Trucks & SUVs

The Jeep Gladiator Is the Most Overhyped Truck

The Jeep Gladiator came with a lot of chatter — good, bad, and ugly. When it came down to it, people had some pretty polarized opinion of the new Jeep truck, but it seems like after the official debut everyone stopped caring. How could a Jeep that came with so much hype be so easily swept to the side? Or is it just that the Gladiator couldn’t possibly live up to the high expectations we set for it?

Love or hate the Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator has all of the classic looks that we’ve loved with the Wrangler, but it’s more than just an SUV with a truck bed attached. In fact, the Gladiator has more in common with other trucks than it appears at first sight, and it’s just as capable. Everyone seemed to be rather excited about the entrance of a pickup truck into the Jeep lineup, but when it came to the debut it seems like the hype wasn’t necessarily warranted.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland towing a trailer
2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland towing a trailer | Jeep

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The idea of adding the extra practicality of a truck bed to the already off-road capable Jeep Wrangler sounded like a great, exciting idea. It gave us the option to keep the classic off-roading abilities of the Wrangler while giving us the much-needed space of a truck bed to make up for the lack of cargo space in the limited trunk of the Wrangler. Concept designs gave us a lot of expectations, but when the end product ended up being a little bit of a letdown.

Living up to expectations

The Jeep Gladiator might have a true truck chassis, but many people complain that it looks like a well-down project car. If you had taken a standard four-door Wrangler and slapped a truck bed on the back it wouldn’t look much different than the Gladiator does at first look. Now, don’t get me wrong, while it looks that way on the surface, the Gladiator is a truck underneath, not an SUV.

Red 2020 Jeep Gladiator perched overlooking a canyon
2020 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

Perhaps it is the oversized four-door and boxy styling that makes the Gladiator look so awkward, and it’s arguable that maybe introducing the new vehicle with just two doors would have been more favorable. When it comes to off-road capabilities, Jeep made sure not to cut corners, and the Gladiator is just as able to tackle rocky trails and muddy roads with just as much gusto as the Wrangler.

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The Jeep Gladiator turned out to be a pretty cool addition to the brand’s already well-developed lineup. As useful as it is, and debatably pleasant to look at, it was definitely hyped up to be something more than it turned out to be. We are happy to see the Gladiator added to the Jeep brand and watch as Jeep makes stylistic changes and adjustments over the next few years of production, but it might not be as ground-breaking as we had once thought it would be.