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BEST PERFORMANCE UPGRADE!

How to Make Jeep Gladiator Better?

Cansu Erdal
February 07, 2024

Jeep Gladiator is an American midsize pickup truck that stands out for its distinctive combination of Jeep’s iconic off-road capabilities and the practicality of a pickup. Based on the platform of the Jeep Wrangler, the Gladiator features a unique design with a five-foot steel bed at the rear, providing extra versatility for carrying cargo. 

With various different trim levels, the Jeep Gladiator offers various enhancements in terms of performance, towing capacity, etc. However, like any vehicle, there is always room for improving the Jeep Gladiator. Fortunately, improving the Jeep Gladiator with the right aftermarket accessories and performance parts is possible. So, let’s explore the best Jeep Gladiator mods!

Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator From Past to Present

The initial chapter in the Gladiator’s history unfolded between 1962 and 1971 when it was introduced as part of the Jeep CJ series, residing on the SJ (Wagoneer) platform. During these years, the Gladiator established itself as a durable and versatile pickup truck, gaining popularity in civilian and military applications. You can look at the Jeep Gladiator 1963 below:

Jeep Gladiator 1963

The year 2005 holds a special place in the Gladiator’s timeline. Although not the commencement of a new generation, 2005 saw the unveiling of the Jeep Gladiator Concept at the Detroit auto show. The Jeep Gladiator Concept, a modern interpretation of the classic Jeep pickup, sparked interest and anticipation. So, it foreshadowed the Gladiator’s eventual return.

2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept vehicle at Detroit Auto Show

The turning point arrived in 2019 when the Jeep officially reintroduced the Gladiator as a standalone model. Positioned as a midsize pickup truck, the new Gladiator shared its platform with the Jeep Wrangler, maintaining the brand’s iconic off-road capabilities. This marked the beginning of the Gladiator, characterized by a robust chassis, removable top options, and a pickup bed, combining the best of both worlds - rugged off-road adventure and practical utility.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

The present-day Jeep Gladiator continues to evolve, offering various trims and configurations to cater to a diverse audience. The Gladiator’s ongoing updates focus on enhancing on-road comfort without compromising the model’s intrinsic off-road DNA. So, it serves as a testament to Jeep’s ability to fuse heritage with innovation, ensuring its relevance and appeal across generations.

Jeep Gladiator 2024

What are the Jeep Gladiator Trim Levels 2023?

When it comes to how to make the Jeep Gladiator better, one of the essential requirements is to know which features the Jeep Gladiator trim levels offer. Here is a detailed list of Jeep Gladiator trim levels 2023:

Jeep Gladiator Sport

  • Durable steel bed with easy lower three-position tailgate
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 6,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Willys Sport

  • Limited-slip rear differential for improved traction on challenging terrain
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 7,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Sport S

  • Power windows, heated mirrors, and power locking doors and tailgate
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 7,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Willys

  • Trac-lok limited-slip rear differential for improved off-road capability
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 6,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Freedom

  • 115-volt power outlet for added utility.
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 6,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Overland

  • Equipped with adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with active braking
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 6,500 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

  • Sway bar disconnect for enhanced off-road articulation
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 5,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Mojave

  • Reinforced frame and skid plates for added durability
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 6,000 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator High Altitude

  • Equipped with premium exterior features and advanced safety features, including blind spot monitoring and rear park assist
  • Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • Towing Capacity: Up to 6,500 Ibs
  • Fuel Efficiency: Varies typically around 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway

Jeep Gladiator Dimensions

Jeep Gladiator boasts dimensions reflecting its adventurous spirit and practical design. Each dimension contributes to the Gladiator's ability to conquer various terrains, from its imposing length and substantial ground clearance to its spacious cargo bed and wheelbase. Here’s the detailed breakdown of the Jeep Gladiator dimensions below:

  • Length: Approximately 218 inches from the front bumper to the rear bumper.
  • Width: Approximately 73.8 inches, excluding mirrors.
  • Height: It varies depending on whether the vehicle has a soft top or hardtop configuration. The height of a soft top is approximately 75 inches, while a hard top may be slightly taller.
  • Wheelbase: Approximately 137.3 inches measured from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear wheel.
  • Cargo Bed Length: It is approximately 60 inches from the inside of the tailgate to the inside of the cab. 
  • Ground Clearance: Jeep Gladiator typically offers a ground clearance of approximately 10 inches, which allows it to traverse rugged terrain without getting stuck or damaged.
  • Approach Angle: The approach angle, which measures the steepest incline a vehicle can approach without hitting its front bumper, is approximately 40.8 degrees.
  • Departure Angle: The departure, which measures the steepest decline a vehicle can descend without hitting its rear bumper, is approximately 25 degrees.
  • So, these detailed dimensions highlight the Jeep Gladiator's spaciousness, ruggedness, and off-road capabilities. 

    Jeep Gladiator Performance

    The Jeep Gladiator is typically equipped with two engine options, offering various driving preferences. The primary powerplant is a 3.6L Pentstar V6 gasoline engine, generating 285 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 260 Ib-ft of torque at 4,4000 rpm. Additionally, some Jeep Gladiator trim levels offer a diesel alternative, the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, renowned for its robust torque, often around 442 Ib-ft, and an estimated 260 horsepower.

    Jeep Gladiator Movaje

    Jeep Gladiator Fuel Efficiency

    Jeep Gladiator comes with an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. As we mentioned before, it has two different engine options: 3.6L V6 Pentastar and 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. Jeep Gladiator's fuel efficiency can vary based on the engine, transmission, and driving conditions. On average, the Jeep Gladiator may achieve 16 to 18 mpg in the city and 22 to 23 mpg on the highway.

    Jeep Gladiator in nature

    Jeep Gladiator Towing Capacity

    How much can a Jeep Gladiator tow? Towing capacity can vary based on factors such as trim level, transmission type, axle ratio, and the presence of towing packages. When equipped with the 3.6L V6 engine and the Max Tow Package, the Jeep Gladiator Sport and Sport S models typically offer a towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds. This configuration also includes advanced features such as a heavy-duty engine cooler to prevent overheating, a 4.10 rear axle ratio for better acceleration, heavy-duty Dana 44 rear axles, and all-terrain tires for a better grip.

    Jeep Gladiator towing capacity

    Jeep Gladiator Interior Design

    The Jeep Gladiator’s interior design combines utility and comfort. The dashboard incorporates a user-friendly touchscreen infotainment system with features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The rear seats are designed to be folded, expanding the cargo space and catering to the needs of those with an active lifestyle. This adaptability makes it ideal for carrying gear for outdoor pursuits or accommodating more oversized items.

    Jeep Gladiator interior design

    What truly sets the Gladiator apart is its commitment to the open-air experience. The removable roof and doors provide a unique driving sensation, immersing occupants in the surrounding environment. So, the Jeep Gladiator’s interior design goes beyond aesthetics, emphasizing functionality and adaptability for a diverse range of driving experiences, from daily commutes to off-road escapades.

    Jeep Gladiator Exterior Design

    The exterior design of the Jeep Gladiator reflects a careful blend of rugged aesthetics and contemporary styling, creating a distinctive presence on and off the road. The unmistakable seven-slot grille is at the forefront, an iconic feature deeply rooted in Jeep's heritage. The robust fender flares further accentuate the bold and upright stance.

    Jeep Gladiator exterior design

    With its high ground clearance (around 11 inches) and substantial wheel arches, the Gladiator exudes capability and durability, ready to tackle challenging terrains confidently. Including skid plates and rock rails reinforces its off-road prowess, providing essential protection during adventurous escapades. So, the Jeep Gladiator’s exterior design combines style and substance, ready for the challenges of modern adventurers.

    Is there a hybrid or electric Jeep Gladiator?

    No, there is no hybrid or electric version of the Jeep Gladiator. However, remember that the automotive industry is constantly evolving, and new models and updates may have been released since then. You can check the official Jeep website for the most up-to-date information about the availability of a hybrid or electric version of the Jeep Gladiator.

    Is the Jeep Gladiator Reliable Truck?

    Yes. Jeep Gladiator generally receives positive reviews for its overall performance, off-road capabilities, practical interior design, and durable exterior design. However, there are various factors, such as individual experiences, maintenance practices, and usage patterns, that influence the reliability of the Jeep Gladiator. Let’s look at the safety features of the Jeep Gladiator below:

    Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)

    This safety feature is designed to enhance awareness on the road by using sensors on the rear sides of the vehicle to monitor the vehicle’s blind spots- areas not easily visible to the driver. When the Jeep Gladiator is detected in the blind spot, typically through radar or cameras, the BMS system alerts the driver, often with a visual indicator on the side mirror or an audible warning, promoting safer lane changes.

    Adaptive Cruise Control with Full Stop (ACC)

    ACC goes beyond traditional cruise control by adjusting the vehicle’s speed dynamically based on the traffic conditions. It uses sensors to detect the speed of the Gladiator ahead and automatically adjusts the speed to maintain a safe following distance. The “Full Stop” capability allows the system to bring the vehicle to a complete halt in heavy traffic and resume when conditions permit.

    Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking (FCW with AB)

    FCW uses sensors, such as cameras and radar, to detect an imminent collision with the vehicle in front. When a potential collision is detected, the system alerts the driver. The “Active Braking” component further enhances safety by autonomously applying the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond in time, potentially mitigating or preventing a collision. 

    Rear Cross Path Detection (RCPD)

    This safety feature is particularly useful when reversing out of parking spaces. RCPD uses sensors to detect oncoming traffic from either side of the vehicle, alerting the driver to potential cross-traffic hazards.

    Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

    TPMS continuously monitors the air pressure in each tire. It warns the driver if it detects significantly low pressure in any tire. Maintaining proper tire pressure enhances the Gladiator’s safety, improves efficiency, and extends tire lifespan. 

    Keyless Enter ’n Go™ Passive Entry System

    This safety feature allows drivers to enter and start the vehicle without physically using the key. As long as the key fobs are nearby, the Gladiator recognizes it by enabling keyless unlocking, ignition, and locking.

    Trailer Sway Control System

    When towing a trailer, this system detects and mitigates trailer sway. It achieves this by selectively applying brakes to individual wheels and adjusting the engine throttle, providing the driver with enhanced control and stability during towing.

    Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

    ESC is a crucial safety feature that helps prevent skidding and losing control. 

    Electronic Roll Mitigation

    ERM is a safety feature in the Jeep Gladiator that utilizes sensors to detect lateral movement and applies selective wheel braking to prevent or mitigate rollovers. It works with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for rapid response and enhanced stability during potential rollover events.

    Wireless Connectivity

    The Jeep Gladiator typically offers advanced wireless connectivity features, including Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the possibility of a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless charging. These features enhance the driving experience by providing seamless smartphone integration and convenient connectivity options.

    Is it Possible to Make the Jeep Gladiator Better?

    Absolutely yes! Improving the Jeep Gladiator is a popular endeavor. Enthusiasts often pursue modifications to enhance performance, appearance, and off-road capabilities. Whether through aftermarket accessories, performance upgrades, or personalized touches, there are various ways to elevate the overall driving experience of the Jeep Gladiator.

    What are the Best Jeep Gladiator Mods?

    There are many different Jeep Gladiator mods, from aftermarket accessories improving the Jeep Gladiator’s interior and exterior to performance upgrades enhancing the Gladiator’s acceleration and performance. Here is a detailed list of the best Jeep Gladiator mods:

    Tonneau Cover

    A tonneau cover is a protective cover that shields the bed of the Jeep Gladiator from the elements and theft. It comes in various styles, such as soft roll-up or hard folding, and offers different levels of security and convenience. So, a tonneau cover keeps your cargo secure and improves aerodynamics, which can enhance fuel efficiency by reducing drag.

    jeep gladiator tonnue cover

    Winch and Off-Road Bumper

    Installing a winch on an off-road bumper provides a crucial recovery tool for getting unstuck in challenging terrain. Off-road bumpers are designed to withstand impacts and provide mounting points for accessories like winches, tow hooks, and auxiliary lights. These mods offer better protection to the vehicle's front end during off-road adventures.

    jeep gladiator

    Running Boards

    Running boards are flat, and wide steps extend along the vehicle cabin's length, providing a convenient step-up for easier entry and exit. They also protect the Jeep Gladiator’s lower body panels from road debris and rocks. Running boards are handy for passengers, children, or individuals with mobility issues, as they provide a larger, more stable platform for stepping in and out of the vehicle.

    jeep gladiator

    Nerf Bars

    Nerf bars, known as side steps or sidebars, are tubular bars that mount beneath the vehicle’s doors, typically at the rocker panel area. They serve a similar purpose to running boards by providing a step-up for easier access to the cabin, but they have a more rugged and sporty appearance. Nerf bars often come in various styles, such as round or oval tubes, and may feature non-slip pads for added traction.

    jeep gladiator nerf bars

    Off-Road Tires and Wheels

    Off-road tires and wheels are essential performance upgrades for enhancing the off-road performance of the Jeep Gladiator. Off-road tires have aggressive tread patterns and durable sidewalls to provide superior traction and grip on various terrains, including mud, sand, and rocks. Paired with off-road wheels designed for durability and performance, this mod improves the Gladiator’s capability, allowing it to navigate challenging terrain confidently. Upgrading to off-road tires and wheels enhances off-road traction, stability, and overall performance, making it a popular choice among Jeep enthusiasts.

    jeep gladiator off road tires

    Cold Air Intake

    Cold air intake is a useful aftermarket part that replaces the stock air intake system in the Jeep Gladiator with a more efficient one. It works by drawing cooler air from outside the engine bay into the engine’s combustion chamber. Cooler air is denser, allowing for more efficient combustion and increased horsepower and torque. Additionally, cold air intakes often feature high-flow air filters, improving airflow and engine performance. So, this modification can enhance the Gladiator’s acceleration, throttle response, and overall engine efficiency.

    cold air intake

    Suspension Upgrades

    Upgrading the suspension system encompasses replacing or enhancing critical components such as shocks, struts, and sway bars. These modifications are necessary for individuals intending to utilize their Jeep Gladiator for off-roading activities. Thus, the upgraded suspension components offer better handling, stability, and control over rough or uneven terrain.

    High-Performance Brake Pads and Rotors

    Compared to stock components, high-performance brake pads, and rotors offer improved stopping power and fade resistance. They are designed to withstand the higher temperatures generated during aggressive driving or towing, providing shorter stopping distances and better overall braking performance.

    brakes

    Performance Chip Tuning

    Performance chip tuning involves reprogramming the engine's electronic control unit (ECU) to optimize performance parameters such as fuel delivery, ignition timing, and turbo boost pressure. Depending on the tuning goals, this can result in increased horsepower and torque, improved throttle response, and enhanced fuel efficiency.

    Performance chip tuning

    Throttle Response Controller

    A throttle response controller improves the responsiveness of the vehicle's throttle input by reducing the delay between pressing the accelerator pedal and the engine's response. This mod enhances the drivability and acceleration of the Jeep Gladiator, providing a more immediate and linear throttle response, especially useful in off-road situations or during spirited driving.

    How to  Make Jeep Gladiator Better with Pedal Commander?

    No other throttle response brand compares to Pedal Commander regarding releasing your Jeep Gladiator’s full potential. Pedal Commander is the most practical and versatile throttle response controller on the market. What does Pedal Commander do? It enhances your driving experience by eliminating the delay between pressing the accelerator pedal and the engine’s response.

    Pedal Commander has a practical installation process, typically taking only a few minutes. Connect it to your vehicle’s accelerator pedal sensor by yourself and then operate it from your mobile phone thanks to the Pedal Commander app, which has advanced Bluetooth specifications. So, the Pedal Commander app’s user-friendly interface allows you to adjust the settings to match your personal preferences easily.

    jeep-gladiator-upgraded-with-pedal-commander

    Furthermore, Pedal Commander has four adjustable driving modes: Eco, City, Sport, and Sport+. It allows you to experience a customizable throttle response, cutting-edge technology, and dynamic driving features that eliminate any trace of throttle lag. So, if you want to unleash the wild beast within your vehicle and learn more about it, all you need to do is watch our YouTube video:

    How to Make Jeep Gladiator Better?