First Drive Review: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Motor Authority

Published 4/14/2020 on Motor Authority by Kirk Bell

If I stand in this sandy gravel, I sink about three inches. If I try to run, I look like Wile E. Coyote windmilling in place as he takes off after the Road Runner. But for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave, this terrain is a cakewalk.

The Gladiator Mojave is Jeep’s first “Desert Rated” product. As I’m about to learn, it’s quarry rated, too, and it has the hardware and software to conquer the landscape at The Badlands Off-Road Park, a former gravel pit in Attica, Indiana.

Momentum is very important here because I’m not just running through sand, I’m climbing tall dunes. If I don’t carry enough speed, the truck will sink into this two parts sand/one part gravel mix, I’ll create deep ruts, and I’ll have to roll back down the hill to try again. With the four-wheel-drive system in 4Hi, I engage the Off-Road+ setting, lock the rear axle, then take a run at one of the dunes. It’s sink or swim.