Bought my Gladiator Overland one month ago- my review

DirtySaylor

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FRAT SUMMARY: The Jeep Gladiator is that crazy stripper you dated that pulled a knife on you one time. She's a drunk crazy bi-polar wack job, but goddamn if she isn't fun. The blade to your throat provides a thrill of adrenaline, while she shags you rotten, only to turn psycho on you an hour into a long trip, but then delivering unexpected rewards when she lets you shoot an 18 roper on her face. That's the JT GLADIATOR! You either love this little slut or you don't!

The cons:
-MAJOR ONE- the steering is super loose. Like take your eyes off the road for a second and you are headed for a ditch.
-Gas mileage. While, duh! you say. Jeeps are not meant to be gas sippers! yes, but when I read 100 threads and everyone claims to be getting 16 MPG I have to laugh. This thing gets 12 MPG with aftermarket 35's TOPS if you drive it with any sense of urgency, i.e. you have to continually make appointments, pass people on the highway, and don't have time to drive like aunt flossy.
-With the 35's (20x10 rims) on it, the jeep is noticeably slower, AND the gas mileage is even worse. People who claim 16 MPG with 35's are straight out lying, that or my dealer hatched a diabolical plot before delivery to drill a tiny hole in my gas tank.
-Big one....THE SOFT TOP. WHY WHY WHY didn't jeep make the top be allowed to lower to the goddamn top of the truck bed?? WHY can I only lower it to the back of the roof?
-Coming from a BMW M car, this rides like a jackass with three broken legs and a stump. (with the 35's- stock tires were actually decent)

PROS-

-The shit eating grin I get every time I pull up to a light and someone wants to have a conversation about the JT and they are all smiles..
-The fact I can barrel through a puddle or pothole at 75 MPH and not miss a beat
-Convertible, truck, hauler, chick getter, grocery getter, home depot runner, fishing/camping rig, beach crawler, etc. Versatile and fun AF.
-I'm having more fun than guys that paid far more for their high end sports car and not looking like a try-hard douche either.
-Great visibility with the rear window and side pillars removed. Open air freedom.
-Excellent blind spot detection. Backup camera is great.
-Jeep brotherhood and all the waves and thumbs up I get. Makes my day a little brighter after dealing with shitheads for a living.
-THE BEST ONE: There are a TON of aftermarket mods, and I seemingly can't stop spending money buying them.

This jeep has it's drawbacks. But the fun and customizable options for this jeep far outweigh the horrendous gas mileage, the A-hole soft top design, and the 1950's cable steering. When you want to make excuses to go to your garage to "work on", detail, or admire your jeep, you know you are in love and you ignore the flaws while loving what is an Amazing experience.

As an FYI, I hear you can get stabilizer bars to help with the steering issue. Anyone got any feedback on that or recommendations?



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sass JT

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Just gotta ask... did you have your speedometer reset for the size of your tires???

After I got my 37’s, my mpg suffered until I got my tazer mini and calibrated for tire size... now I’m averaging around the 16 mark on 85 octane in Colorado.
 

Jeeperjamie

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FRAT SUMMARY: The Jeep Gladiator is that crazy stripper you dated that pulled a knife on you one time. She's a drunk crazy bi-polar wack job, but goddamn if she isn't fun. The blade to your throat provides a thrill of adrenaline, while she shags you rotten, only to turn psycho on you an hour into a long trip, but then delivering unexpected rewards when she lets you shoot an 18 roper on her face. That's the JT GLADIATOR! You either love this little slut or you don't!

The cons:
-MAJOR ONE- the steering is super loose. Like take your eyes off the road for a second and you are headed for a ditch.
-Gas mileage. While, duh! you say. Jeeps are not meant to be gas sippers! yes, but when I read 100 threads and everyone claims to be getting 16 MPG I have to laugh. This thing gets 12 MPG with aftermarket 35's TOPS if you drive it with any sense of urgency, i.e. you have to continually make appointments, pass people on the highway, and don't have time to drive like aunt flossy.
-With the 35's (20x10 rims) on it, the jeep is noticeably slower, AND the gas mileage is even worse. People who claim 16 MPG with 35's are straight out lying, that or my dealer hatched a diabolical plot before delivery to drill a tiny hole in my gas tank.
-Big one....THE SOFT TOP. WHY WHY WHY didn't jeep make the top be allowed to lower to the goddamn top of the truck bed?? WHY can I only lower it to the back of the roof?
-Coming from a BMW M car, this rides like a jackass with three broken legs and a stump. (with the 35's- stock tires were actually decent)

PROS-

-The shit eating grin I get every time I pull up to a light and someone wants to have a conversation about the JT and they are all smiles..
-The fact I can barrel through a puddle or pothole at 75 MPH and not miss a beat
-Convertible, truck, hauler, chick getter, grocery getter, home depot runner, fishing/camping rig, beach crawler, etc. Versatile and fun AF.
-I'm having more fun than guys that paid far more for their high end sports car and not looking like a try-hard douche either.
-Great visibility with the rear window and side pillars removed. Open air freedom.
-Excellent blind spot detection. Backup camera is great.
-Jeep brotherhood and all the waves and thumbs up I get. Makes my day a little brighter after dealing with shitheads for a living.
-THE BEST ONE: There are a TON of aftermarket mods, and I seemingly can't stop spending money buying them.

This jeep has it's drawbacks. But the fun and customizable options for this jeep far outweigh the horrendous gas mileage, the A-hole soft top design, and the 1950's cable steering. When you want to make excuses to go to your garage to "work on", detail, or admire your jeep, you know you are in love and you ignore the flaws while loving what is an Amazing experience.

As an FYI, I hear you can get stabilizer bars to help with the steering issue. Anyone got any feedback on that or recommendations?
I drive mine and it gets 18 mpgs on 35's but I also got a max tow with 4.10 gears, one of the main reasons I passed on the overland and a regular sport was the gearing and soft suspension. Mine drives in a pretty straight line and the steering is pretty tight even after the 2.5" lift and 35's. I absolutely love mine though and will be keeping it. Your right though it does put a smile on your face. I have a BMW 440i coupe and as far as handling, there is definitely no comparison between the two, obviously the BMW is going to handle way better than a Gladiator, or any truck.

 
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oradei

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Steering Stabilizers: I have a JL with a Teraflex adjustable Falcon and a JT with a Rough Country kit.

If money isn't an issue. Hands down the adjustable falcon. The rough country does the job at a 1/3 of the price, but the kits seems a little flimsy to me. I had to replace one of the U-Bolts that cracked during installation. The Falcon is of much higher quality. And i'd trust it quite a bit more in the long haul. Will replace mine once a sale pops up.
 

oradei

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Note: Literally any aftermarket kit is superior to the stock. I consider the steering stabilizer a must have mod to both JL's and JT's
 

Jeeperjamie

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As far as steering Stabilizers go, the cheapest one you can find should work if your setup is dialed in. I could run my JKU without one once I got the suspension dialed in but did chose to have one installed. I have driven the Gladiator without the stock one, and mine does just fine. The stock one is plenty. If your having steering issues a stabilizer is just a mask covering up another problem and it also makes diagnosing a problem harder. Just my 2 cents.
 

oradei

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As far as steering Stabilizers go, the cheapest one you can find should work if your setup is dialed in. I could run my JKU without one once I got the suspension dialed in but did chose to have one installed. I have driven the Gladiator without the stock one, and mine does just fine. The stock one is plenty. If your having steering issues a stabilizer is just a mask covering up another problem and it also makes diagnosing a problem harder. Just my 2 cents.
Yes and no. You are right on that there may be underlying issues causing this ridiculous stock ride on these brand new jeeps. That being said. A steering stabilizer is also meant to do just that. No road is perfect and the steering stabilizer eats up/buffers the micro adjustments caused by road, wind, etc that occur every second, or even the big ones that can lead to a death wobble. I've had several Sport bikes throughout my life and the only mod I deemed as essential as a helmet is a legitimate steering stabilizer to prevent tank slappers (motorcycle version of death wobble)
 

Jeeperjamie

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Yes and no. You are right on that there may be underlying issues causing this ridiculous stock ride on these brand new jeeps. That being said. A steering stabilizer is also meant to do just that. No road is perfect and the steering stabilizer eats up/buffers the micro adjustments caused by road, wind, etc that occur every second, or even the big ones that can lead to a death wobble. I've had several Sport bikes throughout my life and the only mod I deemed as essential as a helmet is a legitimate steering stabilizer to prevent tank slappers (motorcycle version of death wobble)
I'll agree, they add a little comfort to the steering, but as far as fixing loose steering, that has nothing to do with a steering stabilizer. A SS is just a buffer just like your shocks, it's not going to fix loose steering and if you go buying a more expensive one or put a dual SS on and your problem goes away then your just covering up your loose steering and eventually that SS is going to wear out prematurely. A SS on a Jeep has never that I know of been the direct result of Death Wobble. I drove my JKU for 8 months with a busted SS and never had death wobble and I drive on some pretty crappy roads with some serious pot holes.
 

oradei

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I'll agree, they add a little comfort to the steering, but as far as fixing loose steering, that has nothing to do with a steering stabilizer. A SS is just a buffer just like your shocks, it's not going to fix loose steering and if you go buying a more expensive one or put a dual SS on and your problem goes away then your just covering up your loose steering and eventually that SS is going to wear out prematurely. A SS on a Jeep has never that I know of been the direct result of Death Wobble. I drove my JKU for 8 months with a busted SS and never had death wobble and I drive on some pretty crappy roads with some serious pot holes.
Agreed. I was talking to the dealership about it when purchasing the gladiator. Seems that anyone thats having issues with it is just getting a replacement stabilizer from the recall for it and they claim the issues are gone. I wonder if anyone has digged deeper into it or if this is just the dynamics of the car itself because OP is right that the stock ride is god awful, I felt as if I was driving drunk down the highway fighting to keep it straight. I had an alignment done after installing 35's but before the steering stabilizer swap, and it still drove like that at higher speeds.
 

Jeeperjamie

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Agreed. I was talking to the dealership about it when purchasing the gladiator. Seems that anyone thats having issues with it is just getting a replacement stabilizer from the recall for it and they claim the issues are gone. I wonder if anyone has digged deeper into it or if this is just the dynamics of the car itself because OP is right that the stock ride is god awful, I felt as if I was driving drunk down the highway fighting to keep it straight. I had an alignment done after installing 35's but before the steering stabilizer swap, and it still drove like that at higher speeds.
I'm pretty sure they diagnosed it as bad steering boxes on some of them. Mine drives like a dream, I have had zero issues. I can drive a half mile or more on a straight road with my hands off the wheel and it stays in line even if I hit bump. As far as the ones with the bad steering box, they are apparently having serious issues keeping the JT on the road.
 

oradei

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I'm pretty sure they diagnosed it as bad steering boxes on some of them. Mine drives like a dream, I have had zero issues. I can drive a half mile or more on a straight road with my hands off the wheel and it stays in line even if I hit bump. As far as the ones with the bad steering box, they are apparently having serious issues keeping the JT on the road.
You are correct. Just found this: First 60 seconds of videos shows them filming the steering box moving as they drive.

 

Slyboots2313

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You are correct. Just found this: First 60 seconds of videos shows them filming the steering box moving as they drive.

^ this. Everything I’ve seen and read points to this making a night and day difference. AND it’s a solution, whereas a stabilizer just masks bigger issues. It’s like turning up your radio to drown out the a mechanical issue... it’s still there ha!
 
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