When customers are looking for a new vehicle, they turn to experts to find the best option. If you ask Consumer Reports, which provides one of the most respected opinions of, well, everything, you’ll find strong opinions on even the most popular models. For the 2022 model year, CR named the 2022 Jeep Gladiator as the worst midsize truck. However, most owners say they would buy Consumer Reports’ worst midsize truck a second time. Why do owners disagree with the experts?
Consumer Reports’ worst midsize truck
Consumer Reports‘ worst midsize truck is the 2022 Jeep Gladiator. It ranked ninth out of nine models on the list of best compact pickup trucks. In addition, it earned less than half of the total score CR gave its best model, the 2022 Honda Ridgeline. What’s so bad about the Gladiator that the publication scored it so poorly?
First, Jeep’s midsize truck has a very low predicted reliability rating. Since its inception in 2020, the model has suffered from many non-routine maintenance issues. Over the years, owners reported frequent transmission, suspension, paint, exhaust, and fuel system problems. Next, CR doesn’t like how the truck handles. “Handling is decidedly clumsy with mushy and slow steering that requires a lot of arm work to get the Jeep to turn.”
In addition, the Gladiator makes a lot of wind noise for those sitting inside. CR says that even with a hardtop roof in place, highway speeds cause an alarming amount of wind noise. The reviewer even went as far as to say it’s best used for “around-town driving.” Lastly, getting into the Gladiator is more of a challenge than it needs to be. Especially compared with rivals, Jeep’s midsize truck has a very high step up to the front seats without running boards. Passengers have the same high step challenge for the rear seat, plus the added bonus of a tiny, narrow door opening.
Most owners would buy the 2022 Jeep Gladiator again
According to Consumer Reports‘ owner satisfaction surveys, most owners would buy the Jeep Gladiator again. This survey asks many owners how satisfied they are with their purchase and if it is one they’d make again. Buying a car again is the ultimate compliment, as it usually means owners enjoyed it in nearly every way.
Surprisingly, Consumer Reports’ worst midsize truck had 75% of its owners say they’d purchase it again. That’s good enough for second place in the segment, tied with the Hyundai Santa Cruz and behind only the top-ranked Honda Ridgeline. Why do owners love the worst-ranked model more than well-reviewed trucks’ owners?
CR asks owners to consider a few factors while deciding if they’d buy a vehicle again. They are price, performance, reliability, comfort, and enjoyment. The 2022 Jeep Gladiator’s price, reliability, and comfort aren’t great. However, customers love the performance and enjoyment, and it turns out, that’s all that matters. Gladiator owners, like Wrangler owners, only want the model for its off-road performance and enjoyable features like a removable roof to drive topless. As a result, poor reliability and comfort for everyday driving don’t stop them from buying it again.
Owners still love Consumer Reports’ worst midsize truck
In conclusion, most owners would still buy Consumer Reports‘ worst midsize truck. After owning a 2022 Jeep Gladiator, owners love the performance and enjoyment of owning it so much that they’d buy another. CR’s poor rating came from a lack of reliability, wind noise, and a challenging entry. Despite those problems, previous and current owners have mostly loved their time with the 2022 Jeep Gladiator.