Is the Jeep Gladiator a Truck?

The pickup truck market is one of the most competitive in the automotive industry. With the small size and classic Jeep shape of the Jeep Gladiator, some people can’t tell whether or not it’s a truck. Although it has a pickup truck bed, that isn’t the only feature required to call it a truck. The Jeep Gladiator is built for off-roading, but is it really a pickup truck?

The Jeep Gladiator is a Wrangler with pickup truck features

This is a promo photo of a red Jeep Gladiator Rubicon on a trail.
Jeep’s new pickup is one of the best off-road trucks around | Stellantis

If you’ve spotted a Gladiator on the road from the front, you might’ve thought it was a Wrangler SUV. The two models look nearly identical without seeing the rear setup. Every Gladiator comes with a small pickup truck bed, making it much different from the classic Wrangler. However, its performance on and off-road are very close to the same as its iconic sibling.

Like the Wrangler, its doors and roof are removable to get some free-flowing air while driving. Car and Driver called the Wrangler “nimbler on the trails” than the Gladiator, insinuating it’s a bit better for off-roading. However, the Gladiator has a few advantages that make it more truck than SUV. First and most obviously, the added storage through the truck bed.

What makes the Gladiator a truck?

The Jeep Gladiator demonstrates its towing ability.
Jeep Gladiator | Jeep Media

Not only does it possess many of the desirable Wrangler features, but it stands out on its own as well. Firstly, it can tow two tons more than its little SUV brother. Next, the longer wheelbase gives it a better ride, especially on the road. While the Wrangler excels off-road, it’s often criticized for its rough everyday ride, which the Gladiator improves upon. Compared to rivals like the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier, CAD said Jeep’s pickup requires regular steering inputs to remain steady and is “more of a handful at highway speeds.” So while it’s better than the Wrangler, it still trails a bit behind other midsize pickup trucks.

When properly equipped, the Jeep Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds. Even without the best equipment, its lowest tow rating is still a solid 4,000 pounds. That’s wildly impressive compared to the Wrangler, which maxes out at just 3,500 pounds. If you’re in dire need of a truck bed that can carry payloads, the Gladiator is capable but not the best. The cargo bed can move between 1,105 and 1,700 pounds.

Jeep Gladiator pickup truck bed

While it isn’t the only thing that matters, cargo beds are one of the most critical parts of a truck. Jeep did its best to innovate with the cargo bed, and it’s a good option for those needing only small amounts of space. Firstly, the all-steel 5-foot cargo bed is solid and ready to take a bit of a beating. Additionally, it can come with LED lighting and a three-position tailgate.

Next, the Trail Rail system and tie-down loops keep gear organized and safe while hauling. Jeep also offers a heavy-duty spray-in bed liner for additional protection. Also available is an outlet for plugging devices in the rear a ParkView rear backup camera for safe and careful reversing while towing. Overall, this midsize pickup truck has nearly everything other models offer.

Should you buy a Jeep Gladiator pickup truck?

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In conclusion, the Jeep Gladiator is a midsize pickup truck. It’s just as capable of towing and hauling weight as most trucks in its class. Next, it has a versatile truck bed that’s innovative and convenient. If you’re looking for a work truck that’s capable of towing and hauling massive loads, the Gladiator isn’t the right choice. However, if you’re a fan of the Wrangler SUV and everything it provides and want some more utility, the Gladiator is the answer. The Jeep Gladiator is the perfect option for anyone who wants to drive a truck with utility every day, travel off-road, remove the doors and roof, and feel that summer air.

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