Jeep is an iconic brand and calls to mind one vehicle: the Jeep Wrangler. This model can trace its history back to the 1940s and has taken over as the poster child of Jeep. The Wrangler’s signature retro look is what people think of when they think of Jeep. However, the Wrangler isn’t the only model that exhibits it. Meet the Gladiator, the younger sibling of the Wrangler. Upon first glance, the two models look eerily similar, sharing that boxy exterior, seven-slot grille, and round headlights.
However, a second look will reveal that the Gladiator is a pickup truck, while the Wrangler is an SUV. Looks can be deceiving as there are many more differences beneath the lovely exteriors. When looking at the two vehicles, a question arises. Does the Gladiator have what it takes to carry on the legacy created by the Wrangler? Could it even surpass the Wrangler? Let’s find out by examining the 2022 Jeep Wrangler vs 2022 Jeep Gladiator. Let’s go underneath the hood, and see what makes these two vehicles stand apart and what makes them the same.
As mentioned earlier, these two vehicles share a similar look. Both share boxy shapes and a comb-like grille with circular lights. They also share the range of exterior colors that Jeep is known for. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler has 11 color options to choose from, while the 2022 Gladiator has 10––the missing color is “High Velocity” yellow. Another exterior commonality is the convertible top and removable doors. This makes the Gladiator the only fully convertible truck and sets it apart from other midsize pickups.
Trims and Pricing
Both the 2022 Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator have an insane amount of trim levels to choose from. The Wrangler has 11 trims to choose from, even before getting into special variants like the Wrangler 4xe! The Gladiator has two fewer, coming in at a total of nine. That’s a large number of trim levels, and it is a standout feature! Most vehicles only have between three to five trims on average. While a bit excessive, these huge trim lineups mean plenty of packages to choose from. That also means there are many price points at your disposal.
Pricing is essential when looking at vehicles. It can single-handedly determine if a car is for you. The basic trim for the 2022 Wrangler starts at $29,995 and is the two-door Sport. As expected for an entry-level model, it doesn’t have many premium features. It does, however, come standard with 4×4 and Jeep’s rugged build quality.
The highest trim is the Rubicon 392, with a whopping MSRP of $75,095. But that price tag is well-deserved because the Rubicon 392 includes an exclusive 6.4L HEMI V8 engine with its incredible 470 hp. The available Xtreme Recon package brings 35-inch tires on 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, as well as a factory lift. The package turns the Wrangler into a pseudo-monster truck built to travel across multiple terrains. With massive wheels and a meaty engine, there is not much in the way of the Rubicon 392.
Moving on over to the 2022 Gladiator, the base Sport trim comes at $37,565. Compared to the Wrangler, the Gladiator is definitely the more expensive of the two. However, it is a larger vehicle and comes standard with a four-door crew cab that gives it as much space as the Wrangler Unlimited. So the extra cost is not for nothing.
Despite having the pricer base trim, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator has the more affordable top trim. The Gladiator High Altitude comes in at $54,080 and brings a bunch of luxury enhancements. This includes premium leather seats, an Alpine sound system, and automatic climate control. The extra features ensure that the Gladiator will be able to take on any adventure in style.
Power and Efficiency
Another similarity worth noting between the two Jeep models is that they share the same engine options. Standard for many trim levels of both models is the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, which produces 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. For a truck, that is a pretty reasonable amount of horses. It allows the Gladiator to feel powerful on the road as well as off. For an SUV, this engine puts the strength of the Wrangler on another level! Although bulky and heavy, the 285 hp allows the Wrangler to zoom on the road.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, the vehicles share similar fuel economy with the 3.6L V6. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler V6 gets 20 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway, and the 2022 Jeep Gladiator V6 gets 17 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway. Overall, the Pentastar V6 is a prominent entry-level engine. It will be more than capable of handling any situation and demands these vehicles may encounter.
The other engine that the two vehicles share is the 3.0L Ecodiesel V6. Although smaller than the Pentastar, it produces 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. But this engine isn’t meant to be looked at solely for its strength and capability. While 260 hp is no slouch, the appeal to this engine is its fuel efficiency. Surprisingly, the fuel efficiency is about the same with this engine for both models. The 2022 Wrangler diesel gets up to 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway, while the Gladiator diesel gets 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. The sheer bulk of these vehicles makes it hard to be fuel efficient, but the 3.0L Ecodiesel solves this problem. With the way gas prices are trending, saving a few bucks on every trip will slowly add up.
While on the topic of engines, there are a few essential points to note. First up, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator, being a truck, has a more robust towing capacity. Its 3.6L V6 can haul up to 7,650 lbs. This is enough to move most other vehicles or a sizable trailer. Having a higher tow rating increases the versatility of the Gladiator, making it capable of pulling larger items for work or fun. Combined with the handy pickup bed, the Gladiator is an especially useful vehicle. It has much more space to hold heavy equipment and large objects, especially when compared to the two-door Wrangler.
Unfortunately for the Gladiator, however, customers only have two engines to choose from, while the Wrangler also offers a 2.0L turbocharged engine, a 6.4L HEMI V8, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Further, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity is 3,500 lbs. While not quite as large as the Gladiator, it is still rather impressive for an SUV. The Wrangler is capable of towing another vehicle of its own size or bringing some jet skis for a lake trip.
You Can’t Go Wrong
When it comes to American-made brands, Jeep has cemented itself as being unlike any other car manufacturer. You can’t go wrong with its products; it’s all about knowing which one is for you. While similar in many ways, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler and the 2022 Jeep Gladiator have their own roles. With its lower base MSRP and simpler overall build, the Wrangler makes for an excellent all-around vehicle. It is the perfect vehicle for enthusiasts and those looking for a sturdy SUV. On the other hand, the Jeep Gladiator seems to have a more specific audience in mind. Thanks to its high tow ratings and truck bed, The Gladiator is best suited for its utility. However, one thing both of these vehicles can do with ease is to go on an off-road adventure.