As a thirty something woman, who just so happens to be a mom to two boys involved in activities, I am in my car, a lot.
If you are going to be a chauffeur that is paid in sweaty hugs and mud tracked in your vehicle, you might as well do it in a car that you enjoy driving.
Enter the Jeep Gladiator, Jeep’s newest addition to their lineup. More Wrangler than Grand Cherokee, with the added function of a small pick up truck.
So, when Cross Jeep in Louisville, KY gave me the chance to do my typical mom routine in a Jeep Gladiator, I jumped at the chance.
Truth be told, I have been telling my husband for several years now that I thought I wanted a 4 door Wrangler. Each time he told me that I would hate it. My boss even said she had her doubts when it came to how I would feel about the Jeep Gladiator.
From the moment I got in the driver’s seat, I knew that I was about to embark on a fun weekend. My first stop? The school carpool line.
My kids scrambled in the car chattering excitedly about how cool it was. One glance in the backseat revealed, 2 backpacks, 2 basketballs and 2 kids. To be frank it was a bit of a tight squeeze, but no more so than my VW CC daily driver.
My husband who is a firefighter gave me strict instructions to bring it by to let him and the guys check it out. Now, ya’ll, I have spent hours of my life baking cakes, cookies and every other type of sweet treat for those guys. Never before have they shown so much interest in anything that I’ve brought to the firehouse.
I was driving the Overland trim package Gladiator, which from my research indicates that it is near the higher end of what Jeep produces but not quite as decked out as the Rubicon models.
From what I could tell the biggest differences come from what the timelines offered have more to do with off-roading capabilities than anything else.
The gladiator that I had for the weekend was equipped with the freedom top, which offers a very easy way to get the front part of the hard top off. The rear section, also comes off but it requires, a wrench (which comes with the vehicle) but I was perfectly happy with just the top portion off. I have to be honest, I was happier than I should have been that I was able to do it all by myself.
No one told me that when I was driving this vehicle, it is like an instant invitation into a secret club, instant popularity if you will.
I called my husband at one point and said, “why are random people waving at me?” He shared with me that it is just part of being in the Jeep community. At one point, I was in a turning lane on a very busy road, and a man who was in a lane next to me came to a complete stop and yelled over asking me what I thought of the car.
The long and the short of it, is there isn’t a tremendous amount of space for your things in the passenger area. However, with the addition of a cover for the bed of the truck, storage becomes a non-issue.
We took a trip to Sam’s Club for groceries for the week and had no problem fitting everything in the bed of the truck. The only complaint that I had was needing bins or a way to keep things organized with the groceries in the back.
As far as the techie side of the car, there were two USB ports in the back, and one household plug. Upfront, there were two USB ports front and center and another USB in the center console.
I was slightly sad that there wasn’t the navigation option on the vehicle itself. It wasn’t a huge deal because the connecting of my phone to the bluetooth, took approximately 5 seconds.
What about comfort features you ask? Heated front seats and heated steering wheel came in handy for crisp fall mornings. Especially, when you have decided to take the top off for the day.
My weekend in the Jeep Gladiator, was a breath of fresh air. I felt like a cool mom with kids oohing and awing over the car.
If it is important to invest in a good eye cream once you hit your mid thirties, my time in the Jeep Gladiator, was like a balm for my soul. I know that is a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, just because you’ve become a mom (or dad) doesn’t me you have to resign yourself to driving boring cars for the rest of your life.
If you’ve forgotten the thrill of loud music and wind in your hair while driving down the road, it might just be time to get behind the wheel of a Jeep Gladiator.