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2021 Jeep Gladiator Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Sport vs Sport S, Willys vs Overland, Rubicon vs Mojave & High Altitude

What 2021 Jeep Gladiator Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

It's been a long time since Jeep offered a vehicle with a cargo bed in the back. The 2021 Gladiator is Jeep's first pickup truck since the 90s. This is a mid-sized truck with four doors, a crew cab and a 5-foot bed. All models come in a 4X4 configuration with a V6 engine. Jeep also offers a V6 turbo-diesel with start/stop technology.

Jeep is known for producing vehicles that offer excellent off-road performance. The Gladiator continues this trend with some of the best off-road capabilities in its class. This is a capable truck in many other ways too. It can haul a payload of between 1,140 and 1,600 pounds, depending on the trim level. The base model has a stock towing capacity of 4,000 pounds, but this can be expanded up to 7,760 pounds with the right equipment and setup.

One great thing about the Gladiator is how it offers the iconic Jeep style in a new and exciting package. This pickup truck still retains that classic, rugged look that Jeeps are known for. The 2021 Gladiator comes in a total of nine different trim levels and special models. We will take a close look at how these models stack up against each other.


Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport vs Willys Sport. What is the difference?

All models of the 2021 Jeep Gladiator come equipped with a 3.6-liter, 24-valve V6 engine. This engine produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It has a combined fuel-economy rating of around 19 miles-per-gallon. All trims come stock with a 6-speed manual transmission. These two trim levels offer an 8-speed automatic as well. There is also an available 3.0-liter, V6 turbo-diesel that produces 260 horsepower with 442 pound-feet of torque.

The Willys Sport model gets some cosmetic extras for the exterior. The front grille comes blacked out. This trim also gets a black Trail-Rated Badge, body-colored fender flares, a four-wheel-drive decal and a Willys decal on the hood. It even gets an upgraded bumper with some glossy black trim. The Sport model offers 17-inch, black, steel wheels while the Willys Sport has a similar set of aluminum wheels. The Sport trim level has a set of all-terrain tires. The Willys Sport comes equipped with 32-inch mud-terrain tires.

On the inside, both trims have bucket seats with cloth upholstery up front. The Driver's seat has 6-way manual adjustments. In general, the Willys Sport has a more simple interior, designed for easier cleaning. It also includes all-weather slush mats. Both trims can add on an available tow-hitch package.

Safety features are bare minimum at these two trim levels. Both come with front- and side-impact airbags. The Willys Sport model adds on Daytime Running Lamps and a 97 Miles-Per-Hour Maximum Cutoff feature. Selec-Speed Control is available to both models. This feature automatically manages the Gladiator's speed while using the 4-LO gear for better off-road performance under certain circumstances.

Both of these trims get the basic Uconnect 3 Infotainment System. This system comes with a 5.0-inch touchscreen display. It includes USB ports for connectivity and charging. Smartphones can be connected to the system via Bluetooth technology. It also has Voice Command and Hands-Free Calling features. The audio is provided via a simple AM/FM stereo.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys Sport vs Sport S Trims. What is the difference?

The Sport S is basically the Sport model with some added features and a few upgrades. The Sport S trim level also gets access to some optional packages and features that are unavailable for the base-level trim. The Sport and Sport S trims are the only two to have access to Jeep's Maximum Tow Package. This bumps the towing capacity up to 7,760 pounds.

The Sport S model adds power windows and locks. You also get a power-locking tailgate with this trim. You still have 17-inch wheels, but they now come in a silver paint scheme. The exterior side mirrors get a heat feature for quick defrosting. The visors add illumination at this level. Remote Keyless Entry and Automatic Headlights are added on as well.

As for the extra options, Sport S buyers will have access to the Cold Weather Package. This gets you heated seats up front. You can add on a premium Alpine sound system and LED taillights. There is also a Safety Package which tacks on Forward-Collision Detection, a Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport S vs Willys Trim. What is the difference?

These trim levels are where the naming conventions may start to seem confusing. The Willys Sport is like a special edition of the regular Sport trim. The Sport S model is an upgraded version of the regular Sport. The Willys model is like a special edition of the Sport S. You basically get what the Sport S has to offer plus the cosmetic upgrades that the Willys Sport trim added to the regular Sport.

The Sport S model and Willys edition both have an upgraded Uconnect 4 Infotainment System with a larger, 7-inch screen. A built-in navigation system is optional. Google's Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on the Sport S model but absent from the Willys edition. The Willys has the special grille and decals once again. Another thing that both of the Willys editions add is heavy-duty, red shock absorbers up front and in the rear.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys vs Overland Trims. What is the difference?

The Overland trim level is sort of like the luxury model of this rugged, utility vehicle. It was designed mostly for those who plan to spend most of their time on paved roads. It comes with some nice comfort and convenience features. Don't let the luxury appointments fool you, however, this is still an off-road beast that can tow and haul with the best of them.

The Overland comes stock with a set of 18-inch Granite Crystal aluminum wheels. These are paired with a set of all-season road tires. On the inside, there are special cloth bucket seats. Leather-trimmed seats are optional. This trim gives you the option for an upgraded Uconnect 4 Infotainment System with an 8.4-inch screen. The interior also offers LED ambient lighting.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Overland vs 80th Anniversary Edition. What Is the Difference?

The 80th Anniversary model is another special edition. It adds on heated outside mirrors and automatic headlights. It has the upgraded bumper previously seen on the Willys models. This time there are gray accents instead of the glossy black. The gray accents also find their way onto the grille which is now painted to match the body color. You will also find deep-tinted sunscreen windows and the special 80th Anniversary badges on the exterior.

This special model gets Jeep's top-tier infotainment system that was only an option for the Overland trim. It also gets the Alpine premium sound system. There are now speed-sensitive power locks and a power-locking tailgate. The interior has some cosmetic flourishes such as tungsten accents, a gunmetal bezel around the instrument cluster and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 80th Anniversary badges are on the interior as well as the exterior. Speed-Selec Control is now standard. This model gets a security alarm and Remote Keyless Entry. It gets access to most of the packages, meaning you can add all available safety features and driver assists if you desire.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator 80th Anniversary Edition vs Rubicon Trim Level. What Is the Difference?

The Rubicon trim level is for those drivers who want the best off-road performance available. All models are 4X4, but the Rubicon offers special low gear ratios that are perfect for rock crawling and navigating the roughest terrain. This is a truck that can get past mud or sand, over rocks and debris and even through low water. It also comes with an upgraded suspension system to tackle whatever the ground throws at you.

The Rubicon has more ground clearance than previous models. The suspension is lifted and the flares are higher. This model has locking front and rear differentials. There are also electronic sway-bar disconnects. The wheels are the same on the 80th Anniversary or the Rubicon. The Rubicon, however, gets a set of massive, 33-inch all-terrain tires.

On the inside, the Rubicon offers Automatic Climate Control. Most of the infotainment upgrades, safety equipment and driver assists revert back to optional here. They are all available, but very few of them are standard. The Rubicon is mostly designed with off-road capability in mind.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon vs Mojave Trim. What is the difference?

The Mojave is a special model designed for desert navigation and perhaps even off-road racing. Instead of the typical Trail Rated Badge that most Jeep's display, this model comes with a Desert Rated Badge. This truck sits a bit higher than the Rubicon and has a front skid plate. Special shocks are designed to dissipate the heat from trekking over hot sand.

Military-grade suspension fluid is used to deal with the desert heat. The Mojave has 33-inch tires with a unique tread that's designed specifically for sand. Steering and handling have even been tweaked to accommodate the unique conditions of desert off-road driving. Special Mojave badging is on the outside, along with badges and unique stitching for the interior.

Compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave vs High Altitude. What is the difference?

The High Altitude is another special model. While the Mojave was built for the desert, this truck was engineered for the mountains and rocky regions. It offers the same V6 engine as before, but this truck comes stock with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It also comes equipped with Heavy-Duty Dana 44 Wide Axles in front and in back.

On the outside of the High Altitude, you get a body-colored grille, bumpers and exterior mirrors. The wheels are a set of 20-inch aluminum models with a glossy black finish. These come paired with a set of all-season tires. This model comes stock with a three-piece, removable hardtop. The seats get Quilted Napa Leather upholstery for this model. It also comes with the top-line infotainment system and the premium audio setup from Alpine.


Which Trim to Choose?

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a versatile truck with a ton of options and trim levels. In cases like this, what works for one owner may not be the best choice for another. Which trim to choose will depend on how you plan to use the vehicle. If you want to keep costs down, the base model is a good choice that still offers excellent performance and plenty of standard features. The Sport and Sport S models are also the only trim levels to offer the Maximum Tow Package.

The Gladiator's capabilities make it an excellent truck for hauling or towing over rough terrain. This is great for out-of-the-way worksites or for some outdoor fun at a faraway campsite. Since all models share the same powertrain options, any will be fine for both of those needs. The Overland is a good choice if you will mostly stay on paved roads. The Rubicon may be better if you want some off-road fun along with a few convenience features.

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Compare the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Trim Levels