2020 Jeep Gladiator won’t get the Wrangler’s turbo engine — here’s why

2020 Jeep Gladiator won’t get the Wrangler’s turbo engine — here’s why

a red truck driving down a dirt road© Jeep

While the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler share more than a few parts, one thing they won’t be sharing is the Wrangler’s four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine.

Jeep will not offer its 2.0-liter I4 turbo engine in the Gladiator, The Drive reports. A Fiat Chrysler spokesperson told The Drive that “the 3.6-liter [V6] engine can handle the temperatures seen while towing,” intimating that the Wrangler’s four-pot might not be able to tow and haul with the best of ’em.

Whereas SUVs may not need to boast big numbers for towing and hauling, trucks are constantly locked in that battle of numbers, so it’s best to come out swinging, which is exactly what Jeep did. Equipped with the tried-and-true Pentastar V6, the Gladiator will pull up to 7,650 pounds and haul up to 1,600 in the bed. That towing figure is best in class, and something tells me it’d be hard to match those numbers with the I4, since it doesn’t appear to have been built with a truck application in mind.

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Now, there’s nothing wrong with offering a smaller and possibly less-capable engine in a pickup truck. The only engine on offer for the 2019 Ford Ranger is a four-cylinder, and yet it tows just 150 pounds less than the Gladiator while out-hauling the Jeep by 50 lbs. Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota all offer I4s in their midsize trucks, as well.

Jeep will eventually expand the Gladiator’s lineup to include a diesel engine alongside the V6, but as of this writing, the automaker has made no announcements about offering a smaller gas engine in the Gladiator. The four-cylinder engine, and its 48-volt mild hybrid system, is a $1,000 option on the Wrangler, and Gladiator buyers probably wouldn’t be interested in shelling out more money for a truck that ends up being less capable. 

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