Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Has Been A Pandemic Sales Success

The global pandemic and subsequent recession shook up the entire auto industry. Sales across the board saw a massive decrease, even in wildly popular segments such as pickup trucks. Despite this, the Jeep Gladiator carried on seemingly unfazed, with a significant sales increase. The Wrangler-based pickup truck was the only Jeep to avoid a loss in sales due to the pandemic. Things get even better for the Gladiator as FCA’s third-quarter sales report that the popular truck’s sales have only continued to grow.

The Gladiator is on track to double its 2019 sales

The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck version of the Wrangler.
Jeep Gladiator | FCA

The Jeep Gladiator arrived in showrooms during the first quarter of 2019. Sales were slow at first, likely due to low stock but exploded at the beginning of 2020. During the first quarter of the year, with Jeep selling 15,529 Gladiators. Toward the end of the first quarter, the world has hit with the global pandemic’s arrival. Widespread economic downsizing meant that a significant portion of potential buyers was no longer in the market. As a result, pickup trucks across the board suffered, including FCA’s RAM trucks.

Sales ramped up during the year’s second quarter up to 19,568 Gladiators sold. While many dealerships closed down with the rest of the economy, a sizeable amount began selling new vehicles via contactless delivery. Jeep’s website even includes a portal that buyers can order their car through. Third-quarter sales for the Gladiator were even stronger, with 22,163 trucks sold. If the current sales trend continues, the Gladiator should easily double last year’s 40,037 units sold. 

Why is the Gladiator such a success?

The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck version of the Wrangler.
Jeep Gladiator | FCA

The recipe for the Jeep Wrangler is quite simple and incredibly effective. Take a Wrangler, one of Jeep’s best-selling SUVs, and turn it into a pickup truck, one of the best-selling segments in the U.S. market. The result is a winning combination that offers the off-roading capabilities and boxy design of the SUV with a truck bed’s added practicality. Aside from its aesthetic appeal, Jeep offers countless trim levels that allow buyers from a wide array of incomes to buy into the Gladiator. 

The Gladiator’s appeal carries over into the aftermarket as well. Parts availability for the Gladiator is tremendous, with lift kits, bigger wheels and tires, and much more. Buyers can even add Jeep developed parts to their Gladiator at the dealership or during the ordering process. The Gladiator’s extensive Jeep developed parts catalog allows customers to customize their trucks without voiding the warranty. 

Should you buy a Jeep Gladiator?

The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck version of the Wrangler.
Jeep Gladiator | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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The Jeep Gladiator carries a starting price of $33,545. Although, as of writing, Jeep is running a promotion, which decreases it to $31,482. At this price point, Jeep’s truck is very tempting. Before pulling the trigger, however, make sure to consider the pros and cons of daily driving an off-roading vehicle. 

Consumer Reports gave the Gladiator a low score for on-road comfort, maneuverability, and noise levels. The less than stellar score makes complete sense when considering that the Gladiator is a high-riding off-roader with considerable suspension travel. These off-roading components allow the Gladiator to have tremendous grip, ground clearance, and stability when off the beaten track.

On-road, however, the drawbacks are significant and something to consider. Perhaps the most telling part of the report was that owner satisfaction was very positive, meaning that owners seem to love their trucks despite the drawbacks.