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Jeep enthusiasts had been asking for it for years. A pickup version of the Wrangler SUV would sell like crazy. And it looked like the Gladiator would lift Jeep because pickups are so popular. But recent numbers indicate 2023 Gladiator sales are falling like a lead balloon. 

The problem has been ongoing, at least since last year, when the Gladiator saw a 13% sales drop. So far, 2021 was the pinnacle, with Jeep moving almost 90,000 Gladiators. And 2020 wasn’t bad, with 77,500 units. However, 2022 was down, with 78,000 Gladiators sold.

How bad are 2023 Jeep Gladiator sales?

Gray 2023 Jeep Gladiator rear 3/4 view
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Stellantis

First-half 2023 numbers show Gladiator sales have dropped sharply. They’re down almost 30%, with 27,326 units sold through the end of June, CarSalesFigures reports. That doesn’t mean 2023 can’t be a winning year for the pickup. Sales could always surge with six months left.

Numerous midsize trucks share the Gladiator’s woes, but not as dramatically. For instance, the Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado are experiencing sagging sales. Oddly, the fully redesigned 2023 Frontier is seeing lower year-over-year sales than the outgoing 2022 model.

Why are Jeep Gladiator sales falling?

A red 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon midsize pickup truck model perched on a grassy hill surrounded by large rocks
2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Stellantis

So, what’s wrong with the 2023 Gladiator? By all accounts, it should be a winner. Is the problem that as a Jeep, it’s great, but as a pickup, it’s a Jeep? Despite excelling off-road, Jeeps tend to suffer in other areas. 

That translates to a choppy, harsher ride and a somewhat tippy handling experience. The cabin is typically noisy and offers less protection from the outside elements. Hey, it’s a Jeep, after all. Even fuel economy isn’t great until the 4xe hybrid version arrives.

For now, the more eco-friendly 4xe hybrid system is available only in the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. And it’s puzzling why the Wrangler gets the 4xe package — which has become the SUV’s most popular version — but the Gladiator doesn’t. After all, the Gladiator is a Wrangler with a box on the rear. 

Why doesn’t Jeep offer a Gladiator 4xe hybrid?

The 4xe hybrid setup provides more power, better fuel economy, and three driving modes, and it fits perfectly with Jeep’s “Tread Lightly” mantra. But the Gladiator is supposed to be more truck and less SUV. So it’s marketed as an alternative to the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger. 

Advertising rarely spotlights the Gladiator’s off-roading capabilities. Instead, the truck rides on highways or tows trailers. Sometimes it sits in the dirt on the roadside. Or in front of the Roman Colosseum. Whatever.

Rumors of a refreshed Gladiator in 2024 might be enough to pull this truck out of the doldrums, as will the 4xe hybrid package once it reaches the pickup.

For shoppers interested in a Jeep Gladiator, we could be on the precipice of discounts and factory cash-backs. If July’s numbers continue to trend downward, buyers might want to visit their local Jeep dealer in August or September.


Time to Buy? Sales Tank for 4 Midsize 2023 Pickup Trucks