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In 2023, it’s probably likely that you drive a midsize truck that has power windows. In fact, if you were born after a certain year, you might not even know that there was a time when car windows did not roll themselves down. Driver and passenger were responsible for using a crank to operate the windows manually. And there’s still a new truck you can buy with this dinosaur feature; the 2023 Jeep Gladiator. 

When did cars get power windows?

The first power windows were introduced in 1940. The 1941 Packard 180 series car is actually the first vehicle to offer them. Using hydraulic window lifts, this technology represents a big advancement in how folks are able to open up the interior of their car. 

Despite this, it would take some time for power windows to become a common standard feature in the industry. And for trucks, manual windows stayed standard fare for even longer. But in 2023, it looks like just one pickup still has cranky windows. 

The Jeep Gladiator, at least in its base forms, still comes with manual windows. And if you’re like me, I am honestly surprised to see that. 

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator has manual windows

The Gladiator Sport and Willys Sport come standard with crank windows. That means, in 2023, you will need to pay extra if you want a base Jeep Gladiator with power windows. It is possible that some folks will see that as a benefit. No power windows mean one less thing can go wrong. 

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator is a truck that still has manual windows.
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

At the same time, is it worth it to have to reach over the passenger seat to roll down the window if you are driving solo? That might have been easy to do in something like a Toyota Echo, but a midsize truck like the Gladiator will likely make it harder. 

Simply put, I see most folks opting to equip their Jeep truck with power windows. Sure, having to do things by hand in a car can be fun. The 2023 Gladiator is one of the few trucks you can get new with a manual transmission. But outside of nostalgia for a simpler time, cranky windows are just a hassle. 

Is a base 2023 Gladiator worth it?

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator Sport has an MSRP that starts around $40k. And as a midsize truck, there’s not really anything else like it on the market. Essentially, you are getting a Wrangler with the benefits of a pickup truck bed, even if that means losing out on some off-road ability due to length.

Overhead view of silver 2023 Jeep Gladiator, second-best new 2023 midsize pickup truck to buy, says Car and Driver
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

The Gladiator Sport and Gladiator Willys Sport certainly lack some of the features offered by higher trims. According to Car and Driver, the Sport S might be the better pick. But it’s not like the two other base trims are totally devoid of modern comforts. 

It really comes down to which version of this pickup fits your lifestyle and your budget. Even if that means having to get something like manual crank windows instead of power switches.

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