighs about 2,700 pounds when it’s empty. Tim added a couple of hundred pounds of cargo for a total weight of about 3,000 pounds. This is approximately half the truck’s total towing capacity.

As we go along keep in mind this Gladiator is outfitted for off-roading and as such has some extra knobby off-road tires, which are great for getting off the pavement but not ideal for highway driving and towing. This will affect the grip and feel a little, but it probably won’t have much impact on the fuel economy for the towing exercise.

Nebraska has mountain passes?

We know what you’re thinking. Nebraska is flat, flat flat. But, where Tim lives there are actually some cool mountains and way back in the wagon train days, passes were cut through these hills to allow easier passage for the wagons.

Tim took the Gladiator and its load up through one of these passes, turned around and came back. The return trip was steeper and straighter than the initial drive, so he reported on how the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel performed on each section of the trip.

Can the 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel make it to the top?

Quick answer: Yes! While Tim experienced quite a bit of gear hunting on the way up, the truck was able to maintain a speed of about 65 MPH all the way to the top and didn’t seem to struggle at all. The weight from the load helped to anchor the truck in high crosswinds, and Tim said the ride was smoother than when he drove the truck without a load.

This test was done while the truck was in 2-wheel drive, and the cruise control was set.

What kind of fuel economy can you expect when you tow?

Tim kept an eye on all his gauges, noting the RPMs, transmission and coolant temperatures, and the Jeep’s calculated fuel economy numbers. When he returned to his starting point he topped off the Jeep’s fuel tank and ran some calculations.

  • 4.401 gallons of diesel fuel were used for this trip.
  • 50.8 miles were traveled round trip.
  • Tim calculated the Gladiator used 11.54 MPG.
  • The trip computer calculated fuel usage at 16.7 MPG.

That’s quite a difference. In fact, it’s the largest calculated difference Tim has ever seen!

If you were going to tow, would you choose an EcoDiesel Gladiator?

Be sure to watch Tim’s full review of this midsize pickup truck. You’ll get a quick tour of some of the off-road features, technical specs and Tim’s commentary on how well the Gladiator towed.

Related posts:

2021 Jeep Gladiator gets EcoDiesel and a few other minor tweaks

Video: Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept with hot dog maker on board!

2020 Jeep Gladiator Enters Mid-Size Pickup Arena

Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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  1. Ron smith February 2, 2022

    I have a jeep 2014 grand Cherokee overland 4×4 with a turbo eco diesel 3.0
    Weighs at 5,700 lbs
    Can I tow a weekend toy hauler bk 1900
    Weighs about 5,000 lbs
    Duel axel
    Thank you

    1. Tim Esterdahl February 3, 2022

      You should be fine. The max towing is 7,200 lbs. You should have some weight left over to tow that load, just watch the payload number and don’t over fill the Grand Cherokee with heavy stuff.


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