The Jeep Gladiator has been one of last year’s biggest launches as far as the U.S. automotive scene is concerned, and now it’s finally here, price tags and everything.
Buyers can spec their Gladiator from upwards of $33,545, which isn’t cheap seen as how rivals like the Toyota Tacoma are priced from around $27,000. However, that’s because Gladiators come only with four-wheel drive and a big V6 engine – no four-pots or two-wheel drive here. Add the four full-size doors and decent equipment and you’re suddenly looking at not-so-bad value after all.
Nothing more than a Wrangler pickup?
Pretty much, according to Doug DeMuro, who got the chance to drive one. However, that’s mostly a good thing, despite the fact that it doesn’t feel as nimble as the Wrangler. On the other hand, being nimble is not what either the Gladiator nor the Wrangler are about anyway.
Despite that big engine, however, it’s not fast either. The 3.6-liter V6, which is good for 285 HP and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque, will get the job done, but straight line acceleration isn’t going to impress anybody given the truck’s large mass. Customers willing to wait a year for the V6 diesel options might enjoy a little more pulling power, thanks to the substantially increased torque that’s rated at 442 lb-ft (600 Nm).
In the end, this reviewer came away impressed with the execution, calling the Gladiator an “excellent take on a Wrangler pickup truck,” despite certain quirks that might take some getting used to, like the window switches being on the center console. Then again, where else would you put them seen as how the doors are removable?
Jeep really thought the Gladiator through, and when you factor in the practicality and off-road capability, you might conclude that buying this truck is a no-brainer – as long as you’re in a market for a mid-size pickup with all-wheel drive and value off-roading more than on-road manners and comfort.