A grey 2021 Jeep Gladiator is shown from above driving in a desert after leaving a used Jeep dealer.

What Kind of Performance Can I Expect From a Used Jeep Gladiator?

One of the most popular additions to Jeep’s lineup is the boxy and versatile Jeep Gladiator pickup. It’s essentially a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a bed. While it’s classified as a midsize pickup truck, the Gladiator could definitely pass for a full-size utility vehicle based on presence alone. But one thing worth delving into is what you can expect from a Jeep Gladiator if you decided to buy from a used Jeep dealer.

How does it ride? What is reliability like? How are maintenance costs? Does it maintain its performance ratings even after some heavy use? These are questions prospective used Gladiator buyers might be asking, alongside the normal questions about how the Gladiator ranks among its competitors and whether used versions of this midsize titan hold up under scrutiny.

Mechanics and Off-Road Capabilities

The thing about used vehicles is that you have to consider what role the vehicle typically plays in its market and what the former owners used the vehicle for. In the case of a Jeep Gladiator, it’s renowned for being off-road ready, which means that if you buy a used Jeep Gladiator you will be ready for adventure wherever your life takes you. And unlike other trucks, you don’t have to hunt for rare packages to get those off-road capabilities.

The Gladiator is fitted with a standard 3.6-liter V6 across the lineup, but you can opt to pair it up with an optional 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged diesel engine. A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard with the gasoline engine, but an optional 8-speed automatic transmission is available for most trims and is standard with the diesel.

Just like the Wrangler, every Gladiator is Trail Rated and off-road ready. The off-road functionality is made possible thanks to the specially designed suspension, which consists of a Dana M210 front axle and a Dana M220 rear axle. The differential is handled mostly by the electronic Track-Lok technology. Available Dana 44 wide front and rear axles are also available if you need the extra durability, along with heavy duty shock absorbers.

There are two different transfer case options available as well, including the Command-Trac and the Selec-Trac to handle the standard four-wheel drive systems of the Jeep Gladiator. These are the key components that you will need to maintain over the years if you own a Gladiator, and key components that you need to consider when buying a used Jeep Gladiator.

A silver 2021 Jeep Gladiator is shown from the rear as it drives down a winding road.

Used Jeep Gladiator Maintenance

If you buy a used Jeep Gladiator you need to consider past maintenance, unless you are buying from a reputable used Jeep dealer. One specific item you need to consider the wear on the axles, whether they’ve been used mostly for standard or off-road use. Why? Whether a vehicle’s differential fluid has been changed regularly will determine the lifespan of the axles, since poorly lubricated components within the axle housing will cause the gears to wear down, and eventually it will cause the gears to lock and the vehicle to no longer function as it should.

For newer vehicles, the differential fluid is a negligible thing to worry about since you often don’t have to change the fluid until tens of thousands of miles into the vehicle’s lifespan. However, if you own a used vehicle, then testing the differential performance is key because if it wasn’t properly lubricated during its possession by the previous owner, then it could certainly cause problems later on.

Shock absorbers are another important component for a used Jeep Gladiator, especially if you plan on taking the vehicle off-road. Now, if you stick to streets and well-traveled roads then you may not have much of an issue even if the shock absorbers are wearing out. However, you can test the shocks and see if they’re still functioning as necessary by pushing down on the front or rear bumper to see how much resistance the absorbers give you. The more that the resistance is dampened by the absorber then the better the condition of the absorber.

For anyone planning on taking a used Gladiator off road, making sure every component is in good condition is a must. Fortunately, working with a reputable used Jeep dealer will ensure that any used Gladiator you are considering is in good condition, and a Jeep service center is the perfect place to keep your truck properly maintained and ready for adventure.

Engine Expectations For A Used Gladiator

The Gladiator is still a fresh model on the market for the Jeep brand. However, it is paired with the tried and trusted Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, and this particular model of the Pentastar has been around for many years in other models such as the Wrangler and Cherokee. So even while the Gladiator is relatively new, the base engine is not.

As far as longevity is concerned, if you buy a used Gladiator the Pentastar is expected to give you around or above 200,000 miles worth of travel without any troubles so long as you keep it maintained and well serviced. However, if your Gladiator is nearing the 100,000-mile mark, then you probably want to consider replacing the timing chain – but that’s the only major component that will likely need maintenance. While some vehicles are known to be problematic with a component breakdown when buying used, the Jeep Gladiator was built to be put through the grinder and tough it out across some of the most treacherous terrain you could drive a vehicle through.

But what about the turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel? What sort of performance can you expect from that if you buy a used Jeep Gladiator Being a fairly recent addition to the current lineup of Jeep vehicles, the newer generation Gladiator doesn’t have a whole lot of years on it to determine what sort of wear a used EcoDiesel is like when paired with the midsize pickup.

However, for the people who have owned Jeep vehicles that do have a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, most have noted that the diesel keeps the Gladiator moving and does a fantastic job of producing low-end torque; perfect for off-road traversal, rock crawling, and towing. Reviews have also noted that the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel does a fine job of getting the Gladiator off the line quickly.

Overall, if you are looking for a used Gladiator from a trusted used Jeep dealer, you’re in safe hands whether you go with the tried and trusted Pentastar V6 or the new EcoDiesel. So long as you treat the engines right, the engines will treat your Gladiator right.

A 2021 silver Jeep Gladiator is towing a closed trailer through snow.

Are There Any Issues to Consider With a Used Jeep Gladiator?

The Jeep Gladiator may have only been around for a few years, but it is heavily based on the Jeep Wrangler and shares most of the same major components. And if there is any vehicle known for rugged reliability and high resale value, then it’s the Wrangler. If you ask around, you will discover that Gladiator owners are almost universally satisfied with the features and reliability of their trucks. As far as performance is concerned, a used Gladiator will do well on the road or off the road.