Diesel engines have not been very popular in the US throughout the years. People seem to prefer the refinement and power delivery of gasoline-powered units.
However, as diesel engines get better and better there seems to be a shift towards the soot-expelling torque monsters.
Both gasoline and diesel have their pros and cons; however, in certain vehicles, there are more variables to the equation.
In today’s article, we will be focusing on the Wranglers and Gladiators. What should you go for? A diesel or gasoline Wrangler/Gladiator?
Benefits of the Diesel Unit in the Jeeps
The first consideration between a diesel or gasoline Wrangler/Gladiator is how the engine performs off-road.
Diesel engines perform great in off-roaders. They make a lot of torque down low which means that the truck has plenty of grunt to drive over obstacles. Furthermore, they are very economical, perform great when towing, and are generally better when driving long distances on the motorway.
When it comes to slow off-roading such as rock crawling you really cannot beat the torque and control of the diesel engine.
The specific engine found in the Jeeps is very powerful and according to customers, significantly more economical than the petrol. Therefore, the diesel engine wins so far.
Diesel or Gasoline Wrangler/Gladiator: Cons of the Diesel Engines
Along with the positives, we also have some negatives and a few of them might be deal-breakers.
Reliability on the Jeep ecodiesel engines does not seem to be great. Many people report overheating issues that lead to loss of power, problems with the exhaust gas recirculation systems, and finally, the headache that is adding diesel exhaust fluid.
For remote travel, the diesel exhaust fluid might be a big drawback as in such areas there is no way you will be able to find this additive. Therefore, you will need to carry a bunch with you which in turn leads to more weight and less space.
The diesel exhaust fluid is also something you need to pay for and when this is added to the big price difference between the diesel and petrol engines, the money you save on fuel with the diesel may not be enough to justify the purchase as it will take years to break even.
Just take that into account when deciding between a diesel or gasoline Wrangler/Gladiator.
Pros of the Gas Jeep Engine
The 3.6 liter V6 in the Jeeps is a proven engine. It has been around for years; therefore, we are all aware of its reliability and decent power figures.
Being petrol, it will perform great on dunes or in the mud where wheel speed is crucial. Furthermore, as it is an old engine there are plenty of modifications around such as superchargers that give it more power.
Finally, the simplicity of the motor means that fixing it at home or on the trail will not be an issue.
Overall, it offers many benefits for the overlander or off-roader.
Diesel or Gasoline Wrangler/Gladiator: Cons of the Gasoline Engines
As I am sure you know, these engines are not what one would call economical. They need to move a heavy, blocky, and solid axle truck, and being somewhat of an older-style motor it does use plenty of fuel while doing it.
Furthermore, they are nowhere near as torquey as the diesel engines which can be an issue when you install big tires and load up the truck for overlanding.
Motorway performance isn’t as good, and it does not provide the low-down power of the diesel.
Which One Should You Buy?
So, when it comes down to a diesel or gasoline Wrangler/Gladiator, which one should you buy?
Personally, I would go for the gasoline. I believe the reliability issues and the cost and fuss of the diesel exhaust fluid are not worth the gains.
The price difference is also quite significant; therefore, it will take a long time to get back your extra money from the economy of the diesel.
For overland, simpler is better and in some cases, simplicity cannot be replaced.