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What is the definition of “Sticker Shock?” The difference between a new car’s advertised “starting” price and the sticker price on the window at the dealership. Will the same thing happen when shopping online for a Jeep? Inspired by the culture of Moab, Utah, let’s price a practical 2023 Jeep Gladiator capable of some off-road action. 

2023 Jeep Gladiator trim levels

Using Jeep’s online build and price tool, we see a $38,775 starting price for the 2023 Gladiator. Upon clicking the “Build Your Gladiator” button, we’re presented with a choice between seven Gladiator trims with various MSRPs:

  • Sport – $38,775
  • Sport S – $42,970
  • Freedom – $47,965
  • Willys – $46,715
  • Rubicon – $51,490
  • Mojave – $51,490
  • High Altitude – $54,575

After considering all the options, building the most practical 2023 Jeep Gladiator starts with the Sport trim. However, if we throw practicality out of the window, the Rubicon trim is hard to beat.

Still, a budget-friendly 2023 Gladiator Sport will get you on the trails and back in one piece. 

What options make a practical 2023 Jeep Gladiator Sport trail-ready?

We’ll want to add a few options since we opted for the base-level Sport trim for our 2023 Jeep Gladiator. Interestingly, the starting MSRP of $38,775 quickly jumped to $40,670 before any options due to the $1,895 “Destination Charges.” 

Our first choice involves the exterior color of our Gladiator. Bright White is the only no-cost option, with eight other color options adding $495 each. Those colors include shades of Black, Granite, Gray, Silver, Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green. We opted for the Sarge Green Clea-Coat; we said practical, not blah. 

A $795 kit is available to make removing the doors more practical, but we’ll keep our doors on. We’ll also avoid the decals and the satin grille, instead opting to spend money for more practical bits. 

The first practical bit we’ll add is the $1,050 Heavy-Duty Rock Slider with Step Assist. Rock sliders will help protect the area under the doors from any rock rash as we travel along boulder-strewn trails. Additionally, the step assist makes getting in and out of the Jeep easier, especially on uneven ground. 

Other options include the $170 All-Weather floor mats to keep our dirty feet off the carpet. We struggled with the decision to add black leather upholstery instead of the standard cloth seats. While the leather is easier to keep clean, especially on dusty Moab trails, we stayed with the cloth to avoid the $1,750 added cost.

Package options such as the Trailer-Tow Package tempted us, but we couldn’t resist the $895 Off-Road Group. The Off-Road Group swaps out the steel wheels for aluminum versions and adds a 240-amp alternator and a 700-amp battery. With it, we also get four programmable auxiliary switches, 32-inch mud terrain tires, and a sport-tuned suspension. 

The 2023 Gladiator Sport features a 3.6-liter V6 engine backed by a six-speed manual transmission. The optional eight-speed automatic tempted us as a worthy upgrade, but the $2,000 add-on was too much. Rounding out our drivetrain, we chose the Trac-Lok Anti-Spin Rear Differential and stayed with the 3.73 axle ratio. 

How does a practically equipped 2023 Jeep Gladiator price compare to its advertised MSRP?

In all, we added $3,405 in options, bringing our 2023 Jeep Gladiator Sport’s “Estimated Net Selling Price” to $44,075. While that’s higher than the advertised starting MSRP, the added options considerably enhance the Gladiator’s trail-worthiness. 

The price managed to stay relative true to it’s advertised price. Of course, we showed a lot restraint when building this truck. A couple more features and the price could’ve easily climbed closer to $50,000. What is the most economical version you could build?


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