Calicorks

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I’m confused about “the Gladiator spanks the 2.3”. I just pulled up the specs on both sites. The 3.6L Pentastar has 285hp and 260lb-ft of torque. The Bronco’s 2.3L on regular is rated for 270hp and 310lb-ft torque…and Ford has been advertising on the premium fuel rating of 300/325. I guess I’m failing to see how a much smaller engine making similar horsepower and more torque equals “getting spanked”🤷🏻‍♂️
I got to drive a 2.3 Badlands mannequin on a dirt/gravel country road in Baja mode. I was only going 70…but the speed limit was 35 on a residential road and it was the first time I’d driven down there, so I kept it reasonable. It was a complete blast and sold me on the 2.3. I’m sure one of the professionals would find turbo lag pushing it to the limits, and I’ve definitely seen it on my 2016 Explorer with the 2.3L, but I didn’t experience ANY lag with the 2.3L Bronco.
Have you driven all engines including the Gladiator or are you just looking at it on paper? Just wondering because I have driven them all.
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Bronco4lyfe85

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Why is this a top story? Lol. It’s a one paragraph opinion?
 

BroncoRick

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Agree with most of what's said here. I'd already have a Gladiator in the driveway without even knowing of the Bronco.... but the JL/JT interior space killed it for me. After 2 TJ's and a JK I was stunned how bad JL/JT interior space is. My head hits the tops and it's impossible to position the front seats comfortably. The Bronco is worlds ahead in that area. What's worse is that Jeep can't fix that without a complete engineering redesign of the vehicle.

There was a lot of talk early on in the JL development that Jeep needed to reduce the frontal surface area of the vehicle for aero (presumably because they knew their available powertrains couldn't meet EPA if they didn't). The cabin width is thus about a couple inches narrower. This has pushed the seat brackets closer to the transmission tunnel and made it so that they couldn't go lower. I think it all goes back to that need to cut the frontal surface area of the Jeeps.

This led me to look at Rangers which were superior in every way to the Gladiator aside from overall off-road specs, rear seat legroom, and some interior materials quality. And the ability to take top and doors off. Towing on the Ranger is superior, front seat comfort, NVH, ride comfort, fuel economy, etc.

The Bronco, however ticks the top and doors off boxes, off road capability box, and interior is superior to even the Ranger. It's disappointing that Ford axed the Bronco Truck, but I suspect they don't have plant capacity for it given the popularity of the 6G Bronco and likely popularity of the upcoming 6G Ranger.

I toyed with the idea of keeping the JK and adding a 5G Ranger. If Ford can't deliver Broncos I may yet do that. Keeping the Jeep and adding a Ranger is nearly in the same overall price as trading the Jeep on a Bronco.
 

6GSooner

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I’m not positive if the gladiator is similar to the wrangler, but I imagine it is. Most folks do stuff to their wrangler/gladiator (lift, bigger tires), which does change the driving characteristics. So maybe it doesn’t have all of the urban legends from factory, but as soon as you start messing with geometry, you’ll start to feel it.

my wife also fell in love with the Bronco when we had it for a day. She hated driving my wrangler rubicon (3.5 inch lift and 35s). When we got back from her driving the Bronco she said “it’s so nice that you ordered me a brono!”

not so fast little lady…
 

jddunfee

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I test drove the Rubicon and noticed how small the cabin is. The seat was horrible (for me and my wife). The base of it is very flat and won't tilt. I also had it slid all the way back which was concerning. However, since i know my 2 door hard top Bronco October reservation won't show up until late 22 or sometime in 23, i purchased the Ford Ranger Tremor and will have that in a few weeks. It's not a bronco but it's nice. I kept my bronco reservation too 👍. I still love my old 93 Wrangler Renegade that I'm driving.
 

Techun

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Good comparison, people make the biggest deal about the steering on the new Wranglers, while it's true the sfa can and is prone to the death wobble quality parts with good engineering will eliminate that problem. And FCA finally got a handle on this after years of sloppy engineering and cheap parts.May not drive quite as nice as an IFS but they drive and handle just fine.

Interestingly, my experience with death wobble all occurred with my first gen Broncos.
I'm not old enough to go through this for every generation, but it seems like every time a new jeep comes out they say THIS TIME they got it right.

When in reality it's just new, tight parts. Put 80k miles on those bushings and it will steer like an old jeep, just like every single other sfa truck ever made.
 

Kricket

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I had a few moment of temptation and frustration with all of the things going on.
I found a dealer offering 6% below invoice on the Gladiator, so I went to test drive one to see if I liked it as much as I thought I might.

Gladi drove very well. No hint of wandering or wobble, or any of the urban legends out there. It was smooth, had a good stance (It was the Mojave with 33's and Fox 2.5 shocks). Hard top panels were substantial and super easy to remove. Good fit and finish. I own an 01 Jeep, and was somewhat surprised at the tight quarters inside. I mean, I know it hasn't grown to full size truck proportions, but was still a bit surprised that it felt just as small.

My son rode in the back seat. At 6-0 his knees were in the molle panels in the back of my seat, and my seat was almost uncomfortably forward.

He said, once asked, "I would absolutely not want to ride back here for a week-long trip, or even the 3.5 hours to the beach. This sucks."

Power was very lacking. Surprisingly so. I did not expect a Z06-level feeling. But I did expect a bit more than it had. The 3.6 is a smooth, quiet engine. But severely underpowered for the vehicle, for road use. Drove it for an hour and was not in love with it, other than the lure of a shiny, brand new 4X4 truck I could remove the tops and doors from.

Now, The WT 4 door was a completely different vehicle. I've ridden in one with Shelby at Supercel, so I had a feeling already from a passenger perspective, how it felt and rode.

Driving it is SO much different and better. It felt like it had twice the power. We were doing 75 on the highway and it felt like we were doing 50. SO smooth, responsive.

Son in the back had a good several inches of room between his knees and the seat, and I didn't have it as forward as I normally would.

Lots more head room.

Superb open-air feeling with no crossbar.

Seats. Oh man, the seats. They felt like Lazyboy recliners compared the the Gladi. And the WT camo inserts look a LOT better in person than they do in pics, as do the dash colors.
If I did not want the MGV and washout floor, I would switch to WT and never look back.

I drove the first half, my wife drove the 2nd half.

She has been overly supportive and understanding (and patient) during this whole ordeal.
Once we got back to the dealer she was as much a rabid fan of the Bronco as I have been, said "Ok, when we get home, email the dealer, get it out of 99 status, change to a Soft top and let's get this thing home ASAP."

And she was right. No comparison. It's a whole 'nother level of ride, comfort, room, feeling vs. the Gladi.

So promptly emailed, changed to a Soft top, added Squatch, and the anxious wait now begins to see if it hits soon in schedule land.
This is what I needed to read today. Been hearing the siren-song of the gladiator a lot recently. Gotta stay the course.
 
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broadicustomworks

broadicustomworks

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This is what I needed to read today. Been hearing the siren-song of the gladiator a lot recently. Gotta stay the course.
Thanks, Kris.

Yeah, if the Gladi was a terrible vehicle or had an insane price, it would be easy to never wonder or wander.

Fact is, it's not terrible. Quite nice, actually. There wasn't anything from the drive I found I hated, necessarily.
But for what I want and need, the Bronco just outshone it in key areas that mattered to me. And easily so.
If the Bronco didn't do some of the things it does as well as it does, I would have went with the Gladi and been fine. Back seat passengers not as fine, but that's another story.

At the end of the day I suggest and recommend everyone who is tempted or questioning, or even just curious, to go drive one the way you would want it (Rubi, Mojave, Overland, etc.), and drive a Bronco as soon as possible to that test drive and form your own opinions.
Either way it's a good time and a fun day spent in gathering data or just having a good time.

I have my opinions and decisions, others have theirs. It doesn't make any of us right or wrong.

But for me, yeah. I recommend staying the course. Until it either doesn't make sense to or your hand is forced and you need a vehicle for whatever reason.
This is a very fun, easy to drive, easy to fall in love with vehicle.
 

PDiddy

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Current Gladiator Rubicon owner. I bought it just over a year ago and have 16k miles on it. I am still going to sell it and get the Bronco, hopefully end of September.

I enjoy the Gladiator so much it is a really tough choice to go to the Bronco. I think most of the people's assessments on here are correct. The cab feels a little smaller, the interior finishes seem nicer, the back seat is big for a mid sized truck but not as big as the Bronco's. I came from a 2015 4Runner, so the 3.6 engine power seems amazing compared to it. Tows 7000lbs no problem. I don't have a problem with seat comfort, but I am looking forward to trying out the Bronco seats. More comfort is always better.

I put 35s and regeared to 4:88s. So it has a little more torque that it did stock, even with the larger tires. That gives it more pep. Didn't need to lift it to put 35s on it.

I am going to be sad to see it go, but I figure if I don't end up liking the Bronco, I'll sell it and go get another Gladiator. I would for sure recommend a Gladiator, and I would buy one again. It is really exciting to have these options. We didn't have a Bronco or a Gladiator two years ago.
 

Beach_Bum

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The shirt Shelby was signing was produced for Gene Butman Ford 6th Annual Heritage Car Show 2021. It was held the week before Dream Cruise. You may be able to contact the dealership to see if they have any available. I had a friend local to the area get it for me. The U14 on the front of the shirt is also on the back. It was modeled after the GM's actual U14.
 
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