Off-road enthusiasts are well acquainted with Jeep. Since the brand introduced its first model to civilians, people have used them to wander off the beaten path. So when Jeep released their new pickup truck, the Gladiator, in 2020, it didn’t take long for people to modify them into premium rock crawlers.
You can add a lot to a vehicle to prepare it for rough terrain, but one of the most popular adjustments for a 4x4 is the lift. Increasing ground clearance will help you pass through most hairy passages unscathed. But do you need to lift a Jeep Gladiator?
Factory Gladiators already sit higher than most trucks. The "desert rated" Mojave trim reaches up to 11.6 inches. And yet, if you plan to primarily use your Gladiator for off-roading, adding a lift kit might be a good idea.
Should I add a lift kit to my Jeep Gladiator?
To decide whether to add a lift kit to your Jeep Gladiator, you first need to know how you plan to use the truck. Adding ground clearance doesn’t just make your truck look tougher. It can be the difference between making it home or stranding yourself in the woods.
You can cause a lot of damage by taking an unprepared vehicle off-road. From exhaust manifolds to wheel axles, many of the integral parts of a car are left vulnerable between the bumpers. Adding a lift kit can help you avoid a lot of issues.
At the same time, lifting most vehicles is counterproductive. Adding height will decrease your vehicle’s aerodynamics, and the bigger tires a lift kit allows you to use will also pull back gas mileage.
If you plan to clock most of your miles driving through town or on the highway, you’re better off leaving your ground clearance where it’s at to save on fuel.
Lift kit options for Jeep Gladiators
That said, if you bought your Gladiator because you’re hungry for mud, you have plenty of options to choose from. Entry-level "leveling" kits can add up to 2.5 inches to your pickup, while mild kits add up to four inches.
Matt from CJ Pony Parts recommends mild kits because they allow you to increase the size of your tires to 40 inches and add the flex you need for rough roads while keeping a low enough center of gravity for ‘wheeling.
Extreme kits might look cool, but once you’re up to 19 inches off the ground, you’re just asking to tip over on rugged trails. Best to leave the monster-truck building to the pros.
Do lift kits affect the cost of owning a truck?
We already mentioned the decreased gas mileage caused by lifting a truck, but a lift kit can increase ownership costs in other ways, too.
Besides the cost of buying a kit, which runs from just over $100 to over $1,000, modifying your Gladiator will also increase your insurance costs. If your insurer decides your modifications are too risky, they might refuse to cover you altogether.
Have a question about your coverage? Jerry’s friendly agents are here to answer your questions and provide advice on the best coverage options. As your life changes, your insurance changes, and Jerry is ready to make those adjustments for you.