First Real World Gladiator Towing Impressions & Results (7000 lbs)

TommyTFL

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for having me! My name is Tommy, I am a videographer/editor at a publication called The Fast Lane Truck (TFLtruck). We do new truck testing from off-road to max towing. Big fan of this forum btw!

Maybe you guys care, maybe not but we just got done with our towing tests with the new JT. We've got full videos coming soon but as I think this is a pretty cool community thought I'd share some thoughts ahead of publishing.

First thing we did was hook up roughly 4000 pounds to the truck and run it through our MPG loop. This is a standard test we do for most all trucks to find out their real world towing fuel economy. Keep in mind we are in Colorado at elevation, but hey! It's the real world.

Here's an example of what the test looks like:


The gladiator towing proved to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side our resident towing expert Andre felt the truck to be confident dynamically with decent road holding and good brakes. However...

At roughly 4000 lbs (exact numbers to come in the vid) the truck did under 9 MPG on the highway towing loop. I find this fairly disappointing given the relatively flat terrain and constant highway speed.

Okay now for the fun stuff. We do a test called the "Ike Gauntlet." Essentially we tow heavy uphill on i-70 in Colorado and see how the truck performs. For the Gladiator, we noticed many users on this forum wanted to see how it would do maxed out so that's what we did! This is what the test looks like for reference:


So. Jeep says our tester (loaded rubicon with tow group) will tow 7,000 pounds. We hooked up 7000 lbs (once again, exact weights in the video). Again, I believe it's performance is acceptable towing, but not great. On the plus side the truck made it the through the test without mechanical failure or overheat.

However... By the top of the run it struggled to maintain 35-40 MPH. Granted this is an extreme test, far beyond what many of you will end up using it for. That's ultimately the point. And while it made, slowly but surely, I am still not convinced I would want to tow above 5000 consistently. MPG up the hill was sub 5. The biggest issue is the 3.6 makes it power high in the RPM range so it spends a lot of time screaming at you up hill. Here's the rub (again, in my opinion):

With driver and fuel the truck came in at over 5000 lbs empty. If you are used to a JL and its performance, I would adjust your expectations. Of course we are at elevation which has a big impact, but in my personal opinion the truck is, well, a little poky. The 3.6 is a well made and durable engine. But I personally think the truck is crying out for the 2.0L turbo, especially at elevation.

Anyways, Thanks for letting me rant, and hope this was somewhat useful. Full videos coming soon. The rest of the team's opinion will certainly be in the video!

IMG_2215.jpeg

 

since41

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Where is Andre and Roman? Andre is always good for a laugh but always delivers great content,
 


Professor57

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Awesome, indeed @TommyTFL This is exactly what I am looking for. I’m a YouTube subscriber, and the work you folks do is really good. I’ve been looking forward to the Gladiator running the Ike Gauntlet. Thank you, sir. Be assured I’ll watch the video several times.
 
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bruno747

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Called it on the towing. Knew there was no way the gladiator was going to keep too much speed if my JK 2 door has to scream to keep pace without towing anything.

Ecodiesel should do okay though as the 1500 did okay. Not great but okay.
 

Reasons

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Based on your assessment @TommyTFL of the Gladiator's towing performance, and after watching the towing performances of both the Tacoma and Ranger, the Gladiator is the worst out of the 3. Sure, the Gladiator is rated to tow more than the Tacoma and Ranger, but TFL's real world testing shows the Gladiators performance is subpar... correct?
 

Texops

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Hey @TommyTFL my son & i have followed you guys over a year now , keep up the good work always fun & informative. Thanks
 

Skyler7381

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@TommyTFL can you post a video of the fuel door operation? id be interested to see that
 


BlackDog

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From someone who will be doing that drive regularly, thank you! Can't wait for the video.
 

5JeepsAz

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Thank you! This answers a ton of questions. The big question for me was 4:10 being needed for just driving in the Rockies period, let alone towing something. Did you make an assessment of passing on I-70 empty going up through the tunnel? Basic question is would you even consider 3:73? Thank you again for offering your take. Great stuff.
 

SKT

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To echo the others, thanks for sharing this awesome info!

Please keep us updated with any upcoming or recent Gladiator specific filming you do.
 

Rex3rd

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The gladiator forum peeps appreciate you posting so we can be lazy and not have to search for anything lol. Thanks for everything you do for us and keep up the good work! :clap:
 

Blown7

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As I figured, the Glad needs a V-8 or a big torque diesel to be a towing vehicle.

At least it doesn't strain to haul plywood.....unless your trying to haul 7000 pounds worth...

 

 
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