The 2022 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck requires sacrificing comfort for coolness and usefulness. For folks who love the Jeep brand, that sacrifice is easy to make considering the added versatility its pickup possesses over the popular Wrangler SUV. Not only does the Gladiator also have removable body panels and the inherent ability to play in the dirt and mud, but it can tow two tons more and has a cargo bed that adds another dimension to its skillset. Sure, the Wrangler is nimbler on the trails, but the Gladiator’s longer wheelbase gives it a better ride. Compared with body-on-frame rivals like the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier, the Jeep is more of a handful at highway speeds, requiring regular steering inputs to remain steady. Still, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator’s optional diesel engine has more torque (442 pound-feet versus 369) and a higher combined EPA rating (24 mpg versus 22) than the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
What’s New for 2022?
Jeep hasn’t made any notable alterations to the Gladiator lineup for 2022. Of course, there’s always the chance that the company drops a special edition at some point during the year, as it did with the 2021 Texas Trail edition, which is exclusively sold in the Lone Star state. We’d also love to see a Gladiator packing the 470-hp V-8 that’s found on the recently introduced Wrangler Rubicon 392.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the Sport S is the perfect canvas to create our ideal Gladiator. We’d choose the all-terrain tires and anti-spin rear differential for improved traction when the blacktop ends, and we’d add the side steps to make getting in out and easier. We’d also select the three-piece hard top for its ability to quickly open the roof. Inside, we’d add the headliner for better noise and temperature insulation and upgrade to the larger 8.4-inch touchscreen, because it adds navigation and is more sophisticated than the standard 5.0-inch unit. Our other preferred options include the Cargo Management pack (400-watt power inverter, an under-seat storage bin, and a bed-mounted 115-volt outlet) and the auxiliary switches and upgraded charging system for any lightbars or accessories that we’ll surely add for maximum Jeepness.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Gladiator is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque routed through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. We tested an Overland model with the automatic, which needed 7.2 seconds to scoot to 60 mph. In other words, it’s slightly slower than most competitors. We’ve also driven a Gladiator with the diesel 3.0-liter V-6, which develops 260 ponies and a mighty 442 pound-feet of twist. Compared with the regular Wrangler, the Gladiator has an extra 19.4 inches between the front and rear wheels. Jeep says this helps improve the pickup’s ride and handling. Now that we’ve driven several examples, we can confirm that it drives much like the Wrangler. The truck’s steering isn’t extremely precise and the ride can be busy on uneven surfaces. Still, these characteristics are part of the formula that make the Gladiator both a legitimate pickup truck and a trail-ready tool. Most enthusiasts care about the truck’s off-road equipment anyways, which includes everything from copious skid plates to rock-crawling axle ratios to the ability to ford up to 30 inches of water. Generous ground clearance and approach/departure angles further help the Gladiator conquer parts unknown.
Michael SimariCar and Driver
Towing and Payload Capacity
When properly equipped, the Gladiator can tow an impressive 7650 pounds. Even the weakest version can pull a 4000-pound trailer. For comparison, the Wrangler is only rated to tow up to 3500 pounds. Those looking to load up the Gladiators cargo bed can carry between 1105 and 1700 pounds of payload.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Gladiator models equipped with the standard manual transmission are rated at 16 mpg city and 23 highway. The automatic gearbox increases its estimated city mpg to 16 and drops its highway figure to 22 mpg. The diesel version is rated at 22 mpg city and 28 highway. We’ve only tested gas-burning Gladiators with the automatic transmission on our 75-mph highway route that helps us better evaluate real-world fuel economy. The Overland model was the most efficient version, returning 21 mpg on the highway, but the Mojave returned a much lower 15 mpg. However, the latter was equipped with bigger tires and a higher rear axle ratio than the Overland (4.10 versus 3.73). For more information about the Gladiator’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Gladiator has an upright dashboard that imitates the Wrangler’s and supports user-friendly controls. Durable details include a waterproof push-button start, and there are optional convenience features such as a heated steering wheel and heated front seats. Jeep says the truck’s stretched wheelbase improves back-seat legroom versus the four-door Wrangler. The Gladiator also has body and roof panels that can be easily removed to create an open-air cabin. Along with its five-foot cargo bed, the Gladiator is filled with ingenious interior storage options. Its cabin has a handful of spots to stick a smartphone and a handy compartment hidden under the back seat. The seats themselves can be stowed in multiple ways and then securely locked in place for when the trail turns treacherous.
Michael SimariCar and Driver
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every model has a standard touchscreen, but only the larger 7.0- and 8.4-inch displays come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The stereo system can also be upgraded with an optional subwoofer and portable wireless speaker behind the back seat. Front-seat passengers will be privy to several power points, which include two USBs and a USB-C port; a 115-volt outlet is also available.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although the Jeep pickup is available with a handful of driver-assistance technology, its roster is significantly smaller than some competitors. The Rubicon model has a useful front-facing camera that comes in handy when blazing trails or crawling over rocks. For more information about the Gladiator’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available adaptive cruise control
- Available blind-spot monitoring
- Available rear parking sensors
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Gladiator has a warranty that’s similar to the rest of the Jeep lineup, which includes competitive limited and powertrain coverages. The pickup also includes three years of free maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years and unlimited miles
2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4
front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED
$55,040 (base price: $41,890)
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
220 cu in, 3605 cc
285 hp @ 6400 rpm
260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): live axle/live axle
Brakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/T 685, 255/70R-18 113T M+S
Wheelbase: 137.3 in
Length: 218.0 in
Width: 73.8 in
Height: 73.1 in
Passenger volume: 104 cu ft
Curb weight: 4812 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.3 sec
Zero to 90 mph: 16.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: N/A
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.6 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 98 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 195 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.74 g
Observed: 18 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 21 mpg
Highway range: 460 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 19/17/22 mpg
More Features and Specs