The Jeep Gladiator Didn’t Live Up to Our Expectations

The Jeep Gladiator was once one of the most talked-about truck releases in the past few years. Since then, the hype has died down a lot, and as we’ve seen more and more of the Gladiator hitting the roads, they’ve just become another vehicle we see on our daily commute. Before all of that, we had a lot of expectations for the new Jeep pickup truck, and it didn’t quite live up to all of them. In some ways, that is a good thing because the vehicle was harshly criticized from the start.

More than a Wrangler with a truck bed

When the first images of the production-ready Jeep Gladiator were released, the vehicle was met with many controversies. From the appearance, the pickup looks like a standard Wrangler, only with the addition of a truck bed. The first expectation that many people had of the vehicle was that it was simply all that it would be, but it didn’t live up to this expectation. That’s because the Gladiator turned out to be much more, and in fact, it has a lot more in common with pickup trucks like the American-favorited Ford F-150 than it does with the Wrangler. So, maybe not living up to this first expectation was a good thing.

A Sting Gray 2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys in the middle of a road with a mountain backdrop
2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys | FCA

The Gladiator exceeded our expectations

If you thought that the Jeep Gladiator was merely a Wrangler in clever disguise, you might have wondered how adding a truck bed would affect the vehicle’s ability to perform off-road. You might be surprised to know that even though the Gladiator is built on a truck chassis, it still has some very impressive rock-climbing and overlanding capabilities. If you had the expectation that this pickup wouldn’t live up to the capability of the Jeep name, you would be mistaken.

Mopar trailer brake controller for Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

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The truck that you didn’t expect

Overall, it is easy to say that the Jeep Gladiator didn’t live up to our expectations — and that’s a good thing. With all of the negative opinions and controversy out about the new pickup, many drivers were pleasantly surprised with the capabilities of the newest addition to the Jeep lineup. The square body lines of the cabin that the vehicle shares with the brand’s iconic Wrangler might throw some people off, but really, it couldn’t fit in any better.

Expedition Overland’s 2019 Jeep Gladiator front | Expedition Overland

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With the release of the 2021 Jeep Gladiator things are only going to get better from here, and we aren’t all that disappointed in what the first running years of the vehicle had to offer.