Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave?

Should You Buy a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave?

2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Pros

  • Unique style and vehicle
  • Great off-road performance
  • Removable top
  • 6-speed manual

2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Cons

  • Too harsh
  • Very expensive
  • Cramped interior

As I was struggling to put my child’s car seat in the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave, my fiancé came out and inquired as to what the swearing was all about. I told her that the latch onto which the seat is supposed to attach was too small for the metal clip, to which she replied that it was probably a bad idea to put our two-year-old in the truck anyway. For some odd reason, that gave me even more motivation to get the darn seat attached.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

I ultimately did, and I am happy to admit that the kid loved every second of her journey in the Mojave. She smiled and laughed as we were rattled from side to side going over every pothole, and she liked how, despite being firmly attached, she could feel every single turn and curve.

Personally, I loved rowing through the six-speed manual controlling the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine found under the bulging hood. It’s odd that this gearbox that we would classify as heavy and cumbersome in any other vehicle is so enjoyable in the Gladiator or Wrangler regardless of the trim. In the Mojave, it just adds to the eccentricity of the whole thing.

Many people think that the Jeep Gladiator Mojave is an even more extreme version of the Gladiator Rubicon. It’s not, it’s a unique model with a unique purpose. It’s the first Jeep vehicle to be Desert Rated, which means it can do in the desert what Trail Rated Jeeps can do on the trail: cross it better than any other vehicle.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

In order to do so, the Mojave has special FOX 2.5-in internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs, and industry-exclusive hydraulic jounce bumpers. What are hydraulic jounce bumpers, you ask? Well, they are a more hardcore version of your traditional jounce bumper, or bump stop. They are designed to absorb the impact of your Gladiator Mojave flying over a sand dune and landing its hefty weight the suspension. The Mojave also gets an extra inch in ride height.

Other features of the Mojave are shared with the Rubicon. These include a Tru-Lock electronic rear differential, Command-Trac 2-speed transfer case, skid plates, and Dana axles. The 33-inch Falken all-terrain tires allow you to cross the Sahara with ease, but they wreak havoc on daily comfort.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

And that’s the thing about the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave. You have to want one real bad because if you are just buying it to look cool on Crescent Street, the pain of all the extra hardware will wear thin really quickly.

“It can’t be worse than my Rubicon”, you say? Oh, it is.

As Matt said in his Gladiator Mojave review:

“Unlike a Rubicon, there’s no downtime when driving the Mojave. The reality is that the larger FOX shocks (the track was widened a half-inch to fit these bad boys), the bypass passages, the external reservoirs, and the extra FOX front hydraulic jounce bumpers act as though they’re never off unless the road’s surface is perfectly smooth.”

So, with all of this in mind, should you buy a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave?

Why You Should Buy a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave


  • It’s a cool truck. Nothing looks like it on the road, people notice it, and it feels different from any other vehicle you can buy right now including the Colorado ZR2.


  • The off-road capacity is pretty impressive. The Mojave may be designed for the desert, but it can go off the beaten path easily as well. If you are part of an off-roading group or just like to have fun in the woods, this particular Gladiator can do as well as the Rubicon, even better maybe.


  • You get 1,200 pounds of payload which makes the Mojave a truck you can actually use to haul stuff. Often, special versions like this have to compromise capability, but not the Gladiator Mojave.


  • It’s still a Gladiator which means it’s the only pickup that you can remove the roof.


  • Resale value should be pretty good. 

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave


  • Because you probably don’t need it.


  • The comfort level is a tick over 0, but that’s about it.


  • Steering feel is terrible on the road.


  • You’re always correcting the trajectory and compensating for changes in road typography.


  • Like all Gladiators, it can feel cramped inside.


  • Hefty price tag (our tester came in at over $70,000 in Canada, or roughly $55,000 in the US).
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Final thoughts on the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

Good on Jeep for releasing the Mojave trim. It’s cool and more importantly, it actually can do what it says it can do. If I ever have to get from San Francisco to Las Vegas, I’m taking the Gladiator Mojave and I’ll put it to the test. But, see, that probably won’t happen and what is left is a truck that is just too hardcore for normal roads. Or not. Part of the Jeep brand’s identity is that it builds vehicles that are more about passion than logic, and no other model better represents that than the Gladiator Mojave.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Photo: Matt St-Pierre


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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email


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