It’s fair to say there’s nothing else really like the Jeep Gladiator on the road today. While it definitely has some Wrangler sensibilities and design cues, comparing the SUV and the pickup truck is ultimately like comparing apples and oranges. But then again, the Gladiator truck isn’t what we’re used to seeing in the mid-size pickup segment either.
We’ve established that the Gladiator is in a class all its own — ideal for drivers interested in both its towing and hauling capabilities, sense of adventure and Jeep styling. But there’s still lots of debate about which trim level is the best.
Many fans of the Wrangler are die-hard Rubicon fans, so you might assume the same would be true for Gladiator aficionados. However, opinions vary on which trim level is the most worth it. For instance, Motor Trend says the Mojave is actually the best.
Here’s more on the Gladiator Mojave trim has to offer compared to the others.
The Advantages of Being Desert-Rated
The Wrangler Rubicon is the predominant Trail-Rated SUV, especially equipped to crawl over rocks. After taking a test drive of the Gladiator Mojave, though, the experts at Motor Trend feel that the longer wheelbase on the truck is more stable when cornering. The result? A vehicle well suited to driving off-road at high speeds.
The Gladiator Mojave sports a special Desert-Rated badge — similar to the Trail Rated badge present on the Wrangler and other models, but with different criteria. The two badges underscore the difference between crawling over boulders at low speeds and driving over sand dunes at high speeds.
As The Drive outlines, there are five areas in which the Gladiator had to excel to earn the badge: maneuverability, ground clearance, traction on loose surfaces — like sand — ride control and stability, and overall desert prowess. After all, a Desert-Rated truck must be able to excel in adverse conditions like extreme heat and clouds of dust. It must also be stable enough to avoid losing its balance on tricky surfaces like gravel.
Other Gladiator Mojave Strengths: Design & Drive
While the Desert-Rated badge is a big draw for adrenaline chasers and outdoor enthusiasts, it’s not the only reason why experts have called out the Mojave as one of, if not the best, Jeep truck trim level.
Car Buzz describes both the drivetrain — complete with a 3.6-liter V6 and an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission — and the drive quality as particularly smooth. You might assume the Gladiator Mojave has a relatively bumpy ride given its work-hard, play-hard nature, but the experts note that the FOX off-roading shocks improve the overall ride quality for passengers traveling anywhere.
Another key part of what makes the Mojave appealing is its unique design cues. One reviewer praises the Mojave trim for having “a lot of personality.” The outside of the truck sports bright flashes of orange on its hood and tow hooks to cut through the more neutral tones of a desert landscape. Inside the cabin, the Mojave features either a standard black interior or an available black-and-gray color scheme. A choice of Mopar leather seats are available, either perforated or black with orange stitching.
So, what makes expert sources like Motor Trend make a bold statement that the Mojave is the best Gladiator trim available? After are, there are more than 10 from which to choose.
The Desert-Rated capabilities of the truck is a big draw, both for off-road cruisers and for on-roaders who want a rugged truck that still rides smooth. The Mojave also has a unique personality that is evident in its design and branding, allowing drivers to stand out rather than blend in.