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For off-roading enthusiasts, the Jeep brand has almost always been the go-to option. So, when Jeep re-introduced the Gladiator as a midsize pickup truck in 2019 after a three-decade hiatus, many Jeep fanatics were ecstatic at the opportunity to own a pickup with the iconic Jeep aesthetic.

However, for consumers who aren’t Jeep fanatics, the cons associated with the Jeep Gladiator may make the midsize truck seem more trouble than it’s worth. There are a variety of pros and cons associated with this pickup truck. Here are three cons to consider.

A 2023 Jeep Gladiator driving in some sand.
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator has rather poor fuel economy 

TrueCar pointed out three cons for the 2023 Jeep Gladiator. The first is the truck’s thirsty engine. The Jeep Gladiator only gets around 23 mpg on the highway with its base engine. When it comes to city driving, the Gladiator gets around 16 mpg. 

In comparison to other midsize trucks, the Gladiator could be considered a gas guzzler. For example, the comparable Ford Maverick delivers 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Likewise, the Hyundai Santa Cruz midsize truck provides 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator is a pricier midsize truck 

A second con is the Jeep Gladiator’s price. The 2023 Gladiator comes in 10 different trims. According to Jeep, the base trim model, the Sport 4×4, has a starting MSRP of around $38,775. The highest-priced Gladiator trim is the High Altitude 4×4 with an MSRP of about $54,575. 

The 2023 Gladiators don’t give consumers as much bang for their buck compared to other desirable midsize trucks. For example, the 2023 Ford Maverick has a starting MSRP of $24,190. The Hyundai Santa Cruz has a starting MSRP of $27,035. The 2023 Ford Ranger has a starting MSRP of $28,895. The Chevrolet Colorado has a starting MSRP of $27,630. 

These price points mean that consumers will have to be willing to fork out an additional $10,000 for a base trim Gladiator in favor of more affordable midsize truck options. Of course, this doesn’t sound like a great deal for the majority of consumers. 

Jeeps are not built for smooth pavement 

A third reason that consumers may decide to avoid the 2023 Gladiator is that Jeeps are simply not made for the pavement. Aesthetically, everything in front of the 5-foot bed on the Gladiator is pretty much the same as the Jeep Wrangler.

For Jeep fanatics, this is great as the Gladiator not only looks like a Wrangler but the top and doors are also removable. Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator is made for off-roading. However, the Jeep brand’s commitment to all-terrain supremacy means that comfort and drivability on pavement suffer. 

Overall, if off-roading is your priority, then a Gladiator can provide you with everything you’re after. However, if you’re looking for a midsize truck that offers a smooth ride on the highway, then the Gladiator is going to prove less than desirable.

This factor, combined with the Gladiator’s hefty price tag and poor fuel economy for its size, may have the majority of consumers heading in the other direction if they are not diehard Jeep fanatics. 


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