The Jeep Gladiator is Struggling

Leisure Freak

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I am new to Jeep having just bought my first ever, a new discounted 2019 JL last month. One of my town's local craft beer brewers has an Orange JT Rubicon in stock form and I think it looks great. I would have went with a JT but for cost and its too long to easily fit in my garage without kissing the wall. But then I'm a convert truck freak. Been driving a 1981 Toyota SR5 convertible mini beach truck since 1993 that my son and I converted as my primary ride when roads are snow free. The JT would have been a great 4 season and vacationing upgrade to what I love driving just locally now. I can see why the JT isn't for everyone visually and functionally. I think Jeep overshot the market. The dealer I bought my JL 2 door from has a lot of JTs sitting there and most appear to be top optioned and high $$.
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DaltonGang

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4 door with 60 inch bed is by far the most popular midsize truck on the market. Compared to the competition it's turning radius is on par and the break over is only slightly worse (but much better than the Ridgeline). Now I'll agree that Jeep should be leading the way with a high breakover angle on their midsize truck, but what they have is not completely terrible when compared to what it should be competing with. It's not what I want for offroading, but I'm the guy who also says that the JLU has terrible breakover angle over 22.6 compared to the JL 27.8. But people buy and offroad the 4runner with it's 19.6 breakover angle so Gladiator's 20.3 should be acceptable for a lot of people.



Why would you compare midsize pickups to full sized pickups? They are simply not engineered to compete with each other. Most of the market agreed with you some time ago, and most manufacturers left the segment. But somewhat recently those manufacturers decided that there is enough room in the segment to compete with the Tacoma and the Frontier, now here we are. We have the Colorado/Canyon, Taco, Ranger, and Frontier competing for the typical midsize pickup segment. Then we have Honda's Ridgeline going for those who need the occasional pickup and only drive on the street, and the Gladiator trying to cut out a niche as the fun/lifestyle/offroad option. Is there enough room in the market for these? I'm not so sure. Like you, I look at the price tags and think I could get a full size (or in the case of the Gladiator Rubicon, a 3/4 ton) pickup with more capability for the same price. However; I also live in an urban environment and I hated driving my 1500 around in that. A midsize probably makes more sense for those who live in the city and won't be towing on a regular basis.

As for the FWD comment, what's wrong with that? How is a FWD/AWD pickup demonstrably worse in a midsize truck that is going to always be on the road and not towing? Just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean it is always the best way. In very general terms I'm a consumer, and having many different options is always a win for the consumer. I don't understand why Monster Energy Bros with bro-dozers have issues with the Ridgeline. There is (presumably) a market for that and someone is going to pursue it. Would you rather the full size trucks get even more street/urban oriented to try to meet that market as well or just let Honda do their thing?
You deserve a Ridgeline.
Did you also like the Pontiac Aztec??
Do you think the Mustang II was a good sport car?

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twisty

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While I think the JT is hard to look at in the beginning, it grows on you. Set up right they look down right SWEET.

But reading all the posts tells me some are missing the point of the vehicle. Yeah the price is pretty high BUT how many of us also have a pickup in addition to our TJ, JK, JLs? Unless one needs the super towing and super power of a full size pickup the JT will do some basic carrying and towing chores pretty easily for 90% of us.

I have a full size f150 SCREW and use it mostly for my dirt bike and trips to home depot. I for sure dont need all that truck. A JT set up nice will go places my f150 couldnt ever see. Granted it wont be as nimble as a JL but it doesnt have to be either. It'll do quite well out in the field and we have already seen evidence of that.

I wish the JT would fit in my garage. I would probably maybe likely have one instead of my JL MAYBE... One vehicle doing it all would be pretty darn cool and no other pickup can do what it does.

Thinking a used one a few years down the road will be in my future.
 

twisty

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Oh and a two door model sounds good, looks even better, and performs even better offroad but not all that practical. I would however LOVE to see something in between like an extended cab so I can throw shit back there and recline/adjust the seats.
 

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I'm sure they're giving all the execs a Gladiator to promote around that Oakland County, MI money! I liked the Gladiator until I sat in the backseat of my cousin's JT... definitely a step down from the Wrangler - although I didn't tell my cousin that! Obviously it's the exact same from the driver's seat and forward. He says "the ride" is better in the Gladiator (he did own a JK Rubi before). I've never driven a Gladiator, but I super happy with my JLU. It's fun as hell, and the only thing I'm giving up is the towing capacity, which could be better with a JLU in my opinion.
Would you mind talking to how (you felt) the backseat of the JT inferior to that of--presumably you meant the JLU?

Thanks.
 

aldo98229

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I'm sure they're giving all the execs a Gladiator to promote around that Oakland County, MI money! I liked the Gladiator until I sat in the backseat of my cousin's JT... definitely a step down from the Wrangler - although I didn't tell my cousin that! Obviously it's the exact same from the driver's seat and forward. He says "the ride" is better in the Gladiator (he did own a JK Rubi before). I've never driven a Gladiator, but I super happy with my JLU. It's fun as hell, and the only thing I'm giving up is the towing capacity, which could be better with a JLU in my opinion.
After 10 years of owning Wranglers I bought a 2019 Tacoma TRD Off-Road. In the six months I owned it I learned some valuable lessons:
  1. Pickups, even midsize ones, are HUUGE compared to a Wrangler 4-door. Every time I drove to the shopping mall, the pickup required a 3-point turn whereas a Wrangler goes into the stall on the first attempt. Gladiator is roughly the same length as Tacoma.
  2. If you are carrying passengers don’t offer to stop at the supermarket. Unless your truck has a canopy —which I find totally dorky, you won’t have where to put your groceries! If you need to get on the freeway or it’s raining, like it does 80% of the time up here, you will have to ask your passengers to squeeze with the groceries back there.
I think Gladiators look cool. But having lived with a midsize pickup already, I won’t ever consider getting a Gladiator over a Wrangler.
 

Gee-pah

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My 2 cents:

I read the article. I also read the article from which this article sources its findings at Automotive News.

Not once did Automotive News say, or even imply that the Gladiator is struggling in sales. That was Jalopnik's "creative (very creative IMHO) interpretation of the Automotive News article.

Fact: the Gladiator is currently not selling like "gangbusters." But struggling--maybe if you use historical Wrangler sales as your metric, where aside from 2018, with 2 models that year, everyone made found a buyer.

But struggling compared to automotive metrics....? no. Struggling as in "the manufacture has had to offer the vehicle for less than it costs them to make it just to cap losses..? no

FCA has to face something new for its Wrangler that is a truck....(wait for it...)

….competition.

And competition is a beautiful thing for consumers. It motivates FCA to put features in their vehicles that it normally charges extra for, or doesn't even offer at purchase, that other less popular manufacturers include standard in (nearly) all trim levels.

Gasp..FCA might have to make less profit and lower Gladiator costs now that the newness factor has experienced some tarnish?

Struggling is a relative term. FCA's "struggling" (at least in the Wrangler product line) are sales levels at price margins other manufacturers would jump for joy over.

Context: I could never (never say never) see switching to a Bronco over my JLU--if for no reason the aftermarket size. But do I jump for joy as a consumer that the Wrangler will experience competition it hasn't before, and more will be offered to me by FCA for less as a result...?

Yes---yes I do! :)
 

aldo98229

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Would you mind talking to how (you felt) the backseat of the JT inferior to that of--presumably you meant the JLU?

Thanks.
I sat in the back seat of Gladiator. I didn’t find it any more or less roomy than Wrangler’s. The only thing was having the rear glass so close to the back of my head felt weird. But that’d be true of any midsize pickup.
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aldo98229

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For reference, here’s the original article on Auto News: https://www.autonews.com/sales/gladiators-tough-opponent-price

True, the article doesn’t say Gladiator is “struggling”, but it isn’t all that positive either. It reports that Gladiator sales have lost momentum, and dealers are now offering discounts of up to $9,000.

Considering the truck has been out for only 10 months, I doubt FCA views this as good news.
 

Toycrusher

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Basically they botched the bed length. If your ONLY going to offer a full-sized set of back doors, at least have the decency to hang a 4' bed behind it.

Here's some ways they could fix it. Of if you aren't going to fix it, then just make a 3 row SUV out of it...

Personally I think my last two mods would have made most everyone happy, JLU-ish wheelbase, comfortable cab, and same size bed as a ZR2 or Taco

JP020_150GL.jpg
J_161GL.jpg
JLT.jpg
2020-Jeep-Gladiator-Gallery-Exterior-Rubicon-Side-Profile-Driving.jpg.image.1440.jpg
cc_2020JET050011_03_640_PW7.jpg
 

KnG818

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Would you mind talking to how (you felt) the backseat of the JT inferior to that of--presumably you meant the JLU?

Thanks.
Say whuh?
 

MotownJLU

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Would you mind talking to how (you felt) the backseat of the JT inferior to that of--presumably you meant the JLU?

Thanks.
I'm 6-foot tall and 230 lbs. I felt pretty cramped and uncomfortable in the backseat of my cousin's Gladiator compared to my JLU. I did think the storage under the seats was pretty sweet though!
 

ODDs

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Basically they botched the bed length. If your ONLY going to offer a full-sized set of back doors, at least have the decency to hang a 4' bed behind it.

Here's some ways they could fix it. Of if you aren't going to fix it, then just make a 3 row SUV out of it...

Personally I think my last two mods would have made most everyone happy, JLU-ish wheelbase, comfortable cab, and same size bed as a ZR2 or Taco

JP020_150GL.jpg
J_161GL.jpg
JLT.jpg
2020-Jeep-Gladiator-Gallery-Exterior-Rubicon-Side-Profile-Driving.jpg.image.1440.jpg
cc_2020JET050011_03_640_PW7.jpg
Those last two do look right! That's what I was expecting of a Jeep truck. Not the Frankenstein junkyard war creation they gave us. If it could tow 5000 lbs then I'd be happy.
 
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