Is it now better to buy?
When the 2020 Jeep Gladiator first hit the market last spring, we learned that it may have been better to lease one as opposed to buying. Why? That's easy; it was cheaper. For example, one could lease a base trim Gladiator Sport for $196 a month for 36 months with a 10 percent deposit.
However, CarsDirect has noticed something interesting: Gladiator lease prices have increased. Depending on trim, some Gladiators are now $50 more per month than they were only five months ago. One of the likely reasons for this is a 4 to 5 percent drop in residual values. That same 2020 Gladiator Sport is now listed at $246 month under the same lease terms.
At the same time, Jeep is making every attempt to convince Gladiator shoppers to choose more expensive trims. Those who want the Sport trim will likely find themselves pushed towards selecting the more expensive Sport S, which can now be leased for $319 a month for 36 months with $4,939 due at signing. Factor all that together and you're looking at an effective cost of $456 a month.
Compared to the Wrangler Sport and Wrangler Unlimited Sport, $401 and $412 a month, respectively, the Gladiator Sport S lease price is no longer the cheaper deal. Only last month, one could lease a Gladiator Sport S for an effective cost of $363 per month.
So why is Jeep increasing Gladiator lease prices at this rate? Because demand is high. It's that simple. Remember, the average transaction price was recently reported to be at $56,403. Now, it's important to bear in mind most buyers are opting for the more expensive trims, such as the Rubicon. They're also tacking on additional options courtesy of Mopar. This all adds up fast.
Given this level of demand, it's no wonder Jeep dealerships aren't concerned with keeping Gladiator Sport trims in stock. But for those who do manage to find one, expect to pay more for the exact same thing last spring.