Expect to Pay More for Consumer Reports’ Worst Midsize Pickup Truck

The Jeep Gladiator looks like a lot of fun and it has the off-road prowess to be the truck version of the beloved Wrangler. That said, the Gladiator is listed as the worst midsize pickup truck by Consumer Reports. Not only is this truck at the bottom of the pile, but it’s also one of the most expensive in the market.

What is the Jeep Gladiator?

Here's a Black 2022 Jeep Gladiator Mojave which is rated as the worst midsize pickup truck
2022 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Stellantis

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The Gladiator is a midsize truck sharing a platform with the Wrangler. This vehicle delivers the same off-road capabilities we love in the Wrangler while offering a truck build with an open bed and generous towing power. Owners can tow up to 6,000 and carry as much as 1,700 pounds of payload in the bed.

Similar to the Wrangler, the Jeep Gladiator uses different powertrains to offer excellent performance and drive. While hybrid power hasn’t reached this midsize truck, it won’t be long before it’s offered for the Gladiator.

Is the Jeep Gladiator the worst midsize pickup truck in the market?

The title tells the tale and Consumer Reports has the Gladiator sitting at the bottom of the midsize pickup truck rankings. Areas where this truck scores poorly include:

  • Predicted reliability
  • Emergency handling
  • Noise
  • Fuel economy
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Value

The uniqueness of this off-road truck isn’t enough to put the Gladiator higher on the list.

What problems does the Jeep Gladiator have?

A Jeep Gladiator uses locking differentials to navigate off-road terrain.
Jeep Gladiator | Stellantis

The NHTSA reports the 2021 version of the Gladiator faced 89 complaints. Some of the most troublesome areas of this truck include:

  • Engine
  • Steering
  • Powertrain
  • Electrical system
  • Suspension
  • Vehicle speed control

If you take this Jeep truck out on the trails, you need it to function and perform for you. With these complaints, you’d be advised to avoid the worst midsize pickup truck, even for trail driving.

Is the Jeep Gladiator a good truck?

To date, U. S. News and World Report hasn’t rated the Gladiator, but they do offer a list of pros and cons consistent with what we’ve learned so far. These are:

Pros

  • Excellent off-roader
  • Stout towing and hauling ability
  • Comfy, spacious interior
  • Easy-to-use touchscreen

Cons

  • Brittle ride and cumbersome handling
  • High starting price

Jeep added a new standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities for the 2022 Gladiator, but that doesn’t fix some of the problems in the drivetrain.

Is the Jeep Gladiator loud inside?

The Jeep Gladiator is loud inside, which makes driving with the top down a bit more enjoyable
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Stellantis

At highway speeds, the wind noise inside the cabin of the Jeep Gladiator can reach 71 decibels, which makes it difficult to have a conversation or listen to music while out on the road. In addition to being loud, this SUV is slow, thirsty, and clumsy when driven between the lines. It almost feels like the Gladiator took the Wrangler and stepped back a couple of generations.

How much does the worst midsize pickup truck cost?

Keep in mind, that our reference to the “worst” regarding the Gladiator has to do only with the Consumer Reports ranking of this truck. The price range for the 2022 version of the Gladiator is $37,170-$49,110. Only the starting price of the Honda Ridgeline is higher, but the Ridgeline is the top-rated midsize truck according to Consumer Reports.

What midsize truck should you buy instead of the Gladiator?

If you’re looking for a midsize truck with capability and off-road prowess, the Ford Ranger is more affordable (starting price $25,980), and it gives you plenty of options. If you want powertrain options, the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado both come with three different powertrains and several trims. Of course, the stalwart in the midsize truck market is the Toyota Tacoma, and with the TRD models in the lineup, you could easily have the truck you desire.

Next, learn more about why materials for electric vehicles may come from Turkey, or watch the Jeep Gladiator video below:

This article was updated on 7/18/2022.

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