I bought a 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon because I wanted a capable rig for overlanding and off-roading.
I also wanted to be able to customize the Jeep to meet my specific needs, and when it comes to aftermarket accessories, there is certainly no lack of options for a Gladiator.
But there are many other reasons why this was the vehicle for me. Let’s have a look at why I love Jeep Gladiators – and why you should too!
Jeep Gladiators Have Good Towing Capacity
I’m obviously not going to tow a fifth wheel with the Gladiator, but it offers ample power for towing my Turtleback Expedition Trailer.
With the right options selected, the maximum towing capacity is 7,650 pounds. You also get a 1,600 payload capacity in the bed.
Now, if you want to be able to drive a speed remotely close to the speed limit, you can’t tow all that weight. But if you tow 3,000-4,000 pounds you can maintain highway speeds (unless you’re going up a hill).
As for the payload, it’s more than I need for random essentials for my overlanding trips. And with my DiamondBack HD bed cover I can keep all those items secure while the bed rack gives me space to bring my bike along for the ride.
It’s a Comfortable Ride
Compared to other 4x4s that I’ve driven, the Gladiator is pretty comfortable.
Of course, with all the mods I’ve made, the ride quality is a little less comfortable than it once was, but it’s still a smoother ride than I’ve experienced in other rigs.
The factory shocks and suspension offer good on-road comfort while still giving you the off-road performance you’re looking for.
I also like that there’s room for my family with four doors for getting my son in and out of the backseat with greater ease.
Is it a Cadillac-quality ride? No. But it’s way better than the old CJ-5’s I used to run around in!
You Get Legendary Jeep Reliability
There’s a reason why so many overlanding and off-road enthusiasts love Jeeps – they’re synonymous with reliability. You can use it and abuse it, and your Jeep will keep on trucking.
Now, I certainly don’t abuse my Jeep, but it has handled everything from dust storms to blizzards to rush hour traffic in Los Angeles without any issues at all.
And apart from being able to reliably handle all sorts of terrain, I get the peace of mind of knowing that the engine, transmission, suspension, and other critical components will provide long-lasting durability.
You Also Get 4WD Standard in the Jeep Gladiator
Many smaller trucks like the Gladiator do not come with standard 4WD. Instead, it’s an upgrade option that you have to pay extra for.
So, instead of forking over additional money to get a 4×4, you get a Gladiator out of the box that’s ready to become your daily driver and your off-road beast for the weekend.
Better still, the Rubicon variant, which is what I have, comes with additional 4×4 goodies like a 4:1 Rock-Trac heavy-duty 4×4 system, performance suspension trim, 17-inch black aluminum wheels, and 33-inch all-terrain tires (you can opt for factory mud tires if you prefer). This all translates to better clearance than other Rubicon models.
The SUV/Truck Hybrid Thing is Cool
I originally thought about getting a Wrangler Unlimited so I could have more space and four doors, but then I realized that the Gladiator is basically a Wrangler Unlimited with a truck bed, so why not get the best of both worlds?
I got the cabin space that I wanted, the number of doors that I wanted, plus a truck bed for hauling my gear. And as I noted above, with the bed cover and bed rack, I can bring along larger items that otherwise wouldn’t have fitted inside a Wrangler Unlimited.
You Can Customize a Jeep Gladiator to Your Heart’s Content
Not only are there tons of aftermarket accessories for the Jeep Gladiator, but many of them are incredibly easy to install.
I’ve made a long list of upgrades to my Gladiator to make it a more functional rig for my needs – and I’ve had a ton of fun doing it.
If you enjoy working on vehicles, if you want to build yourself a highly capable off-road or overlanding rig, then look into getting a Jeep Gladiator of your own.
I’ve had a lot of awesome vehicles over the years (and some truly tragic ones, too), but this guy is definitely in the top three of my favorite vehicles. There’s just a lot of reasons to love it!