Jeep has put in a lot of effort to make this worthy of a Desert-Rated badge

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has proven its mettle since its launch and it’s not a bad off-roader by any means. However, Jeep decided to up the ante and make it even more suitable to desert terrain.

Called the Gladiator Mojave, this is the first Desert-Rated vehicle to come out of Jeep’s factory. Ever. Jeep has improved focus on the Gladiator’s suspension on this rugged pickup truck’s desert-ready version. Jeep also launched the High Altitude Edition that’s got to do more with extra features and luxury than ruggedness itself. This trim will be available on the Wrangler as well.

What’s Different On The Outside?

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On the outside, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave doesn’t look radically different from the stock trims. Jeep has proudly slapped it with a Desert Rated emblem, though.

This is an extension of the Trail Rated badge that is affixed on Jeep vehicles that are produced to tackle slow-speed rock obstacles. What’s more, the side of the heavy-duty performance hood receives a “Mojave” decal. In addition to that, Jeep has also offered unique wheels on this pickup truck along with sand slider side rails. There is a silver skid plate underneath to protect it from underbody hits. The tow hooks are painted in orange in this exclusive edition.

Not A Lot Of Changes On The Inside

2020 Jeep Gladiator
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Customers get to choose between two color themes - Black and Steel Gray. The Gladiator Mojave features aggressive front seats with better bolstering to hold occupants comfortably in place when being adventurous.

These seats can be had either in leather or in cloth with orange accent stitching and embroidered Mojave logos. There’s also a leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching. To make things easier while driving, Jeep will also offer a forward-facing off-road camera that will allow obstructions and objects to be seen easily.

That’s A Lot Of Off-Road Equipment

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave And High Altitude Special Editions Exterior
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Jeep solely focused on making this a fun-to-drive truck on desert terrain. The company has also equipped the Gladiator Mojave with the Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system.

The two-speed transfer case has a 2.72:1 low-gear ratio and it’s complemented by heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles. Thanks to this transfer case, the Gladiator Mojave can operate at higher speeds in 4LO, which will make climbing sand dunes a lot easier, since you need that initial torque in such conditions.

The Gladiator Mojave also comes with a standard electronic-locking rear diff and a 4.10 rear axle ratio that will improve acceleration while climbing grades, uneven terrains, and carrying heavy loads.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave And High Altitude Special Editions Exterior
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The Jeep Gladiator Mojave also comes with exclusive Fox hydraulic jounce bumpers that provide extra damping when the shocks are fully compressed.

It is also equipped with 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs to keep the shock fluid cool under extreme conditions. The truck receives a one-inch suspension lift and 33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-terrain tires as standard. You can also opt for Falken Wildpeak Mud-terrain tires which will be available as an option. All this coupled with half-an-inch wider track helps the Mojave attain better stability. Jeep has reinforced the frame and made the axles stronger with cast-iron steering knuckles so that the Mojave is a lot more abuse-friendly.

Jeep will also be offering an Off-Road Plus button that allows drivers to adjust throttle, transmission shift points and traction control for peak performance on higher speed passes on sandy terrain, as well as during low-speed rock crawling, with just the press of a button. This feature will also enable drivers to lock the car’s rear axle at high speeds while in 4H. However, this feature will feature later in 2020.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave And High Altitude Special Editions Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The pickup truck also boasts:

  • Approach angle - 44.7 degrees
  • Breakover angle - 20.9 degrees
  • Departure angle - 25.5 degrees
  • Ground clearance - 11.6 inches

Same Old Powertrain Under The Hood

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The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave is powered by the same 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that makes 285 ponies and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Power is sent to all the wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, whereas an eight-speed automatic gearbox is available as an option. The towing and payload capacities are rated at 6,000 pounds and 1,200 pounds, respectively.

Although the Command-Trac 4x4 system looks good in theory and is great for desert terrain, the crawl ratio is not as impressive as the Rubicon’s Rock-Trac system.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave And High Altitude Special Editions Exterior
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In pure numbers, the Command-Trac with the six-speed manual has a crawl ratio of 57.3:1 and 52.6:1 with the eight-speed automatic gearbox. When equipped with the Rock-Trac system, it has a crawl ratio of 84.2:1 with the manual gearbox and 77.2:1 with the auto transmission.

2020 Jeep Gladiator specifications
Engine 3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6
Type and Description 60-degree, V-type, liquid-cooled
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Aluminum deep-skirt block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM

What’s The High Altitude Edition About?

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Speaking of the High Altitude trim, Jeep will be offering it on the Gladiator as well as the Wrangler. This trim will have plusher and premium features. Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator High Altitude models are available in the following shades:

  • Billet Silver
  • Black
  • Bright White
  • Gobi (Gladiator exclusive)
  • Granite Crystal
  • Ocean Blue (Wrangler exclusive)
  • Snazzberry (Will be available later on)
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On the outside, the High Altitude edition will boast:

  • New 20-inch Fully Painted Gloss Black Aluminum Wheels
  • Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza All-Season Tires
  • LED Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights With Accents, Front LED Fog Lamps, and LED Taillights
  • Body-colored Bumpers, Hardtop, Fender Flares, Exterior Mirrors, Door Handles, Tailgate Handle
  • Running Boards With An Integrated Step
  • Matte Black Trail-Rated Badge
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Inside the cabin, Jeep is offering the High Altitude edition with:

  • Leather-Wrapped Dashboard, Center Console And Door Panels
  • Nappa Leather Seats With Quilting
  • Two Interior Color Options: Black and Steel Gray which will be available later on
  • Black Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • An 8.4-inch Touchscreen Infotainment System with Alpine Premium Audio System

Final Thoughts

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The pricing is not out for any of the editions yet. However, the Gladiator Mojave should roughly command a premium of $2,000 to $3,000 over the Rubicon trim. Given the specs of the Mojave, I don’t see any reason why Jeep won’t be able to move it, unless it prices it exorbitantly.

With that said, the High Altitude editions will also be priced quite high because, well, they’re premium. Jeep hasn’t announced any cap on the number of examples it will build for either of the editions. The Mojave and the High Altitude editions will be available from the second quarter of 2020.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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