Owner Update: I REPLACED My Subaru Outback With A Jeep Gladiator Willys — Do I Regret It?

Here's one experience moving from a wagon to a truck

Owner Update: I REPLACED My Subaru Outback With A Jeep Gladiator Willys — Do I Regret It?
The Gladiator Willys Sport is definitely a cool option if you’re looking for an affordable off-roader. (Images: Chris M.)

This article has also published on TFLtruck.com.

You need perseverance (and perhaps a bit of luck) to get an affordable Jeep Gladiator right now.

Last month, our friend Chris wrote in about his experience with a new 2021 Subaru Outback. He thought it would be the perfect family hauler, but it didn’t quite fit the bill for what he needed. Part of his ownership involved trekking the trails on a 24-day trip over some 6,300 miles, heading across Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. He even headed to the area around Ouray, Colorado and Moab, Utah — two of our favorite off-roading locations — to test the Subaru’s mettle. While we have the whole story right here on TFLcar.com, here’s a snippet:

“I bought a new 2021 Outback thinking it could be a perfect family hauler, a somewhat off road oriented all purpose vehicle, and a great car for road trips.

My decision to purchase the Outback was a desire for an all purpose mild off-roader with good gas mileage. Unfortunately my expectations of the Outbacks off road and trail capabilities were not met. I may have got too caught up in the fan base forums and online reviews. It is a capable car to a point, but leaves a lot to be desired for actual off-road trails.

It’s definitely a bummer when things don’t work out, but Chris wound up replacing that Outback with a new 2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys Sport.

The Gladiator Willys Sport is an “incredible value”

This month, he went out to pick up his new truck and has fared well so far. Here’s the experience in his own words:

“I bought a one way flight and picked up a Gladiator Willys Sport to replace the Outback. The dealerships in a 150-mile range in Arkansas all had some inventory, but they were all loaded-out Mojave and Rubicon models that were not in my price range. I almost ordered one, but then found an out-of-state dealership that had everything I was looking for.

I went with the billet silver Gladiator Sport. While it is no Rubicon, it has better shocks than a Sport, larger mud-terrain tires, a limited-slip differential in the rear, and a pretty sweet blacked out appearance package. 

Pricing wise, if anyone is looking for a basic and “cheap, I use that term lightly” Jeep Truck, and they can live with manual windows and locks, the Willy’s Sport is an incredible value. Before tax but including destination charges, I ended up with a price at $35,500 out-the-door. I specifically wanted the manual and soft top, and have not been disappointed.

So far, the soft top has been open most of the time and when I need to close it, it only takes 30 seconds. The manual is kind of different than what I’m use to with 5th and 6th being extremely tall but it is easy to shift and is nothing like an older truck. It shifts smoothly. I absolutely love this Jeep truck, because it offers so much capability and versatility.

Are there mid-sized trucks out there for far less money? Of course there are. But nothing else I found is a convertible, or offers as much flexibility. Last weekend, we headed out to the Ozark Mountains and had a blast with the doors off. Never owning a Wrangler or truck before, I had no idea how much I would enjoy having a Gladiator.”

Owner Update: I REPLACED My Subaru Outback With A Jeep Gladiator Willys — Do I Regret It?

Congrats on your new truck!

Big thanks to Chris for sending in his stories, and congratulations on the new Gladiator Willys Sport.

If you’d like to share your own ownership experiences or have questions, reach out to us at info@tflcar.com or ask@tfltruck.com!