The 2024 Jeep Gladiator retains its 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, but a 4xe plug-in-hybrid option will not be offered, at least in the near future.
The Gladiator Willys trim brings newly standard Tru-Lok rear axle locker, trailer tow with programmable auxiliary switches, and an Off-Road+ mode to adjust throttle and transmission shift points.
New for ’24 is the Jeep Adventure Guide, a catalog with detailed maps of 3000 Jeep-ready trails, all of them rated by level of difficulty and easily accessible on the new 12.3-inch vertical Uconnect touchscreen.
We learned last spring about upgrades to the 2024 Jeep Wrangler, so it seems fitting that its pickup truck platform mate, the Gladiator, receives the same enhancements, also for the ’24 model year.
The 285-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 carries over as the only available powertrain for the Gladiator, with a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission.
While Jeep is selling 40% of its Wranglers with the 4xe plug-in hybrid system (and 20% of Jeep Grand Cherokees as 4xe), there are no immediate plans for the Gladiator to offer the 4xe PHEV option, says Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America.
But by 2025, Morrison says every Jeep nameplate will be electrified, and there will be no Jeep vehicles available solely with internal-combustion power. So perhaps the Gladiator 4xe is coming down the road.
There are plenty of other Gladiator upgrades, including two new trims—Mojave X and Rubicon X, with more standard off-road features, including a full-time transfer case, integrated off-road camera, front/rear steel bumpers, and Nappa leather-trimmed 12-way power adjustable front seats.
Also enhanced is the Gladiator Willys trim with newly standard Tru-Lok rear axle locker, trailer tow with programmable auxiliary switches, and an Off-Road+ mode to adjust throttle, transmission shift points, and traction control for higher speeds on sandy terrain, as well as low-speed rock crawling.
The refreshed Gladiator debuted today at the Detroit auto show, where Jeep will be offering consumer test rides of various vehicles on an improvised off-road track inside Huntington Place.
Refreshed after Four Years in Market
The Gladiator was new to the US market in 2019 as a ’20 model, with the “JT” codename, derived as a variant from the JL Wrangler when that arrived all-new as a 2018 model.
While the Wrangler is available with two doors or four, the Gladiator comes in one cab size, with four doors and a single bed measuring five feet. The Gladiator continues offering three roof choices and three door choices, but going door-less is an option, too.
This is a good time to update the Gladiator as the compact truck segment (or midsize, as Jeep and other brands prefer to call it) has grown crowded with popular new entries such as the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick.
Both of those have done well in terms of sales, but the Maverick stands alone in second place this year behind the ridiculously dominant Toyota Tacoma. Meanwhile, the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are all new this year, and the Nissan Frontier was new just a few years ago.
In this growing segment of nine pickups, the Gladiator is smack in the middle, outpacing only the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Frontier, and Santa Cruz based on 2023 sales, according to Wards Intelligence data.
Jeep Adventure Guide Costs $39.99 a Year
Product planners are counting on the latest improvements to help the Gladiator with its new seven-slot grille grow its market share.
While the Gladiator is about simple enjoyment of the great outdoors, one of its newest features relies on some high tech: The Jeep Adventure Guide, assembled by Stellantis with the help of TrailsOffRoad.com, is a catalog with detailed maps of 3000 Jeep-ready trails, all of them rated by level of difficulty and easily accessible on the new 12.3-inch vertical Uconnect touchscreen.
The subscription cost to access the Jeep Adventure Guide is $39.99 per year, and there are lots of questions about how much personal data will be passed along and to whom and for whose economic benefit. But if you’re lost on a trail, this electronic mapping service might be worth every penny.
Also for ’24, the Gladiator offers seven new standard and optional wheel designs, with tire sizes ranging from 32 to 33 inches. Jeep execs say the Gladiator, properly equipped, can ford 31.5 inches of water—yes, the new power front seats have been tested for water fording.
Ready for Desert Thrill Rides
Open-air options include a new standard premium soft top, two available hard tops (black and body color), and the folding windshield now integrates the radio antenna, so the old upright whip won’t snap off in heavy brush on the trails.
The body-on-frame ’24 Gladiator, with five-link suspension and Dana 44 heavy-duty front and rear axles, offers four advanced 4x4 systems:
Command-Trac part-time transfer case with 2.72:1 low range ratio
Selec-Trac full-time transfer case with 2.72:1 low range ratio
Rock-Trac part-time transfer case with 4:1 low range ratio
Rock-Trac full-time transfer case with 4:1 low range ratio
Jeep claims best-in-class payload of 1725 pounds and max tow rating of 7700 pounds for the Gladiator.
For 2024, the Gladiator will be available in Sport, Willys, Mojave, and Rubicon trim. The Mojave, intended for desert thrill riding, gets specially tuned high-performance Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks for better handling, ride comfort, and bottom-out resistance at high speeds.
By way of creature comforts, the refreshed Gladiator comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with improved speech recognition. The Uconnect 5 infotainment platform is five times more powerful than the package it replaces and runs on the Android operating system, incorporating the Alexa voice assistant and allowing for over-the-air updates.
Jeep dealers are prepared to take orders for the new ’24 Gladiator starting today. The vehicles will start arriving at US Jeep dealerships at the end of this year.
Do you think the Gladiator stands as a unique, rugged alternative in the compact pickup truck segment. Please comment below.