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Jeep Wrangler-based vehicles really bum the folks at Consumer Reports out. The Jeep Wrangler consistently gets rated dead last in its class, despite its massive popularity. The 2023 Jeep Gladiator landed in last place for pickup trucks for another year. What is wrong with the Jeep Gladiator? Why can’t Jeep make a proper 4×4 that Consumer Reports likes? Let’s see if we can figure it out. 

2023 Jeep Gladiator rock crawling
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

Is the 2023 Jeep Gladiator a good truck? 

According to Consumer Reports, the Jeep Gladiator isn’t all that reliable. Despite its rough reliability history, as a rule, if you add a truck bed to an already stiff SUV, you aren’t likely to have a nicer vehicle. 

The Wrangler has always been rough around the edges. This is part of its charm. However, adding a slightly longer wheels base and an empty chunk of sheet metal and plastic to the back takes “rough around the edges” and makes the Gladiator rough all the way around. CR reports a stiff and choppy ride. However, because the Gladiator uses rear suspension borrowed from the Ram, it is said to have a slightly better ride than the Wrangler. Maybe adding a bed to a Wrangler isn’t all bad. 

Is the 2023 Jeep Gladiator reliable? 

The best value midsize trucks include the Jeep Gladiator
A 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

According to CR, Jeep pickup truck owners should expect several issues. According to Vehicle History, the model has been plagued by multiple recalls and reports of issues with the suspension, driveline, body integrity, transmission, and fuel system.

These predicted issues come from observing consistent issues with 2020 and 2021 model Gladiators. 

Is the 2023 Jeep Gladiator good off-road?

Here is where Jeep’s pickup truck makes up some ground. There aren’t many pickups I would rather take off-road than the Gladiator. Assuming nothing breaks, trail riding and bouldering are what Jeeps do best. 

All Gladiator trims will be strong off-roaders, but if you are serious about ripping trails, the top-tier Rubicon trim comes with beefier tires, upgraded suspension, and a stronger rear differential. 

Not that the removable roof and doors make it better for off-roading, but this feature does make the Gladiator unique in its field. 

Should you buy a 2023 Jeep Gladiator 

2023 Jeep Gladiator driving through the mud
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

No one has ever bought a Wrangler because it was the most sensible car to buy. In fact, most Jeep owners do so despite the lack of sensibility. I see no reason for practicality and reason to deter anyone from buying a Gladiator, either.