So, you love Wranglers but, well, you’d also like a truck. You keep hearing about Jeep’s Gladiator, and it seems too good to be true: a pickup truck based on the Wrangler. Well, believe it. In fact, when it comes to factors such as fun and utility, Gladiator does it even better than other pickup trucks. Here’s that – and more.
The Jeep Gladiator
There had been clamor for a truck version of the beloved Wrangler ever since Jeep stopped building the Comanche pickup truck some three decades ago. At long last, the automaker unveiled the Gladiator a couple of years ago. It’s a vehicle that offers stout pickup utility in addition to the world-class off-road capability that you’ve come to expect from Jeep.
Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator’s roof and body panels can be removed, and the Wrangler’s off-road DNA extends to this vehicle as well. So, not only can the Gladiator tow 7,650 pounds and haul, but it can play off road with aplomb. No other pickup truck can boast that combination. More about this prowess later.
The 2022 Gladiator is propelled by a 3.6-liter V8 that makes 285 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine’s mated to six-speed manual although an eight-speed automatic is available.
Where Gladiator Shines
There are 19.4 more inches than the Wrangler between the front and rear wheels, improving ride and handling. This diminishes one chief advantage that many pickup trucks had on the Gladiator (the fact that the Gladiator is not a pure pickup notwithstanding).
The ride’s interior is evocative of Wrangler’s — but more luxurious — and includes a raft of intuitive controls. If you want a heated steering wheel and front seats, they are available. And Gladiator’s longer wheelbase affords backseat riders ample legroom. So, while the GMC Canyon can tow a skosh more than can the Gladiator, the Canyon’s seating is rigid, and the suspension system is tight. Meanwhile, the Chevy Silverado has a luxe interior, but it’s caught flack for in-car technology issues.
Connectivity includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for the 8.4-inch and 7.0-inch displays, two up-front USBs and USB-C ports. In short, the interior’s posh quotient edges the Gladiator closer to the front of the pickup wars.
Off-road equipment abounds, and the five-seater Gladiator can ford up to 30 inches of H2O and clear tons of ground. This is another example of why the Gladiator is capable of more fun and adventure than the average pickup. For example, the Honda Ridgeline rides and handles well, but it doesn’t go off road.
If you want to climb rocks or negotiate trails, you’ve got driver assistance in the form of the Rubicon trim’s front-facing camera. That’s in addition to rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. Also, the Gladiator is the first trail-rated pickup truck in the industry. No other pickup can touch it.
In terms of utility and practicality, the Jeep truck has plenty of places in addition to the cargo bed to store your stuff, including a cool compartment under the back seat and multiple places for your cellphone. Sure, bigger pickups will typically have ample storage, but relative to size, design, and novelty, the Gladiator is on top here.
Also, how many pickups have plenteous ways to stow the seats, seats that can also be locked down when off-roading gets rowdy?
And compared to other pickups, you can’t say the Gladiator isn’t tough. In fact, it’s constructed for adventure. That’s something other pickups can’t claim. We’re talking super-strong axles, coil front, and rear suspension, in addition to the largest brakes in its class.
How about a five-foot bed that is set off by LED lighting and a tailgate that can be positioned three ways? You can see that this truck, unlike most others, is constructed with adventure in mind.
So, yes, the Gladiator was designed to make like a truck — but with the panache of a Wrangler. It truly is the best of all worlds. Whether you need to load a bunch of stuff for road cycling or kayaking, tow a small vessel, or clamber over a bunch of rocks, the Gladiator, overall, simply does it better.