The 2022 Jeep Gladiator is an off-road specialist in midsize pickup truck form. It’s also the only pickup with a detachable roof and doors. Based on the Wrangler, but with a 5-foot truck bed, the Gladiator can be a work vehicle in the week and a fun machine on weekends.
Although there are other midsize pickups with off-road abilities, there’s nothing exactly like the Jeep Gladiator. And certainly, nothing can match the off-roading heritage of a Jeep.
The range of the 2022 Jeep Gladiator models goes from a basic Sport version up to a specialized rock climber (the Rubicon) or one prepared for racing across the dunes (the Mojave). In the back, meanwhile, is a cargo bed that can handle respectable payloads. And the Gladiator’s towing abilities are considerable.
Jeep hasn’t made any notable alterations to the Gladiator lineup for 2022. Of course, there’s always the chance that the company drops a special edition at some point during the year, as it did with the 2021 Texas Trail edition, which is exclusively sold in the Lone Star state.
We’d also love to see a Gladiator packing the 470-hp V-8 that’s found on the recently introduced Wrangler Rubicon 392.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Jeep Gladiator is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque routed through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic.
We tested an Overland model with the automatic, which needed 7.2 seconds to scoot to 60 mph. In other words, it’s slightly slower than most competitors. We’ve also driven a Gladiator with the diesel 3.0-liter V-6, which develops 260 ponies and a mighty 442 pound-feet of twist.
Compared with the regular Wrangler, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator has an extra 19.4 inches between the front and rear wheels. Jeep says this helps improve the pickup’s ride and handling. Now that we’ve driven several examples, we can confirm that it drives much like the Wrangler.
The truck’s steering isn’t extremely precise and the ride can be busy on uneven surfaces. Still, these characteristics are part of the formula that makes the Gladiator both a legitimate pickup truck and a trail-ready tool.
Most enthusiasts care about the truck’s off-road equipment anyways, which includes everything from copious skid plates to rock-crawling axle ratios to the ability to ford up to 30 inches of water. Generous ground clearance and approach/departure angle further help the Gladiator conquer parts unknown.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Gladiator models equipped with the standard manual transmission are rated at 16 mpg city and 23 highway. The automatic gearbox increases its estimated city mpg to 16 and drops its highway figure to 22 mpg. The diesel version is rated at 22 mpg city and 28 highway.
We’ve only tested gas-burning Gladiators with the automatic transmission on our 75-mph highway route that helps us better evaluate real-world fuel economy. The Overland model was the most efficient version, returning 21 mpg on the highway, but the Mojave returned a much lower 15 mpg.
However, the latter was equipped with bigger tires and a higher rear axle ratio than the Overland (4.10 versus 3.73). For more information about the 2022 Jeep Gladiator’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator has an upright dashboard that imitates the Wrangler’s and supports user-friendly controls. Durable details include a waterproof push-button start, and there are optional convenience features such as a heated steering wheel and heated front seats.
Jeep says the truck’s stretched wheelbase improves back-seat legroom versus the four-door Wrangler. The 2022 Jeep Gladiator also has body and roof panels that can be easily removed to create an open-air cabin. Along with its five-foot cargo bed, the Gladiator is filled with ingenious interior storage options.
Its cabin has a handful of spots to stick a smartphone and a handy compartment hidden under the back seat. The seats themselves can be stowed in multiple ways and then securely locked in place for when the trail turns treacherous.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Jeep model has a standard touchscreen, but only the larger 7.0- and 8.4-inch displays come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The stereo system can also be upgraded with an optional subwoofer and portable wireless speaker behind the back seat.
Front-seat passengers will be privy to several power points, which include two USBs and a USB-C port; a 115-volt outlet is also available.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although the Jeep pickup is available with a handful of driver-assistance technology, its roster is significantly smaller than some competitors. The Rubicon model has a useful front-facing camera that comes in handy when blazing trails or crawling over rocks.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4
front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED
$55,040 (base price: $41,890)
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
220 cu in, 3605 cc
285 hp @ 6400 rpm
260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): live axle/live axle
Brakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/T 685, 255/70R-18 113T M+S
Wheelbase: 137.3 in
Length: 218.0 in
Width: 73.8 in
Height: 73.1 in
Passenger volume: 104 cu ft
Curb weight: 4812 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.3 sec
Zero to 90 mph: 16.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: N/A
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.6 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 98 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 195 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.74 g
Observed: 18 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 21 mpg
Highway range: 460 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 19/17/22 mpg