- Wrangler styling
- Fabric or hard top choice
- Still seriously capable
- Rubicon can drive over anything
- So much personality
- Only one body and bed combo
- Light on standard features
- Rivals are more comfortable
- Very noisy interior
- Whew, that pricetag
features & specs
The 2022 Jeep Gladiator’s pickup utility and off-road bona fides work brilliantly together, at a steep price.
What kind of truck is the 2022 Jeep Gladiator? What does it compare to?
The Gladiator is the pickup-bedded companion to the Jeep Wrangler. Both are sort of the IRL version of a can of energy drink, which sets the Gladiator apart from Tacomas and Frontiers and pitches it more in the direction of the new Ford Bronco.
Is the 2022 Jeep Gladiator a good car?
We give it a TCC Rating of 5.2 out of 10. It’s poorly suited to a rating scale like ours which favors on-road performance, particularly safety and fuel economy. But for what it does, the Gladiator really has no rival. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What's new for the 2022 Jeep Gladiator?
Jeep has made a 7.0-inch touchscreen standard, and the 8.4-inch touchscreen now comes with every Overland, Rubicon, and Mojave model.
There’s no disguising the Gladiator’s throwback appeal, or what it’s meant to do. It’s shaped like a Wrangler with a bed, and that comes with the implicit ability to ride trails and cut new ones. The vintage aura of the Gladiator doesn’t wear thin precisely because it can do all the trailblazing its Transformer-like body promises. It does it with a modern-ish interior with touchscreen infotainment and a wash-and-wear finish that’s ideal for its mission.
Base Gladiators get a 6-speed manual and a 285-hp V-6, but we like the combination of full-time four-wheel drive, the 260-hp turbodiesel, and the 8-speed automatic for the ability to crawl inch-by-inch over slick rocks or to splash through rivers of rubble. The Gladiator’s no fun on the open road, where it gets noisy and floaty; every mile of interstate reminds you of the destination to which you should be headed instead.
With its removable fabric and hard tops, fold-down windshield, and ditchable doors, the Gladiator’s ready for adventure. Its 5-foot bed can tote lots of jerry-cans and weatherized bins of gorp—or some warehouse club boxes of wine, yes we see you. It’s not uncomfortable to sit in front, but given the choice as a daily commuter, we’d take any Jeep compact crossover instead, especially since its few crash-test scores have been low and its advanced safety features cost extra—and aren’t even available on the Sport versions.
How much does the 2022 Jeep Gladiator cost?
It’s $36,910 for a Gladiator Sport with part-time four-wheel drive, 17-inch wheels, a soft top, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The $45,015 Overland is our pick, with its 18-inch wheels, power features, and 8.4-inch touchscreen. The $48,620 Rubicon will be the choice of off-roaders ready to custom-build their Gladiator, but the $52,105 High Altitude will win over those who want the look, not necessarily the cred.
Where is the 2022 Jeep Gladiator made?
In Toledo, Ohio, home of the Mud Hens.
2022 Jeep Gladiator
It’s a Wrangler with a bed, and that’s just fine with us.
Is the Jeep Gladiator a good-looking car?
It’s an appealing throwback to a genre and a generation of vehicles that almost no living person experienced in their heyday. Nostalgia’s real with the Gladiator, and its accurate rendering of vintage Jeeps—scaled up in size—plays very well on and off-road. It’s a 7 for styling, with two extra points for the exterior.
The Gladiator look promises what it delivers. Rugged and flexible, it’s boxy and awkward and purposeful all at the same time. It’s not beautiful, at all, but it’s striking and visually appealing, all but a Wrangler from the front doors forward. Behind those, the Gladiator stretches about 19 inches to add space for its pickup bed, and it flows as evenly as anything with this many straight lines can. Base Gladiators get a black cloth top, but a three-piece Freedom Top with hard panels can take its place. Both tops can be lowered and removed, along with the doors, and the windshield can be folded down to strip the Gladiator down to its essence.
The interior clones the Wrangler’s dashboard. This year, a bigger 7.0-inch touchscreen takes the place of the former 5.0-inch unit, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen comes with higher-priced versions. It’s a work-ready environment, without a shred of luxury despite available leather upholstery. It looks wrong when it’s clean.
2022 Jeep Gladiator
Go-anywhere off-road ability meets its Waterloo on pavement.
The Gladiator isn’t built for total street comfort, it’s made for established trails and those yet to be carved. It earns a point for exceptional all-terrain talent, but gives it back for bouncy, imprecise road manners. It’s a 5 here, on a scale heavily biased toward passenger vehicles and street driving.
Is the Jeep Gladiator 4WD?
Every version gets at least a part-time four-wheel-drive system; full-time four-wheel drive can be configured on any model. Rubicons get a dedicated setup with a 2-speed transfer case and a 4.0:1 low-range ratio.
How fast is the Jeep Gladiator?
It’s not. The Gladiator’s 3.6-liter V-6 turns out 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, through a 6-speed manual or a $2,000 8-speed automatic, for moderate acceleration that’s held back by its heft.
Jeep also offers a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 that puts out 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. It’s only offered with the automatic, and costs another $4,000 in addition to the transmission’s upcharge. It boosts performance in some keys ways, but straight-line acceleration from a stop isn’t one of them. Once it’s working hard at 1,400 rpm, the turbodiesel feels more brisk in street driving—but it’s off-road where it shines. The throttle response has been tuned for precise power application, which keeps the Gladiator trundling over obstacles or churning through sand with excellent control. The extra clattery noise it generates isn’t a bad trade-off.
Since it’s longer than the Wrangler, the Gladiator rides better too. Both require lots of small steering corrections no matter which wheel-and-tire set has been mounted, and the Gladiator feels more floaty at higher speeds. A Honda Ridgeline it is not.
Any Gladiator can go deeply off-road, but the real action happens in Mojave and Rubicon trucks. The sand-running Mojave has lots of ground clearance, 33-inch all-terrain tires, and Fox internal bypass shocks; the Rubicon beefs up for slower going with Fox monotube shocks, a more robust transfer case, automatic sway bar disconnects, and locking front and rear differentials, all the better for rock crawling.
Gladiator Sports max out tow ratings at 7,650 lb; other editions can tow between 4,000 and 7,000 lb. Payload ratings range from 1,075 to 1,700 lb.
2022 Jeep Gladiator
Comfort & Quality
Four passengers can strap in for the off-road ride of their life, but they’ll hear about it.
The Gladiator can carry four people farther from pavement than just about any vehicle we’ve driven, but the noisy cabin undercuts the joy of its open-air driving and its useful pickup bed. It’s a 5 for quality and comfort.
It’s comfortable for front passengers who don’t mind manual seats. No Gladiator gets power adjustment, but the cloth upholstery can be switched out for leather. Getting in is more of a hurdle than getting cozy: It’s a tall climb into the truck, though, and more difficult yet on the Rubicon and Mojave versions.
With an interior nearly identical to that of the Wrangler, the Gladiator’s longer wheelbase gives it about three inches more space for rear-seat passengers. Leg room fits most, but it’s not wide enough for three people, and the seat bottom could benefit from more padding.
The Gladiator scores a point for its useful bed. It’s offered in just a 5-foot length, but the tailgate’s aluminum for easy use, and the bed can be configured with a roll-up cover, a 115-volt outlet, and a spray-in bedliner.
The Gladiator’s soft and hard tops are its calling card; so is road noise. They’re constant companions in any Gladiator road trip. Interior materials are fine, but the utilitarian nature of the Gladiator and the lack of some creature comforts will be a mild shock for drivers who put it into commuter duty.
2022 Jeep Gladiator
The Gladiator’s crash-test scores are incomplete.
How safe is the Jeep Gladiator?
While the NHTSA has given the Gladiator some crash-test scores—including a low three-star rating for rollover resistance—the IIHS hasn’t tested it yet. We’ll abstain from a rating until more data has been published.
That said, Jeep’s stingy with standard safety equipment. The Gladiator Sport and Willys Sport don’t even offer automatic emergency braking, and every other model requires a $795 upcharge for it, along with adaptive cruise control. Side airbags can’t be fitted to it; it gets exempted from that rule.
Other safety gear costs extra, too, depending on the model. Jeep does offer blind-spot monitors and rear parking sensors. Some of this is standard on rivals like the Ford Bronco, but Jeep does offer swell touches like a forward-facing trail cam, with its own spray nozzle for cleaning when it gets muddied.
2022 Jeep Gladiator
Base Gladiators are literally spartan, but the sky’s literally the limit.
The Gladiator’s score of 6 for features doesn’t tell the whole story. Those who want a bare-bones off-roader get served well by the custom-build-friendly Sport, and the options list has more line items than an omnibus budget bill. With those qualities offsetting each other, the Gladiator picks up a point for its newly uprated touchscreen, for a 6 here.
The $36,910 Gladiator Sport strips down for mud-plugging duty with relatively few standard features. It has a soft top, 17-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, 8-speaker audio, air conditioning, and keyless start. It also has manual windows and door locks, but does get a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It carries a basic 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. Options include a Class IV receiver hitch and tow package that on the Sport yields a 7,650-lb rating, the best of the lineup.
Which Jeep Gladiator should I buy?
Jeep dices the Gladiator lineup more finely than a Cobb salad, so you may want to skip past the various Willys and Altitude editions to get to the $45,015 Overland, which has power features, 18-inch wheels, side steps, and the 8.4-inch touchscreen. Options range from heated front seats to fancy leather upholstery to a safety bundle with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Like the Sport, it can be configured with a limited-slip rear differential.
Well-funded off-road mavens will want either the $48,620 Rubicon or the Gladiator Mojave for $295 more. Both get all the essential off-road hardware—33-inch tires, wider axles, a higher suspension, disconnecting sway bars, a lower-range transfer case, and differential locks—though the interior features still require a strong hand on the options list.
How much is a fully loaded 2021 Jeep Gladiator?
The $52,105 High Altitude has blind-spot monitors, cruise control, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, 20-inch wheels, and the three-piece Freedom Top. Adaptive cruise control and full-speed automatic emergency braking cost $795, even on this version. Of course, it’s easy to spend more than $60,000 on a fully kitted Rubicon, even before you step into the rabbit hole of Mopar accessories.
2022 Jeep Gladiator
Go diesel for high fuel economy.
Is the Jeep Gladiator good on gas?
It’s better on diesel. The turbodiesel Gladiator earns EPA ratings of 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 24 combined in all versions where it’s offered except the Rubicon, where it’s rated at 21/27/24 mpg.
Most Gladiators get the V-6, and that truck’s gas mileage checks in at 17/22/19 mpg for automatic versions and 16/23/19 mpg for those with the manual. That puts the Gladiator at a 3 for fuel economy.