2023 Jeep Gladiator: The Best and the Worst at the Same Time

2023 Jeep Gladiator: The Best and the Worst at the Same Time

If you’re looking for an off-road pickup truck to give you a high level of performance and fun on the trails, the 2023 Jeep Gladiator is an excellent choice.

While the Gladiator is the best off-road truck in the market, it hits the bottom of the reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. Don’t allow that to alarm you yet, reliability in today’s automotive world isn’t the same as it was several decades ago. That said, you’ll want to consider both off-road prowess and reliability before you let this Jeep truck be the one you take home.

Why should you consider a different vehicle?

There are several off-road trucks in the market, all of which are more reliable than the Gladiator. This Jeep truck isn’t unreliable because of the electronics or HVAC system, it’s much more serious than that. The predicted reliability problems found in the Gladiator stem toward the suspension, driveline, body integrity, transmission, and fuel systems. These are certainly not systems you want to fail when you’re driving your new truck. While the 2023 Gladiator hasn’t been tested yet, these predicted factors come from observations and complaints from the 2020 and 2021 model years.

What makes the Gladiator an attractive option?

If you understand what the Jeep Gladiator is supposed to be, you’ll understand better why this truck is a great choice for off-roading. The Gladiator takes the same platform as the Wrangler and adds a truck bed to the rear. This means it’s a rough and tumble truck that can be fun to drive on trails and hard to handle on the road. If you love to spend time in the wilderness, this Jeep pickup can be perfect for you, but if you spend more of your time on the roads, you might want a truck that’s a little softer.

Are there better off-road trucks offered in 2023?

Although trail riding is what Jeep does best, the Gladiator might not be the most hardcore off-roader in the market. Of course, the high ground clearance, large tires, and short overhangs could put it in the lead amongst the many pickups. Other models that certainly provide hardcore off-road driving are the Ford Ranger Raptor, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and GMC Colorado AT4X. These trucks might have more of what you desire when you want a truck that works great during the week and handles your adventures on the weekend.

If you really want the Gladiator, what does it bring?

There are nine different versions of the Gladiator to give you the features and capabilities desired. Let’s take a look at each one to see what it brings to your drive.

Gladiator Sport

The base mode, and foundational version of the Gladiator is the Sport trim. This version comes standard with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. As you would expect, you’ll find the standard Jeep Command-Trac part-time 4WD system.

This base model has heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, skid plates, a Class II trailer hitch, and several options. You’ll enjoy riding on a set of 17-inch steel wheels with 32-inch all-season tires.

Gladiator Willys Sport

Above the base model of the Jeep Gladiator, the Willys Sport model comes with 17-inch black alloy wheels, mud-terrain tires, body-colored fender flares, and a black grille. You’ll also enjoy heavy-duty shocks, a limited-slip rear differential, and an optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
<3>Gladiator Sport S

Continue up the market and enjoy the Sport S model which has silver alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, power windows, power locks, and a power tailgate. This could be the right trim when you know you’ll drive your Gladiator every day. This model also brings in remote keyless entry, automatic headlights, and fog lamps to the market.

Gladiator Freedom

The Freedom trim is a limited-edition version of this pickup that honors those in the military. This model adds a bit to the Sport S trim with military-themed elements for the cabin and the exterior of this truck. This model also includes Led headlights, a winch-capable steel front bumper, steel rock rails, and unique 17-inch black wheels.

Gladiator Willys

This version of the Jeep Gladiator takes the Willys Sport model a little farther up the market to give you what you desire. You’ll find fog lights, automatic headlights, a power-locking tailgate, and heated side mirrors as part of the added standard equipment in this truck. Other standard items include power windows, power locks, keyless entry, a 7-inch configurable instrument display, remote engine starting, automatic climate controls, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Gladiator Overland

If you’re looking for the Gladiator that increases the luxury qualities offered, the Overland model is the right choice. This Jeep truck gives you more creature comforts including automatic climate controls, power heated side mirrors, 18-inch Granite Crystal wheels, LED ambient interior lighting, and a configurable 7-inch instrument cluster. The Uconnect 4C Nav infotainment system is part of the standard package along with an 8.4-inch touchscreen.

Gladiator Rubicon

When you want the ultimate Jeep Gladiator for off-road fun, the Rubicon model is the right truck for you. This model includes a beefed-up suspension and drivetrain, impressive visual upgrades, a Tru-Lok electronic locking front and rear differential, heavy-duty Dana 44 wide axles, Rock-Trac 4WD system, and an electronic disconnecting front sway bar.

Gladiator Mojave

This version of the Gladiator is named after a massive desert to remind you that it brings a desert vibe to the market. This model offers some of the Overland’s comfort qualities and the Rubicon’s off-road prowess. The Mojave brings an integrated hood scoop, 17-inch gloss black wheels, and 33-inch all-terrain tires. You’ll find the same heavy-duty Dana wide axes in this model as you see in the Rubicon. The Mojave comes with a 400-watt inverter, a power tailgate lock, off-road info pages, and an Alpine premium sound system.

Gladiator High Altitude

The top model of the Jeep Gladiator is the High Altitude trim. This version adds some stuff to the Overland model including a body-color Freedom hardtop and 20-inch gloss black wheels. You’ll find quilted Nappa leather seat, premium door panels, and a wrapped instrument panel inside this impressive pickup truck. The High Altitude model has a sport suspension and sport-tuned shock absorbers.

Which Jeep Gladiator will you choose?

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