Consumer Reports Doesn’t Like the 2021 Jeep Gladiator, but Drivers Do

On paper, Consumer Reports didn’t love the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. It lacks some safety features that other trucks offer standard, but it still made the list of most satisfying new trucks. Why do critics and owners disagree on this compact pickup truck?

Is the 2021 Jeep Gladiator worth buying?

Consumer Reports Doesn't Like the 2021 Jeep Gladiator
Consumer Reports Doesn’t Like the 2021 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator was ranked second on the list of compact pickup trucks. Consumer Reports gave the Gladiator a perfect score for the predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction. It scored a 52 on the road test and received a score of 65 overall. Consumer Reports doesn’t love the Jeep brand overall, so this is actually a good score for the brand.

The Gladiator has many safety features, optional but is lacking in standard features. These include blind-spot warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. CR notes that the overall fuel economy was 18 mpg. For the city, the Gladiator only got 13 mpg and 23 mpg on the highway.

The Gladiator has a best-in-class towing capacity of 7,650 pounds and a best-in-class 4×4 1,700-pound payload. This was one of the highs noted, along with the character the Jeep offers.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator was still pretty satisfying

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator made the list of Consumer Reports Most Satisfying New Pickup Trucks. There are so many trucks on the market for 2021 across various sizes and brands, but CR compiled a list of those who left owners most satisfied. “The models that top Consumer Reports’ owner satisfaction ratings deliver on manufacturer promises, whether they’re about ride quality, payload capacity, or towing performance,” Consumer Reports said.

Your average Jeep doesn’t usually qualify as a pickup truck, but the Gladiator isn’t your average Jeep. The Gladiator comes with a longer wheelbase that allows for a five-foot bed. This transforms the Jeep Wrangler into a Gladiator truck. However, there are a lot of configurations that Jeep offers buyers.

The Gladiator comes with a 3.6L V6 or a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine and has four-wheel drive on higher trim levels. The trim levels are Sport ($34,040), Willys Sport ($36,235), Sport S($39,075), and Willys ($40,430). The top trim levels are the Overland ($39,135) 80th Anniversary ($42,480), Freedom ($42,340), Mojave ($44,565), Rubicon ($44,565), and High Altitude ($52,240) are also options. That’s a lot of trim levels.

The most satisfying pickup trucks

In the areas where the Jeep Wrangler fell short, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator jumped ahead. Consumer Reports noted that the compact pickup truck category for 2021 isn’t great. The only two compact pickup trucks recommended by Consumer Reports were the 2021 Honda Ridgeline and the Gladiator.

In fact, the Ridgeline was the next truck listed as satisfying. CR noted that the Ridgeline was an owner favorite with the unibody construction, independent suspension, and locking trunk space. It even got an estimated 20 mpg overall in the testing phase, which was the highest mileage noted on the list.

While the 2021 Jeep Gladiator might not work for every occasion, it offers drivers a lot. With several trim levels and ways to customize the truck, the Gladiator might not score high on every critic’s list, but it works for the people driving it every day.

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