Really considering a Gladiator... Some questions on pricing, transmissions and off road capability

surge101

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Hello all!

So it's about time I get a new vehicle and I have really been considering the Gladiator... I had a few questions for you owners...

I'm familiar with the process of negotiating new cars and reading pricing etc, but this experience has been a bit odd. I went to a couple of jeep dealerships and they haven't been willing to budge from the sticker price, which is usually marked up with options up 10-15k. The base sport that should be 33,450 are usually listed at 41,000, and 45,000 for the Sport S. I'm used to stickers listing very basic things as options and trying to charge for them, I am also used to negotiating them away. Jeep dealers in this case have basically laughed at me. They aren't giving me any room at all, one of them even walked away from me when I said I would pay invoice price plus TTL. What should I realistically expect to spend on a manual or auto Sport S?

What I initially wanted was a manual Sport S. After reading some reviews on the manual trans though, I am rethinking the manual. Can anyone that has the manual trans chime in their opinions? I love manual transmissions and the idea of offroading a manual trans sounded like a lot of fun to me, but the reviews seem very down on it. This might be very different then I'm used to, this would be my first truck, I've primarily driven small sports cars prior.

What is drawing me to this truck is the off-road and customization capabilities, I've never done it before, but I'd like to get away from modifying cars to make them fast and doing something more fun like this. A Rubicon is out of the question for me, would the Sport S still be capable?

Additional question, is hard top a must? I live in a very hot climate, I'm not sure if this is affected by which top you have. Don't know if either one is safer than the other either.

Being the last day of the month, I may continue my hunt today, but if they won't budge from 41k, I may have to pick up a Tacoma.





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SandSurfer

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Hello all!

So it's about time I get a new vehicle and I have really been considering the Gladiator... I had a few questions for you owners...

I'm familiar with the process of negotiating new cars and reading pricing etc, but this experience has been a bit odd. I went to a couple of jeep dealerships and they haven't been willing to budge from the sticker price, which is usually marked up with options up 10-15k. The base sport that should be 33,450 are usually listed at 41,000, and 45,000 for the Sport S. I'm used to stickers listing very basic things as options and trying to charge for them, I am also used to negotiating them away. Jeep dealers in this case have basically laughed at me. They aren't giving me any room at all, one of them even walked away from me when I said I would pay invoice price plus TTL. What should I realistically expect to spend on a manual or auto Sport S?

What I initially wanted was a manual Sport S. After reading some reviews on the manual trans though, I am rethinking the manual. Can anyone that has the manual trans chime in their opinions? I love manual transmissions and the idea of offroading a manual trans sounded like a lot of fun to me, but the reviews seem very down on it. This might be very different then I'm used to, this would be my first truck, I've primarily driven small sports cars prior.

What is drawing me to this truck is the off-road and customization capabilities, I've never done it before, but I'd like to get away from modifying cars to make them fast and doing something more fun like this. A Rubicon is out of the question for me, would the Sport S still be capable?

Additional question, is hard top a must? I live in a very hot climate, I'm not sure if this is affected by which top you have. Don't know if either one is safer than the other either.

Being the last day of the month, I may continue my hunt today, but if they won't budge from 41k, I may have to pick up a Tacoma.
There are lots of dealers that are selling the new Gladiators with a "market adjustment" of up to $10K! However there are just as many that will deal with you, there is a pricing sheet on this forum that will let you build your Gladiator and shows you the MSRP and Invoice prices, with this said, use it, build your Jeep, know what the invoice price is, go into the dealer informed, if they won't work with you, find another one! In regards to your question about the hardtop, my last Jeep had both a soft and hard top and honestly I much preferred the hardtop especially if your going on any trip over a couple of hours! Manual vs Standard, not even gonna go there, personal preference ! BTW, don't rule out a Rubi, as the std. features are well worth the additional $$$
 

LongTimeListener

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You should be able to find at least 1% under invoice with the Tread Lightly discount. That's your starting point. 3% under invoice would be very good. 5% would be excellent. 7% below invoice would be outstanding and is very rare, and often relies on you accepting some kind of financing deal.

So join TL, wait the required 30 days, and find a dealer who will at least honor TL pricing. I had to go to Utah to buy my Jeep because Arizona dealers were a joke on pricing. It was well worth the drive. I'm not suggesting you drive to Utah, obviously, but there are certainly dealers outside your home area who will be willing to deal. Shop around.
 

Gobi Wan K

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@surge101

To answer all of your questions would require several volumes, lol.

Yes a sport or sport s would be more than capable for someone that is new to off roading and beyond with mild enhancements. You will run out of pucker before it does. That said the Gladiator is a long son of a gun and that will limit it more than a Wrangler.
Look on the order and negotiation threads and see all of the dealers on here offering below invoice pricing. You will likely have an easier time getting the price you want ordering than buying off the lot. You will also get to choose the options you want instead of paying for what you don't.
A hard top is not a necessity at all the current soft tops are excellent and not that much noisier than a hard top. The hard top is good for security. But will be about the same in an accident The hard top is relatively flimsy fiberglass.
If you want to buy off the lot and are looking to do it soon than the best advice I can give is research the names of dealers here and use actual names and deals when talking to a dealer. If you say "some other dealer will give me this price" they won't care. If you say "Criswell Jeep in Gaithersburg, MD. Will give me X deal" they will be more inclined to try to work with you. Unfortunately, most people here know all to well that there are more dealers unwilling to deal. In fact I got 6% under invoice and another dealer owned by the same person won't go below MSRP. So you will run into a lot of frustration if you just drive around.

Good luck
I am sure someone will post up their opinions on the manual. I'm not sure what you are reading but it seems to me most like it. At least more than previous Jeep manuals.
 

OL1970

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If you don't have to buy right away, I'd say wait the dealers out. You should absolutely be able to get 4-5% under invoice if not now, you will soon. If there are a bunch of complications such as a trade in or financing maybe it will be more challenging to get a deal done. If you are a cash buyer, let a few dealers know your offer and wait a couple weeks to see who bites first.

As far as the hardtop goes, I think it is a good idea just from the pre-wiring from the factory aspect down the road. I could see sticking with a soft top only though if I were in a warm climate year round. As far as the manual trans goes, I must be getting old because it isn't a whole lot of fun for me on a vehicle that I drive more than once a week, but if you love it I can understand going that route.
 

Hootbro

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A lot of good advice already given. I would suggest looking farther out from home and even out of state. Plenty of dealerships on the board here that do below invoice pricing. Dealerships in more affluent areas and/or where the market is hot, they are not incentivized to sell below MSRP because they get people every day buying MSRP or above to make their targets.
 
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surge101

surge101

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There are lots of dealers that are selling the new Gladiators with a "market adjustment" of up to $10K! However there are just as many that will deal with you, there is a pricing sheet on this forum that will let you build your Gladiator and shows you the MSRP and Invoice prices, with this said, use it, build your Jeep, know what the invoice price is, go into the dealer informed, if they won't work with you, find another one! In regards to your question about the hardtop, my last Jeep had both a soft and hard top and honestly I much preferred the hardtop especially if your going on any trip over a couple of hours! Manual vs Standard, not even gonna go there, personal preference ! BTW, don't rule out a Rubi, as the std. features are well worth the additional $$$
Wish I could afford a Rubicon, but paying 40k for the sport s is already out of my budget, so the Rubi just won’t happen. Hoping I could still get by customizing a Sport S.

Doesn’t seem to be many opinions on the manual. I found a dealer about two hours away from me that is claiming to be able to make a deal with me on one.
 

Berserker556

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Lots of manual threads in here.
Consensus that I have gathered is that the auto is better overall due to more gear options and better ratios.
Most agree the 6 speed is really a 4 speed with 2 overdrives.
I've seen many folks say the clutch is a little funny, alot of "I've been driving manuals for 20 years and really had to get used to this one." The manual likes higher revs as well.
 

BLK HOLE

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Hello all!

So it's about time I get a new vehicle and I have really been considering the Gladiator... I had a few questions for you owners...

I'm familiar with the process of negotiating new cars and reading pricing etc, but this experience has been a bit odd. I went to a couple of jeep dealerships and they haven't been willing to budge from the sticker price, which is usually marked up with options up 10-15k. The base sport that should be 33,450 are usually listed at 41,000, and 45,000 for the Sport S. I'm used to stickers listing very basic things as options and trying to charge for them, I am also used to negotiating them away. Jeep dealers in this case have basically laughed at me. They aren't giving me any room at all, one of them even walked away from me when I said I would pay invoice price plus TTL. What should I realistically expect to spend on a manual or auto Sport S?

What I initially wanted was a manual Sport S. After reading some reviews on the manual trans though, I am rethinking the manual. Can anyone that has the manual trans chime in their opinions? I love manual transmissions and the idea of offroading a manual trans sounded like a lot of fun to me, but the reviews seem very down on it. This might be very different then I'm used to, this would be my first truck, I've primarily driven small sports cars prior.

What is drawing me to this truck is the off-road and customization capabilities, I've never done it before, but I'd like to get away from modifying cars to make them fast and doing something more fun like this. A Rubicon is out of the question for me, would the Sport S still be capable?

Additional question, is hard top a must? I live in a very hot climate, I'm not sure if this is affected by which top you have. Don't know if either one is safer than the other either.

Being the last day of the month, I may continue my hunt today, but if they won't budge from 41k, I may have to pick up a Tacoma.
1. Use internet sales to get your price set with an online sales person. Should get a few Gs off MSRP, don't settle for less.
2. The auto is better in every way with an exception to those who have a preference to stick shifts, but by performance the auto is better by a long shot. Wheeling with a stick can be tiring, wheeling with an auto enables you to be more precise in your inching up on things. But overall this is more preference based than anything...but the auto wins by performance.
3. The Sport S will be fine but it all depends on the sort of wheeling you'll be doing.
4. Tops are by preference - Hard tops are harder to store and handle and take longer to break down. But they're quieter, cooler and I think they look way better. Soft tops are easily stored, noisier and uglier...but you can break them down on the fly too. A lot of us have both tops for this reason...soft tops for good weather months and hard tops for bad weather months. If you go the two tops route you can opt that from Jeep but it'll be cheaper just to get a hard top and then go aftermarket for the soft top later.
 

skl1

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On the manual, I really wanted a manual truck, and that was a big part of the draw of the Gladiator for me, so filter the below with that in mind. I drove a manual JL (late model series, very similar to Gladiator) Wrangler. Very light clutch. Wide gear spacing. Felt slow. But I was running in the 1500 to 3500 rpm range. The automatic I drove was very peppy, but I noticed it stayed in a gear to 4K rpm's. So when my dealership got in a manual Gladiator, I drove that. I really liked it. Stayed in first 4 gears and shifted in the 4K's though. Was in 3rd gear at 50.

The automatic is easier and better for towing, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the manual. Gear spacing is wider than ideal I think. The motor wants to be above 3K rpms.

But anyway, I liked it well enough that I ordered a manual.

Hope this helps.
 

Klutch

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If you don't have to buy right away, I'd say wait the dealers out. You should absolutely be able to get 4-5% under invoice if not now, you will soon. If there are a bunch of complications such as a trade in or financing maybe it will be more challenging to get a deal done. If you are a cash buyer, let a few dealers know your offer and wait a couple weeks to see who bites first.
You are exactly right about trade-in. When you trade in a vehicle, you'll either get a low price for your trade-in, you'll pay a high price for the new vehicle, or both. Eliminating a trade-in can go a long way toward getting a better deal on a new vehicle.

Paradoxically, paying cash can be a disadvantage. Dealers make a lot of money from financing. Thus, you're more likely to get a better price if you finance the vehicle through the dealer. They get a nice kickback when they sell a loan. And, if you have good credit, dealers can typically find you a very low interest rate. Since they're making money on the loan, they're more likely to come down a little on price. Yeah, it's win-win!

Also, dealers have a select number of very low interest loans they can give you. To get such a low-interest loan, a dealer will typically want you to buy an extended warranty. So, when they ask about the extended warranty, say, "No thank you." Be persistent. Eventually, they'll offer you a very low-interest loan if you'll buy the extended warranty. Whatever price they give you for the warranty, offer them half. (They still make money if they sell it at half-price.) If they won't take that offer, inch your way up from the half-price offer until they accept it. No kidding, you can save enough from the low-interest loan to completely pay for an extended warranty.
 

CarolinaGladiator

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I will say this and the rest is up to you. If you buy a Sport S, get the Max Tow. That was my single requirement and I'm glad I didn't back off of it for the cheaper truck.
 

spazzyfry123

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Florida is tough to find a deal! I ended up going to north Georgia for mine. Saved me five digits compared to my local dealer for the same spec (not kidding).
 

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