How do Gladiators handle on the highway?

TYJ

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Be honest. Asking about stock not modified Gladiators. I was fairly unimpressed when I test drove a Gladiator on the highway. It reminded me of a VW van getting pushed around in crosswinds. Off the highway it felt like any other decent modern vehicle... no issues. But on the highway at 75 mph I wondered how much I would enjoy a 5 hour drive... or not.



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Matstock4

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Be honest. Asking about stock not modified Gladiators. I was fairly unimpressed when I test drove a Gladiator on the highway. It reminded me of a VW van getting pushed around in crosswinds. Off the highway it felt like any other decent modern vehicle... no issues. But on the highway at 75 mph I wondered how much I would enjoy a 5 hour drive... or not.
Depends on your perspective... If you've driven other Wranglers then this is a big improvement. If you're comparing it to other vehicles then yeah it's just a Jeep thing;)
 

jhale1800

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Be honest. Asking about stock not modified Gladiators. I was fairly unimpressed when I test drove a Gladiator on the highway. It reminded me of a VW van getting pushed around in crosswinds. Off the highway it felt like any other decent modern vehicle... no issues. But on the highway at 75 mph I wondered how much I would enjoy a 5 hour drive... or not.
The Sport or Overland will be the best on long highway trips, but that's not their primary purpose. If that's the most important to you in a midsize truck, check out the Honda Ridgeline or Ford Ranger.
 
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TYJ

TYJ

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Depends on your perspective... If you've driven other Wranglers then this is a big improvement. If you're comparing it to other vehicles then yeah it's just a Jeep thing;)
I’ve rented Wranglers for several weeks but I didn’t notice being pushed by crosswinds as much as my test drive in the Gladiator.

The Sport or Overland will be the best on long highway trips, but that's not their primary purpose. If that's the most important to you in a midsize truck, check out the Honda Ridgeline or Ford Ranger.
The Gladiator I test drove was a Sport S. I don’t need “best on long highway trips” as I own several other vehicles, but I do travel on the highway locally every day for 10-20 miles and often up to 2 hours. Sometimes getting to the off-road adventure requires highway time ;).

Is there anything that can be done to noticeably improve the Gladiator’s stability on the highway?
 

Trauma PA

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I’ve rented Wranglers for several weeks but I didn’t notice being pushed by crosswinds as much as my test drive in the Gladiator.



The Gladiator I test drove was a Sport S. I don’t need “best on long highway trips” as I own several other vehicles, but I do travel on the highway locally every day for 10-20 miles and often up to 2 hours. Sometimes getting to the off-road adventure requires highway time ;).

Is there anything that can be done to noticeably improve the Gladiator’s stability on the highway?
Long time Jeep owner here. All Wranglers succumb to cross winds on the interstate. Nothing you can do about it, it's a box. The same pretty much holds true for the Gladiator too but IMO to a lesser extent. I have close to a 1 hour commute to and from work. About 35 minutes of that is on the interstate. I just adapt to the weather conditions. Some days here in Florida are more windy than others just as some days in the summer we get more rain than other days. I find my JT does quite well in these conditions. As good as a car? No way. I just accept it because my Jeeps are the only vehicles I've ever owned that always put a smile on my face.
 

Mofo67

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I just picked up my Sport S and have put about 225 miles on it. I’m coming from a ‘18 Honda CRV and prior to that a ‘15 Accord Hybrid. When I test drove the Gladiator I felt impressed with the handling compaired to my past 2 Wranglers, granted there were 1999 and 2000 models so a lot has changed. I will drive the Gladiator as my primary vehicle and that will be about 35k miles a year. I drive as much as 300 miles some days for work. I felt I was willing to give up some of the comforts and handling of the Honda for the versatility and smile factory for the Gladiator. I also drove the Ridgeline, awesome car/truck, and the Tacoma. Both were nice but when I was getting in/out and looking them over they just didn’t make me smile. I actually thought the Tacoma handled worse on the road than the Gladiator. When you are in a vehicle as much as I am you need to have a certain level of enjoyment and I think the Gladiator checks all of the boxes for me.
 

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One of the issues that have been discussed here before is that the vehicles have overinflated tires.

If the tires are set to the proper pressure the drive will be much more enjoyable. BTW this is not just a Jeep thing, i’ve Had this happen on everything from a Ford Ranger to a Porsche GT3... but on a solid front axle vehicle it’s just more noticeable.
 

Adawg1203

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Be honest. Asking about stock not modified Gladiators. I was fairly unimpressed when I test drove a Gladiator on the highway. It reminded me of a VW van getting pushed around in crosswinds. Off the highway it felt like any other decent modern vehicle... no issues. But on the highway at 75 mph I wondered how much I would enjoy a 5 hour drive... or not.
Honestly speaking if you have concerns about the Gladiators highway handling characteristics based on your test drive experience, go with your gut. Whatever symptoms you felt aren’t going to change if you were to purchase one. Therefore, I don’t think you would enjoy driving a Gladiator for 5 hours on a regular basis.

You asked a question that I feel can only, really, be answered by you. Us in the forum can speak to our experience, and provide our opinion based on our experience with the gladiator, keeping in mind we all use our vehicles differently on a daily basis so our opinions will naturally be different. You are the only one who knows 1. What you’re looking for in a daily driver 2. What characteristics are most important to you 3. Type of driving 4.Level of comfort needed. Etc etc etc

I’d hate for you to pick a Gladiator and not be completely satisfied. I can tell you this, I never owned a Jeep product in my life, but went for the Gladiator LE not really knowing what to expect. When she arrived i was more than impressed with everything about it from looks, to comfort, to driving (not like my audi but it’s not and Audi!), the electronics, and the 5’ bed is super convenient. Sure I can nitpick and speak to stuff i wish would have been different (like auto UP windows) but that just takes away from what I feel is a very fun and enjoyable vehicle to own and use, daily. The Gladiator has quickly shot up to the top of my list of best vehicles i’ve ever owned. I know it probably doesn’t say much but to me it is an incredible vehicle.

BTW I suspect the tires were overinflated so that will make a difference (I’m told), it may not be enough to change what you felt but just keep that in mind.
 

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Honestly speaking if you have concerns about the Gladiators highway handling characteristics based on your test drive experience, go with your gut. Whatever symptoms you felt aren’t going to change if you were to purchase one. Therefore, I don’t think you would enjoy driving a Gladiator for 5 hours on a regular basis.

You asked a question that I feel can only, really, be answered by you. Us in the forum can speak to our experience, and provide our opinion based on our experience with the gladiator, keeping in mind we all use our vehicles differently on a daily basis so our opinions will naturally be different. You are the only one who knows 1. What you’re looking for in a daily driver 2. What characteristics are most important to you 3. Type of driving 4.Level of comfort needed. Etc etc etc

I’d hate for you to pick a Gladiator and not be completely satisfied. I can tell you this, I never owned a Jeep product in my life, but went for the Gladiator LE not really knowing what to expect. When she arrived i was more than impressed with everything about it from looks, to comfort, to driving (not like my audi but it’s not and Audi!), the electronics, and the 5’ bed is super convenient. Sure I can nitpick and speak to stuff i wish would have been different (like auto UP windows) but that just takes away from what I feel is a very fun and enjoyable vehicle to own and use, daily. The Gladiator has quickly shot up to the top of my list of best vehicles i’ve ever owned. I know it probably doesn’t say much but to me it is an incredible vehicle.

BTW I suspect the tires were overinflated so that will make a difference (I’m told), it may not be enough to change what you felt but just keep that in mind.
What kind of Audi you coming from? My Q5 is a great car, and I’m sad to see it go. That is, until it gets replaced by punk’n!
 

Adawg1203

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What kind of Audi you coming from? My Q5 is a great car, and I’m sad to see it go. That is, until it gets replaced by punk’n!
Audi A4 S-line. LOVED that car!!! I made the decision at the 11th hour to part with it. Hard decision and was sad. That being said the Gladiator has completely made me forget about it LOL! I know exactly how you feel and once your gladiator arrives it will be your newfound love!!!
 

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One of the issues that have been discussed here before is that the vehicles have overinflated tires.

If the tires are set to the proper pressure the drive will be much more enjoyable. BTW this is not just a Jeep thing, i’ve Had this happen on everything from a Ford Ranger to a Porsche GT3... but on a solid front axle vehicle it’s just more noticeable.
Highway handling improved quite a bit when I lowered my tire pressure to 35lbs. At 40lbs it was like I had to pay attention to staying centered in the lane as any little movement in the steering wheel caused a response in steering. Now at 35lbs it's like I really need to add a little force to the steering to alter the tracking.
 

the-dude-abides

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FWIW, I drove 9 hours in my RAM 1500 to go pick up my Gladiator, traded in the RAM, and drove 9 hours back in the Gladiator. That was my first ever experience driving a jeep on an interstate. It was pretty eye opening the difference in steering and wind impact to holding a line. I aired down to 35psi mid trip (it was 41 from dealer) and that helped a bit but was still way different.

I started looking into what I could do to make it wander less. To me, it felt like the steering calibration was just "off" more than anything else. Like there was a big dead zone +/-5 degrees from TDC and then when the steering did start to engage, it was very sensitive. Effectively I was overcorrecting as I was used to how the RAM steering was.

That trip was last weekend. Today is friday and I've driven on the interstate a few times since then for just a few miles and put another couple hundred miles on it since. I learned how to stop overcorrecting and I'm happy to say that I almost never notice it now. I don't think I've gotten used to the wander I think I've just figured out how to subconsciously steer it without overcorrecting.

I'm totally satisfied with the steering/highway characteristics now. I know that probably doesn't help your buying decision but I wanted to provide a jeep newbie's experience as an anecdote in case it was helpful.
 

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FWIW, I drove 9 hours in my RAM 1500 to go pick up my Gladiator, traded in the RAM, and drove 9 hours back in the Gladiator. That was my first ever experience driving a jeep on an interstate. It was pretty eye opening the difference in steering and wind impact to holding a line. I aired down to 35psi mid trip (it was 41 from dealer) and that helped a bit but was still way different.

I started looking into what I could do to make it wander less. To me, it felt like the steering calibration was just "off" more than anything else. Like there was a big dead zone +/-5 degrees from TDC and then when the steering did start to engage, it was very sensitive. Effectively I was overcorrecting as I was used to how the RAM steering was.

That trip was last weekend. Today is friday and I've driven on the interstate a few times since then for just a few miles and put another couple hundred miles on it since. I learned how to stop overcorrecting and I'm happy to say that I almost never notice it now. I don't think I've gotten used to the wander I think I've just figured out how to subconsciously steer it without overcorrecting.

I'm totally satisfied with the steering/highway characteristics now. I know that probably doesn't help your buying decision but I wanted to provide a jeep newbie's experience as an anecdote in case it was helpful.
+1 here. Spot on with my original feels, observations, and where I'm at right now at almost 2000 miles of driving time.
 

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I seem to be in the minority here but I do not notice any issues with highway driving. Two weeks after getting my Gladiator we did a 1600 mile round trip from Michigan to TN and I loved the way it handled on the highway at speeds up to 85mph. I had no issues with it wandering and found it to be very comfortable to drive. To give some perspective though, I was driving a 2007 JKU and a 2004 F-350 SuperCab (and my wife's 2017 Expedition) prior to the Gladiator so my perspective may be different than those coming from other more "car" like vehicles. Mine is a Rubicon with the 33" Mud Terrains and soft top and I was very surprised at the low (IMHO) amount of road noise, especially compared to my 2007 JKU with a soft top.

As said above though, it does not matter what others think, it is all in how happy YOU will be.
 

                           
























































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