Built For Adventures. The 2022 Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck that’s built for a niche subset of consumers. Just like other Jeeps, the Gladiator is built to do one thing: go off-roading. Even the base Gladiator offers plenty of off-roading capability thanks to a standard four-wheel-drive system, a low-range transfer case, skid plates, and solid axles.

For drivers really looking to go off-roading, Jeep offers the Gladiator in Rubicon and Mojave trims. The Rubicon is a serious rock-crawler, meant for tackling grueling terrain at low speeds. The Mojave is at the other end of the spectrum, meant to be driven at high speeds over sand and dirt trails. The two trims come with 33-inch all-terrain tires, rock rails, and heavy-duty Fox shock absorbers. While the Rubicon comes with locking front and rear differentials, as well as an electronic sway bar disconnect, the Mojave has a specially tuned Fox suspension, an extra one-inch lift, and a reinforced frame.

With other features like removable doors and roof, the Gladiator lets you enjoy the wilderness to the fullest. It really is a Wrangler with the body of a pickup truck.

Serious Towing Capacity. The Gladiator comes with some of the most powerful engines in the class. Additionally, it’s one of the few pickups to be available with a diesel engine. For serious off-roading and towing, we prefer the optional diesel engine, though it’s hard to live with in regular driving.

The standard engine in the Gladiator is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The V6 offers plenty of grunt for regular use and even for off-roading. Jeep offers the engine with a six-speed manual transmission and an eight-speed automatic. For extra torque, the Gladiator is available with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that’s rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The diesel is only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

While we prefer the diesel engine, it’s a $4,010 upgrade, is incredibly loud at highway speeds, and brings lower towing and payload capacities. When equipped with the V6 engine, the Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds and haul up to 1,700 pounds. With the diesel engine, towing capacity drops to 6,500 pounds and payload capacity falls to 1,325 pounds. Despite the decreases, the diesel engine feels punchier than the V6 when hauling large cargo.

Rugged, Straight-Forward Design. Jeep’s designers took the Wrangler and pasted a five-foot bed onto the back. Some won’t like the design, but the Gladiator expresses its purpose from the get-go. With its boxy lines, massive fender flares, and upright design, the Gladiator has a design that screams Jeep. It also lets you know that it’s meant to get dirty.

On the inside, the Gladiator is a Wrangler clone with nearly identical styling and layout. The straightforward dashboard and simplistic center console layout make all of the Gladiator’s controls easy to use. The boxy design of the pickup truck gives drivers a commanding view out of the vehicle, making it easy to see any obstacles ahead.

Despite being a rugged pickup truck with a simple design, Jeep offers the vehicle with some impressive tech features. A seven-inch touchscreen is standard, while a larger 8.4-inch unit is optional. The Uconnect infotainment system is simple to use and well-laid out, while the physical controls make the audio and HVAC systems easier to use.

Not Built For Comfort. The major downside to the Gladiator is that it skews a little too heavily to the rugged side of things. The seats force passengers to sit in an upright position that reminds us of being back in elementary school. While the seats are nicely shaped, they could use some more cushioning, as long trips result in numb rear ends. The rear seats offer enough space for two adults to sit comfortably, offering more space than the four-door Wrangler.

With an eye on being rugged, easy to clean, and having removable doors, the Gladiator has a loud cabin that becomes deafening at highway speeds. The pickup truck’s rough ride, which comes because of its solid-axle design, is well behind competitors and makes the truck hard to live with.

With a starting price tag of $37,680 with destination, the Gladiator has one of the higher starting price tags in the segment. Despite the high price tag, the Gladiator doesn’t come with a lot of standard equipment. The Gladiator is one of the few new vehicles on sale to come with manual windows and door locks. You also won’t find any advanced safety features as standard equipment on the Gladiator, as a rearview camera is the only noteworthy standard feature on the pickup.

Final Thoughts. The 2022 Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck that won’t appeal to everyone. It’s aimed directly at consumers that want a Wrangler with a small pickup bed at the back. Rugged, highly capable off-road, and highly competent at towing, the Gladiator is one of the more unique pickup trucks on the market. No other pickups are offered with removable doors, but at the same time, comfort comes second with the Gladiator.

The Honda Ridgeline is the opposite of the Gladiator. It’s comfortable, comes packed with safety features, has a smooth ride, and puts off-roading and towing capacity on the back burner. For more towing capacity, the Chevrolet Colorado can tow up to 7,700 pounds. It’s also available with a diesel engine, a high-performance ZR2 trim, and balanced handling.

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