Jeep Is Pumping Up the Wrangler and Gladiator to Take on the Ford Bronco

Jeep's off-roaders are getting updated powertrains, trims and off-road gear for 2021 to take on the new competition from Ford.

2021 jeep® gladiator rubicon left and 2021 jeep® wrangler rubicon right
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Ford recently unveiled the new Bronco to great fanfare. That makes 2021 a pivotal year for Jeep, as it's now facing direct competition in the affordable body-on-frame off-roader segment. Substantial changes, like the V8-powered Wrangler and the plug-in-hybrid 4xe Wrangler are en route — but that hasn't kep Jeep from announcing some significant 2021 model year updates for both the Wrangler and Gladiator.

2021 jeep® wrangler sahara
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2021 Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler is beefing up its off-road options. Wrangler models now offer a forward-facing Trailcam with the 8.4-inch touchscreen, helpful for seeing obstacles while off-roading. An Off-Road Plus mode now comes standard on the Rubicon trim.

Sport trim Wranglers can be equipped with a Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case with full-time four-wheel-drive and a 2.72:1 crawl ratio. Tire Fill Alert now comes with 7-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreen models. The Wrangler adds two new USB ports, too.

The 2021 Wrangler is also bringing two more trims to the party: an 80th Anniversary trim — mostly an appearance package off the Sport trim — and the Islander trim, which includes a “Jeep Tiki” hood decal and optional white hardtop. Pictures of the latter are not available yet, sadly.

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2021 jeep® gladiator rubicon
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2021 Jeep Gladiator

The Gladiator gets a new powertrain: the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that Jeep debuted in the Wrangler. That engine gives the Gladiator a ton of torque — 442 lb-ft — and increases the fuel economy to up to 24 mpg combined, which should significantly improve the Gladiator’s overlanding range. Jeep confirmed the previously leaked 80th Anniversary and Willys trims are coming to the 2021 Gladiator, too.

Jeep is also adding some helpful off-roading features to the Gladiator. Full-time four-wheel-drive will be available on all models; Gladiator Overland models now get the forward-facing Trailcam; plus, you can now option LED headlamps and foglamps on the Gladiator Sport.

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