What this 2022 Jeep Gladiator represents is the state-of-the-art in ‘luxury’ off-roading, enhanced by several well-chosen modifications and an elite build-quality put together by 4×4 pros
If there’s a remote corner of the planet that you’re eager to visit, this Jeep will absolutely get you there, or if there’s a grand entrance you wish to make somewhere, this Jeep has that covered too. Decked out from front to back with outstanding customization and upgrades, this is truly a truck like no other. It’s been driven a scant 991 miles during its lifetime, barely enough time to get the ‘new car smell’ out of it, and it was never taken off-road – though it’s certainly well-equipped to do so – so it’s well-positioned to provide many future, head-turning miles.
The mistake a lot of folks make with the all-new Wranglers and Gladiators is assuming that their comfortable interiors and long list of creature comforts have made them soft. Well, they’re dead wrong. This is hardcore off-roading at its best, and despite that incredibly rugged gray textured paint that covers the exterior (a virtually indestructible mixture of Kevlar Fiber LineX that provides unparalleled tensile strength and protection), it hasn’t been anywhere more rugged than a gravel driveway. Big, flared fenders, rugged electric running boards, a custom ‘angry eyes meets The Transformers’ front grille with an integrated winch and red tow hooks, a DV8 Off-Road rear bumper, and custom LED lighting everywhere you look suggest that this beast scoffs at climbing mountains and bounding over boulders, and it’s all in excellent condition. Other custom pieces include that rugged hood featuring a big scoop and several induction vents, a custom windshield frame with an incorporated LED lightbar, and a slantback-style tonneau cover that protects the bed. With so few miles, it’s almost a shame to take it outside, but because it was built to dominate the zombie apocalypse with nearly indestructible materials, it’s going to look this good for a very, very long time. Four doors mean it’s actually quite roomy and practical, but with that towering stance enhanced by a lift kit and all those industrial details, there are no doubts about this 4×4’s intentions. All the Jeep DNA is still there even with all these trick add-ons, from the squared-off and rear-slanted greenhouse to the custom grille and round LED headlights and blacked-out taillights, so it will always be recognized as a legendary Jeep.
Inside is a comfortable cocoon of luxurious leather, which is quite startling in a Jeep, never mind a rugged custom Gladiator like this. The list of goodies is extensive, including elegant, custom white leather seats, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering column, a powerful multi-media unit in the center of the dash that manages the stereo with Bluetooth and Satellite interface, back-up camera, navigation, and enough speakers to be heard at the other end of the Grand Canyon. It’s also got a fairly comprehensive array of instrumentation in a very handsome digital panel that’s no longer just a flat sheet of metal like in the good old days, and a center console with extra storage too. Custom white cladding on the dash, door panels, and even the headliner matches the soft leather on the seats, armrests, and shifter skirts, providing the spacious cabin with a two-tone look that’s incredibly inviting and feels very high-end. Heavy-duty floor mats protect the plush carpets below, the dash is unmarked, the door panels are clean, and the rear seats have probably never been used. The doors are removable, as is the hardtop and rear tonneau cover, meaning open-air adventures are only a little elbow grease away. Comfortable, sporty, yet rugged and spacious enough to transport all your friends, this absolutely dialed-in Gladiator is one of the coolest Jeeps we’ve ever seen, both inside and out.
The engine is a 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 that’s truly transformed the Jeep’s identity as an inefficient bruiser and gas-burner, offering instead a huge torque cover with enough power to tow just about anything, excellent acceleration, and 30% better fuel efficiency than the HEMI V8. With the introduction if this highly-anticipated EcoDiesel (only the mid-engine Corvette was hyped more), the world’s most capable, go-anywhere brands now produces some of the most fuel-efficient and economical trucks and SUVs on the planet. The builders were smart enough to leave millions of dollars of R&D do all the work, leaving everything under the 100% stock and detailed for show, including the linked 8-speed automatic transmission that can conquer rugged trails and 100MPH highway speeds with equal aplomb. A big suspension lift, heavy-duty sway bars/dampeners up front, front and rear Dana 44 solid-axles, and upgraded Falcon shocks and springs all work together to give this Jeep insane ground clearance that can hop over boulders with ease, and even though the exhaust system was left stock, it still sounds pretty beefy. 20-inch Fuel Rampage wheels give it just the right aggressive look and carry giant 38×15.50-20 Patagonia M/T off-road radials.
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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States