Why Should You Buy a Jeep Gladiator?

Jeep is an automaker primarily known for its lineup of SUVs, but drivers interested in exploring different pickup truck options have likely noticed the Gladiator. While the Gladiator does appear similar to the Wrangler in terms of design — like its recognizable grille — it’s not accurate to say the Gladiator is just a Wrangler with a cargo bed.

Have you ever wondered why you should buy a Jeep Gladiator? Here are just four reasons why drivers might choose this mid-size pickup truck.

Reason #1: It Was Truck of the Year in 2020

What really matters about your truck is whether you love it and whether it can meet your driving needs, but it never hurts to have a little validation from the experts either. Looking at the awards and accolades a certain model has won can help you get a feel for its strengths. 

In 2020 — its debut — 50 independent automotive industry experts voted the Jeep Gladiator as the North American Truck of the Year. The jurors voted on different attributes from innovation to design, safety, driver happiness and value.

Reason #2: The 2021 Gladiator Earned a Quality Award

The last thing you want to do is pick out your new truck, only to get it home and start encountering maintenance issues soon after — or worse, have mechanical issues pop up while you’re driving somewhere.

It may bring Jeep Gladiators some peace of mind to know that J.D. Power rated the 2021 Gladiator the #1 midsize pickup truck in terms of initial quality. How is this award decided? The experts at J.D. Power looked at which models had the fewest problems reported by owners within the first three months of ownership.

Reason #3: Unprecedented Off-Road Capabilities

It’s not every day you encounter a Trail-Rated pickup truck. Usually when you think about hitting the trail, it’s probably behind the wheel of an SUV. But no longer do drivers have to sacrifice off-roading capability for cargo space, or vice versa.

Four-wheel drive and Trail-Rated badging come standard on the Jeep Gladiator. To earn this badge, trucks have to pass a series of tests:

  • Optimizing traction to wheels
  • Fording water up to 30 inches
  • Maneuvering narrow spaces
  • Articulation on uneven surfaces
  • Clearing ground obstacles

As when it comes to the Wrangler, the Gladiator Rubicon trim level is the most geared toward intense off-roading, with its locking differentials in the front and back, its disconnecting sway bar, its 4:1 transfer case for maximizing torque, its rock rails of steel and its special shocks. There’s also a special Off-Road plus button to help make adjustments depending on the type of terrain you’re tackling, like rocky hills or desert dunes. 

Reason #4: There Are Gas and Diesel Powertrain Options… For Now

New for the 2021 model year are a wider variety of powertrain options, including diesel and hybrid options. The standard engine is a 3.6L V6, but many trim levels make a 3.0L V6 diesel available.

However, the 2022 model year will apparently offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain, according to the automaker. This configuration will draw on a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. In the Wrangler, this setup can facilitate 25 miles of all-electric driving, which could be a game-changer for commuters.

These are just four of the answers you could give when someone asks why they should buy a Jeep Gladiator. Ultimately, Gladiator drivers tend to be those looking for a combination of cargo capability, off-roading prowess, fun and quality. One thing is for certain: The Gladiator is far from your average midsize pickup truck.