The Jeep Gladiator isn’t quite the towing machine that FCA might have made it out to be.
We know that the Jeep Gladiator is every bit the off-road pickup that Jeep said it would be. But they also said that it would be a pickup truck, and pickup trucks are made to haul stuff. According to Jeep’s official figures, the Gladiator Rubicon can tow a maximum of 7,000 lbs with the towing group option installed, which is a fairly large amount.
But can it really haul 7,000 lbs? That’s the question asked by The Fast Lane Truck as they take the Gladiator on a Super Ike towing test.
For those unfamiliar with the Ike Gauntlet, it involves taking a pickup truck up and down an 8-mile stretch of the I-70 Interstate between Dillon, Colorado and the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels at the Continental Divide. This takes the vehicle up to 11,758 ft above sea level, which is tortuous on a truck’s motor.
A Super Ike follows the same route, but now the pickup is hauling its maximum possible load. In the Gladiator’s case, that’s 7,000 lbs. On the way up, our hosts time the pickup to simply see how long it takes to travel up a steep incline in thin air hauling its maximum towing capacity. On the way down, the number of brake applications is measured while maintaining 50 mph.
Even before the test starts, the Gladiator is lacking quite a few features that most pickups enjoy. First, there’s no standard trailer brake installed on the Gladiator. One is coming later this year, but TFL Truck had to install an aftermarket trailer brake controller for their test. Second, the tow hitch was too short and caused all the weight to fall on the Gladiator’s rear axle, requiring a manufactured weight redistributor to keep the rear suspension from compressing all the way to the bump stocks.
And third, the Gladiator has no tow mirrors. They had to install a few aftermarket mirrors for safety.
You can check out the video above for the full results, but let’s just say the Gladiator unperformed in comparison to other midsize pickup trucks. The Gladiator might be great for off-roading, but hauling a heavy load is not the Gladiator’s strongest suit.