The Gladiator Mojave 4X4 looks like a Jeep and a pickup truck had a baby. But it’s much more than a combination; it is in its own class of Jeep, as far as I’m concerned.
The 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard with a choice of a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission.
Why I like it so much is it comes with a brand spanking new Desert Badge, which translates to a physical upgrade that no one else can beat.
Rugged step sand sliders help protect the frame while 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain tires provide exceptional performance, off-road and on.
The new Gladiator Mojave flourishes in dry, unforgiving environments. Jeep reinforced the frame and axles, added cast iron steering knuckles and enhanced the suspension with a one-inch front lift to create a high-speed desert racer that can master the stress of running fast in the sand while effortlessly maneuvering over uneven terrain.
The improved suspension takes off-roading to a new level. Not only will the wild boars run the other way when they see it coming, but stomping through the swamp in this baby is like a Sunday drive. It takes rough terrain and turns it into a smooth, fast ride that keeps you coming back for more.
But don’t take my word for it. Ask the car’s engineers, who incorporated dual shock systems at the front and rear to maximize the absorption of high velocity impacts. That doesn’t even take into account Jeep’s Off-Road Plus Setting and the 4WD High, which is the secret to its high velocity capabilities.
Driving this monster is a 285 horsepower engine with 260 pound-feet of torque, both of which contribute handily to its speedy ferocity. It also gets 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.
Starting at about $44,000, you can’t get a better Gladiator. You can configure the doors and roof and it is fully suited to handle the dogs as well as pull a boat or an off-road motorcycle. It’s also great for that run to Lowes or Home Depot. Won’t need to rent a U-Haul with this one.
The front part of the cabin can feel a little tight, but the back is nice and comfy. And with a little adjustment here and a tweak there, everything from an industrial flashlight to my phone and my box of CDs — yes, I still listen to CDs — fit without a problem. It felt good, too, because you can make lots of custom adjustments if you want to get the cabin just how you like it.
For me, it’s the Gladiator Mojave 4X4 all the way or no way at all.