Our Opinion - 2023 Jeep Gladiator Review

Jeep made the Gladiator meet the needs of Wrangler owners who wanted the freedom and fun of an off-road SUV with a pickup truck bed attached to the back. Based on the Wrangler, the Gladiator has doors and a roof that can take off. It can also pull up to 1000 pounds. It handles and rides like its sibling, the Wrangler, which makes it better for off-road use than most mid-size trucks like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado. You have to be less polite on paved roads to make up for it. Every Gladiator has a robust four-wheel-drive system, a 5.0-foot bed, and a four-door cab. Both the Gladiator’s six-speed manual transmission and its optional turbo diesel engine make it much more fuel efficient. All of them can go over rough terrain right out of the box.

For 2023, Jeep only makes minor changes to the Gladiator Rx, but on Sport S trims, it adds a limited-edition Freedom package for $3295. The Freedom package shows respect for people who serve in the US military by giving the trucks a military look and adding rock sliders and a unique steel front bumper. The Capability package, which comes with the High Altitude grade, has a front off-road camera, steel rock sliders, and a front bumper with a winch. In 2023, mid-level Willys models will come with more standard features, such as starting the car from a distance and getting in without a key. Instead of the delicious-looking maroon Snozzberry paint, yellow fluorescent High-Velocity color is used.


  • Excellent performance off-road
  • Strong diesel and gas engines
  • An interior that is roomy and well-built
  • An easy-to-use entertainment system


  • High costs to get started
  • Hard to deal with

A V-6 engine displacing 3.6 liters motivates the Gladiator. This engine is capable of producing 285 horsepower as well as 260 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission, but you can get an eight-speed automatic transmission. We tested an Overland model with an automatic transmission, reaching 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. In other words, it moves slower than its rivals. We’ve also driven a Gladiator with a 3.0-liter diesel V-6 engine that makes 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The Gladiator has 19.4 inches more space between the front and back wheels than a regular Wrangler. Jeep says that this makes the pickup easier to drive and ride in. Now that we’ve gone through a few of them, it causes a lot like the Wrangler. The truck is hard to control on paved highways, and bumpy roads can make it hard to sit in. Still, these features help make the Gladiator a reliable pickup truck and a tool that can use on the trail. Off-road fans are especially interested in the truck’s optional off-road equipment, which includes a lot of skid plates, axle ratios that can handle rough terrain, and the ability to cross up to 30 inches of water. The Gladiator’s high ground clearance and large approach/departure angles also help it go where no other vehicle has.

A few different driver-assistance technologies can be added to a Jeep pickup, but the selection is much smaller than that of competitors. The front-facing camera on the Rubicon model helps clear paths and overcome obstacles. Among the essential safety features are the following:

  • Adaptive cruise control is accessible
  • There are ways to keep an eye on blind spots.
  • The parking sensors in the back can be reached.

The Gladiator’s interior is similar to that of the Wrangler. It has an upright dashboard and controls that are easy to use. One of the stable features is a push-button start that doesn’t get wet. The front seats and steering wheel can be heated for comfort. Jeep says the truck has more legroom in the backseat than the four-door Wrangler because its wheelbase is more prolonged. The Gladiator also has body and roof panels that can be taken off quickly to make an open-air cabin. The Gladiator has a five-foot cargo bed and a lot of clever ways to store things inside. The back seat is one of the places inside the car where one can keep a smartphone. The chairs can be put away in different ways, and if the path becomes dangerous, they can be locked in place.

Gladiator models from the factory with a manual transmission get 16 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. With an automatic transmission, the predicted highway mpg drops to 22 while the expected city mpg goes up to 16. In the city, the diesel version gets 22 mpg; on the highway, it gets 28 mpg. Only the gas-guzzling Gladiators with automatic transmission have been tested on the 75 mph highway route that lets us measure real-world fuel efficiency. The Overland got 21 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, while the Mojave only got 15 mpg. On the other hand, the Overland had bigger tires and a higher ratio between the front and rear axles.

Even though every model comes with a touchscreen, it is only available on the larger 7.0-inch and 8.4-inch displays. You can also get a portable wireless speaker and a subwoofer for the stereo system behind the back seat. There is also a 115-volt outlet, and front-seat passengers can use two USB ports and a USB-C port, among other outlets.

The Gladiator can pull an impressive 7,650 pounds when it has everything it needs. The smallest one can draw a trailer that weighs 4,000 pounds. The Wrangler, for instance, can only pull 3500 pounds. Cargo capacity in the Gladiator ranges from 1,105 to 1,700 pounds.

We think the Sport S is the best place to start building our ideal Gladiator. When a paved road is no longer an option, getting in and out of the car will be easier thanks to the all-terrain tires, rear differential with anti-spin technology, and side stairs. We also like that the three-piece hard top can be opened quickly. A larger 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation and more features than the original 5.0-inch device is recommended for better noise and temperature insulation inside. The Cargo Management pack is another of our top picks (400-watt power inverter, under-seat bin, and bed-mounted 115-volt outlet). We also like the extra switches and updated charging system for any lightbars or other Jeep-specific accessories we’ll add.

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