Trucks & SUVs

Is the Jeep Gladiator Cutting Into Wrangler Sales?

The Jeep Gladiator is one of the best new trucks of the year, but Jeep may be competing with itself. The Jeep Wrangler, which is an SUV that’s built on the same platform as the Gladiator is, is very similar to the Gladiator. Here’s a look at how these two vehicles compare with one another and whether or not the Gladiator is hurting the Wrangler’s sales. 

What the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler have in common

Since Jeep is building both of these vehicles off of the same platform, they do have a lot in common. Everything that Jeep fans like about the Wrangler’s durability and ruggedness is also present in the Gladiator. Style-wise, both also very similar.

Furthermore, as CJ Pony Parts said, in terms of their engine and transmission options, they are mostly the same. Both cars can have a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 285-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, though the Wrangler does have one more engine option. Currently, that V6 is the only engine that’s available on the Gladiator.

In 2020, Jeep will introduce a 3.0-liter diesel engine that’ll generate 260-hp and 442 lb-ft of torque for both cars. Both cars will also have a choice between a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

What are the differences?

The biggest and most obvious difference is the fact that the Gladiator is a truck while the Wrangler isn’t. According to CJ Pony Parts, when both cars are equipped with that same V6 engine, the Wrangler can only tow about 3,500 lb of stuff. Payload wise, the trim of the Wrangler that CJ Pony Parts used could only handle about 1,300 lb, and other trims of the Wrangler can handle less. 

The Gladiator, on the other hand, can tow over 7,600 lb. According to CJ Pony Parts, that’s one of the highest towing capacity in the mid-size truck segment. In terms of payload, the Gladiator can handle over 1,600 lb in its truck bed. And of course, that truck bed will allow the Gladiator to handle construction material that the Wrangler will struggle with. 

Jeep also offers another engine option on the Wrangler, and it’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a small hybrid component. This engine makes 270-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

It’s also a very fuel-efficient engine, and that’s another big difference between these two cars. The Wrangler is about 1 MPG more fuel-efficient than the Gladiator is when they’re both equipped with the V6. The Wrangler’s four-cylinder, however, gets it about 24 MPG, which is about 5 MPG better than what the Gladiator gets right now. 

Finally, as CJ Pony Parts said, even though both cars are good for off-roading, the design of the Wrangler means that it can handle off-roading better than the Gladiator can. The Gladiator isn’t a slouch at off-roading, but there are many off-road situations where the Wrangler is easily better than the Gladiator.

Is the Gladiator hurting the Wrangler’s sales?

According to GoodCarBadCar, not really. Despite the fact that both of these Jeeps seem to be targeted at the same customers, the Wrangler is still selling well despite the introduction of the Gladiator. In fact, compared to other Jeep brands, the Wrangler seems to be doing better than the rest.

GoodCarBadCar says that, compared to last year, the Wrangler’s sales have increased by 2.7% while the sales of other Jeeps, such as the Renegade, the Cherokee, or the Compass, have declined between 15.5% to 22.2% over the year. So, while the Gladiator and the Wrangler have a lot in common, Americans have enough garage space for the two of them.