Why a Diesel?
This is an interesting question. My previous truck (2017 Ford F250) had a 6.7-liter diesel that was an amazing engine. If it weren't for the overall size of the vehicle (plus the amazing trade-in value they offered us), I probably never would have sold that truck. It got decent mileage, pulled incredibly well, and had amazing torque. Great truck—but far too big.
Fast-forward to the Gladiator. We had a choice of the 3.6-liter gas Pentastar of the 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoDiesel. The Pentastar is a very well-proven and reliable power-plant, having been around for many, many years and used by countless Jeep owners with excellent long-term results.
In contrast, the Diesel is newer and, well, less-well-proven. Further, it's a more complex European-based engine, and has a very complicated and overly engineered exhaust and pollution control system. And, to add insult to injury, the price of diesel in recent months has skyrocketed.
But we still went with the diesel engine. The reasons is multifold. First, I do tow. My current trailer is a modest 16-foot single axle trailer that the Pentastar could have muscled around town, but towing with a torquer diesel engine is SO much easier. And if/when I upgrade my trailer to a bigger, heavier one, the truck will be ready for it.
Second, I love the mileage that the Jeep diesels can manage. Yes, the cost of diesel (and DEF) offsets this benefit somewhat, but the range of the Gladiator is un-matched in a mid-size truck. If I want to take a run from, say, Tucson to Flagstaff, for example, I can do it without refueling. This is a tremendous benefit for us when the spur-of-a-moment trip idea arises.
Third, the bottom-end torque of the EcoDiesel, combined with gearing of the Rubicon trim, means excellent off-road climbing capabilities. This is also going to be a benefit when I have to pull a home-built road drag on our cabin to smooth out and clean-up the road up there.
Finally, I guess I'm just a diesel fanboy now. Having owned my previous diesel truck, I've learned to appreciate and enjoy the sound, torque, and uniqueness of an "oil burner." When we were shopping for the new Jeeps and I dithered on the decisions, my wife said simply, "No, darlin', you have to get a diesel again."
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