2023 Jeep Gladiator

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2023 Jeep Gladiator Review: Staying True To The Formula

The Jeep Gladiator is the truck derivative of the Wrangler JL, making it one of the few products in its midsize pickup-truck segment that offer solid front and rear axles, but it still lacks a hybrid or V8 powertrain option. What you do get is a naturally aspirated Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 good for 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6 which generates 260 hp and 442 lb-ft. All trims, consisting of the Sport, Willys Sport, Sport S, Freedom, Willys, Overland, Rubicon, Mojave, and High Altitude are available with the gas engine, but just the higher trim models can adopt the oil burner. The Pentastar drives three variations of the brand's 4x4 system by your choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission while the diesel uses a different variation of the self-shifter only. The 2023 Jeep Gladiator's competitors include the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado. They don't have the same level of off-road capability as the 2023 Gladiator and while this makes the Gladiator unique in this segment, it is also reflected in its noticeably higher pricing. Buyers don't seem to mind too much, as Jeep sells around 50,000 per year, close on the heels of the popular Ranger.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 10 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
8.9
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2023 Jeep Gladiator Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Gladiator?

There are no functional changes for the 2023 Gladiator range, but Jeep has introduced a limited-edition Freedom Package for the Sport S trim. At $3,295 this adds a military-inspired configuration dating to the brand's first days of service in 1941. This includes a unique white body paint contrasted with Oscar Mike military star decals on the hood and tailgate. Satin Carbon black wheels, accents, and American flag decals complete the patriotic look. It also has LED headlights and fog lights, winch-ready steel bumpers, color-coded fender flares, and steel rock rails. Inside, it has leather-and-cloth upholstery with black stitching.

There's also a new Capability Package available for the High Altitude trim, which provides the truck with a steel bumper that can accommodate a winch, steel rock sliders, and a front-facing camera for off-roading. This comes at $1,795. The Willys trim also gets keyless entry with remote start, a garage-door opener, and a seven-inch gauge cluster, while the maroon Snazzberry paint is replaced by a luminescent-yellow High Velocity this year.

Pros and Cons

  • Rear seating is spacious and functional
  • Uconnect infotainment is easy to use
  • Head-turning exterior design
  • Great at towing and off-roading
  • Removable roof and doors
  • Noisy on-road, with ponderous handling and slow steering
  • Poor fuel consumption
  • Expensive
  • Poor in-cabin sound insulation

Best Deals on 2023 Jeep Gladiator

2023 Jeep Gladiator Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Sport
3.6L V6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,775
Freedom
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,775
Texas Trail
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,775
Willys
3.6L V6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,775
Willys Sport
3.6L V6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,775
See All 2023 Jeep Gladiator Trims and Specs

2023 Jeep Gladiator Handling And Driving Impressions

Before getting behind the wheel of the Jeep Gladiator, you must understand that it is built for off-road driving first and foremost. Its mechanical specifications include solid axles front and rear, so it can tackle the toughest trails, but if you explore the city and highway, you're going to notice that the ride and handling leave much to be desired. It is noisy at speed, the steering is slow and vague, and it generally feels lumpen and ponderous. But it shines off-road, clawing its way over obstacles, with the robust chassis soaking up the punishment. The Jeep Gladiator has not kept up with the times, as products like the Land Rover Defender and the new Toyota Tundra offer very good off-road ability too, with little to no compromise on their on-road ride and handling over tarmac surfaces. The Mojave makes the most of the Gladiator's chassis with its Fox suspension.

Entry-level trims including the Sport, Overland, and Mojave get the basic Command-Trac drivetrain for moderate off-roading. Selec-Trac allows users to permanently lock the center differential 50:50 and run in high range with the center diff. Part-time 4:1 Rock-Trac, standard on the Rubicon, is the option for serious off-roaders as it adds an extra-low crawl gear and the option to disconnect the sway bar to increase axle articulation. Both of the Jeep Gladiator's engine and transmission options offer enough power and response, but their mpg figures are poor.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Jeep Gladiator A Good Truck?

The best way to sum up the new Jeep Gladiator truck is by clarifying that it makes for a great off-roader but a poor road car. It is a perfect option for hardcore off-roading, but as a family car, it demands some clear compromises. With the cheapest Jeep Gladiator trim starting at an MSRP $38,775, it is quite expensive too; the flagship costs over $54,000. This is a perfect pickup alternative to the Wrangler range but its technology feels a bit out of place in a world where other manufacturers use innovative design to make more multi-talented off-roaders. In its defense, there is no other product like it currently available in the USA, so if you are a traditionally hardcore rock climber, you may find that a road-test review of the Jeep Gladiator may just seal the deal for you. It also has the visual presence to turn a few heads while you are on the go, not to mention the option to remove the doors and roof so you can really be part of the action.

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