Best & Worst Jeep Gladiator Years

I've analyzed all Jeep Gladiator models from 2020 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst years in this simple guide.

In this guide, I’ll break down the Jeep Gladiator models, unveiling the best Jeep Gladiator years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Leveraging insights from trusted sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, we’ve meticulously compiled data to clearly show which models excel and which fall short.

Specifically, we’ll highlight various Jeep Gladiator model’s reliability, safety, technology, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Jeep Gladiator Generations

The Jeep Gladiator made a grand re-entry into the market in 2020, combining the rugged utility of a pickup truck with the adventurous spirit of a Jeep.

With its first model launched in 2020, the Gladiator quickly stood out for its off-road capabilities, unique design, and the open-air freedom synonymous with Jeep.

Here’s a table outlining the Jeep Gladiator’s generations from 2020 to the present:

GenerationYears
1st generation (JT)2020-Present

We list the generations to provide a comprehensive view, highlighting the significant changes and improvements made throughout its production, which is especially useful for those considering the purchase of Gladiator.

Jeep Gladiator Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the Jeep Gladiator’s performance over the years, our rankings consider a comprehensive mix of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

Explore the comprehensive graph showing combined ratings from leading automotive sources for a clearer view of the Gladiator’s performance.

Jeep Gladiator Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Here’s a detailed categorization of the Jeep Gladiator’s model years, highlighting the best, neutral, and worst years according to comprehensive evaluations.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (JT)2023
2024
20222020
2021


“Neutral Years” are those that neither excel in reliability and satisfaction nor fall significantly behind due to issues or recalls.

NHTSA recalls, investigations, and owner complaints can significantly impact a vehicle’s perceived reliability and safety, lowering its overall ranking in our evaluation.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Jeep Gladiator 1st Generation (2020-Present)

Jeep Gladiator 1st generation 2020 model
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator, introduced in 2020, revived the iconic Gladiator name with a unique blend of pickup utility and Jeep off-road prowess. As Jeep’s first truck in decades, it garnered attention with its robust build and adventurous spirit.

The best years for the first-generation Jeep Gladiator are 2023 and 2024, while the 2020 and 2021 models are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2023, 2024

The 2023 and 2024 models of the Jeep Gladiator represent the best years of its generation. These years featured a refined 3.6L V6 engine producing 285 hp and an optional 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 with 260 hp and a substantial 442 lb-ft of torque.

The choice between a 6-speed manual and an 8-speed automatic transmission catered to traditionalists and those seeking convenience.

Fuel efficiency was decent, averaging around 17/22 for 3.6L and 22/28 (city/highway MPG) for the 3.0L EcoDiesel models.

Advanced technology features, including an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and safety enhancements like forward-collision warning and adaptive cruise control, were highlights.

These improvements, coupled with fewer recalls and customer complaints, marked these years as the most reliable and feature-rich.

The Neutral Years: 2022

In 2022, the Gladiator continued with the same engine options as the best years but faced fuel pump failures and clutch overheating issues, leading to recalls.

The transmission options remained the same, offering balanced performance.

The inclusion of standard safety features like blind-spot monitoring and cross-path detection, along with technological updates in the infotainment system, marked an evolution over previous models.

However, the recalls and continued reports of minor glitches place this year in a neutral category, making it a decent but not outstanding choice.

The Worst Years: 2020, 2021

The least reliable Jeep Gladiator years to avoid, 2020 and 2021, encountered several issues. Owners faced problems with the steering system, leading to instability, and the dreaded “death wobble” was a significant concern.

Transmission problems, particularly with the eight-speed automatic, were reported, along with clutch issues in manual versions.

Multiple recalls for issues like inoperative rearview imaging, fuel pump failures, and clutch overheating further tainted these years’ reputations.

Considering the severity and frequency of these problems, these years are deemed the least desirable for potential buyers.

See NHTSA 2020, 2021 Jeep Gladiator recalls and complaints.

Jeep Gladiator Resale Values

Explore the graph showcasing the Jeep Gladiator’s average resale values across different model years.

Jeep Gladiator Average List Price

Conclusion

Now, it’s clear that the 2023 and 2024 Jeep Gladiator models stand out as the best and feature-rich options, offering the best combination of performance, safety, and technology.

On the flip side, the 2020 and 2021 Jee Gladiator models have been marked as ones to avoid due to their higher frequency of reported issues and recalls.

Which Jeep Gladiator model year do you find most appealing?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.