Buying a new car is exciting. But after all the excitement has worn off, which vehicles still satisfy their owners? It’s a question many shoppers consider as they’re deciding which new car to purchase. If you’re in the market for a great compact pickup, the Jeep Gladiator is one of the most satisfying vehicles, Consumer Reports says.
What to expect from the Jeep Gladiator
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator packs a 3.6-liter V6 engine making up to 285 hp, with an optional 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel producing 260 hp. It’s available as either an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, making it ideal for people who still like to drive a stick. The Gladiator gets 13 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for a combined 18 mpg.
When properly equipped, the Jeep Gladiator boasts a maximum towing capacity of 7,650 pounds. It also offers full-time four-wheel drive on all trims, an option that’s new for the 2021 model year.
The base Gladiator trim includes a five-inch display screen, which Consumer Reports notes is slightly too small to see images from the backup camera clearly. However, there’s an optional seven-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen that test drivers found much more intuitive. And higher trim levels offer an 8.4-inch touchscreen.
The Gladiator performed fairly well in its crash tests, receiving 4 out of 5 stars in the NHTSA frontal crash test. Although the base trim doesn’t offer a significant number of crash avoidance systems, upper-level models have optional safety packages that include warnings for forward collisions, rear cross-traffic, and blind spots.
The only truck to appear on CR’s list
The Jeep Gladiator performed incredibly well in Consumer Reports’ annual owner satisfaction survey. It received a predicted owner satisfaction score of 5 out of 5. This is particularly notable due to the Gladiator’s segment. It’s the only truck to make Consumer Reports‘ list of most satisfying cars currently on the market.
Compared to similar vehicles, the Gladiator was the truck that owners were most likely to repurchase. In the Consumer Reports survey, 83 percent of Gladiator owners said they would definitely buy it again.
Why do people love the Gladiator so much?
There’s a lot to love about the Jeep Gladiator. Of particular note is its predicted reliability score of 5 out of 5, which adds appeal for anyone shopping for a new truck. But its reliability isn’t the only thing that sets this vehicle apart.
When determining owner satisfaction, Consumer Reports looks at several factors: driving experience, comfort, value, and styling. In this case, the two areas owners were most satisfied with were driving experience and styling.
For the most part, Consumer Reports echoed owners’ sentiments. The Gladiator accelerates well with a responsive transmission and a ride that, though somewhat stiff, is “better than most other pickup trucks.” However, test drivers noted the Gladiator has relatively unresponsive steering and often struggles to take corners.
When it comes to style, the Gladiator offers a spacious cabin compared to other vehicles in its class. Test drivers found that while there’s a fair amount of wind noise while driving, the engine is not unpleasantly loud, and the road noise remains low. This truck also performs incredibly well in braking tests, offering short stopping distances on wet and dry surfaces alike.
All in all, it’s easy to see why the Jeep Gladiator excels in owner satisfaction. Compared to many other vehicles in its class, the Gladiator offers impressive reliability, a spacious cabin, and a reasonably pleasant drive. This vehicle should definitely be on the radar of anyone on the hunt for a compact pickup truck.