There’s still great excitement around the Jeep Gladiator which is essentially a Wrangler with a truck bed and a longer wheelbase. Jeep’s pickup truck has the same pros and cons as the Wrangler and makes for an exciting offering in the small truck segment. The Gladiator also doesn’t have intense competition in its class.
When it comes to advantages, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator has a rear suspension adapted from the Ram 1500. It gives a better ride than Wrangler, Ford Ranger, and the Toyota Tacoma. It also has Jeep’s off-roading prowess. Still, when the team at Consumer Reports took a closer look at the new Gladiator, there were three things they didn’t like about it.
1. Poor handling
Jeep Gladiator | Getty Images
According to the Consumer Reports, handling leaves a lot to be desired. They found the steering slow and lacking in feedback, explaining it takes a lot of elbow grease to turn the truck. When they pushed the truck on their test track, it kept control, but they described it as entirely out of its element.
Cornering isn’t one of the Gladiator’s good qualities, even on the milder curves of the daily route. Thankfully, its stability control kept it from straying beyond the chosen lines. It also has minimal body roll, which gives it an edge over other pickup trucks in its segment.
The rear axle also helps Gladiator stay grounded even on rougher surfaces for a more confident driving experience.
2. Cabin noise in the Jeep Gladiator
With the 2022 Jeep Gladiator, you can get a soft-top or an optional removable hardtop, just like you can get with the Wrangler. If you want to go on an open-air adventure, you can remove the doors, top and roll down the windshield.
The problem is all the wind noise in the cabin when traveling at highway speeds, even with the hardtop still on. When driving at any speed over 50 mph, the interior is very noisy. The roof panels are thin and can’t help keep the noise out.
According to Consumer Reports, with the optional headliner, there’s a small measure of noise reduction but not enough to make a real difference. When they rented an Overland model, they found the wind noise troublesome. They did note that the V6 engine doesn’t sound obnoxious, and the road noise is low.
Accessibility is an issue, according to Consumer Reports. There are no running boards to make entry into the truck easier. There are, however, handles at each of the four doors to help you climb in. Climbing into the rear is even more challenging because the doors have a narrower opening. They don’t recommend trying to climb into the Gladiator in a skirt.
Once you’re in there, the seats are initially soft. They don’t offer a lot of support for longer hauls, though. There’s a seatback adjustment strap for the manual seats that are not convenient and a manual lumbar adjustment dial on just the driver’s seat. There’s enough room in the back, but the seats are flat and not comfortable for long.
On the bright side, the cabin is a good size for the class. The seating is straight up instead of down on the floor. The driving position is compromised a bit because there’s no left footrest. There’s also friction from rubbing against the hinges of the door.
Consumer Reports gave the 2022 Jeep Gladiator an overall score of 38 out of 100. Yes, it’s versatile, and you can get advanced safety features with higher levels, but that pushes up an already hefty sticker price.