The midsize truck market is a little bit stale these days, and truck drivers are looking for something new, something different, something that is not the same old model trotted out each year. Like many a driver stuck in a spot they should have been driving in the first place, a Jeep is here to pull them out of the mud. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is, quite simply, the answer to about 100 questions you have always wanted to ask. And now, Jeep is bringing back this classic for a modern era to totally redefine the midsize truck game.
The real secret to the appeal of the Gladiator is not really a secret at all – it is just what you are looking for from this vehicle. It’s a classic Jeep Wrangler that has the added appeal of being a functional, high-performing truck. It is something that Jeep enthusiasts and truck devotees have been seeking for decades. And right now is the best time for it — the current iteration of the Jeep Wrangler is probably the best yet at combining the look of the classic Jeep silhouette with the technology, handling, and ride quality of a high-end SUV. The Gladiator just does something very simple and leaves the best parts of the Jeep alone. The Gladiator keeps the best of the Jeep in place. There are removable doors and roof panels. There is legendary off-road capability and four-wheel drive performance. It looks like a Jeep.
The Gladiator will launch with a single engine: current the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and you can get it with a six-speed manual on all Gladiator trim lines. The automatic is there too, and it gets 17 mpg city, 22 highway, and the stick-shift does 16/23. A diesel engine will be available later as an option with the automatic. Jeep has no current plans to offer the 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder that’s optional on the Wrangler, but we wouldn’t bet against it down the road.
But all that is pretty standard for a Jeep – what about the “truck stuff”? The Gladiator is ready for the work that truck owners want to do, as well as the play. The Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds with the automatic transmission, and tests show it excelling with the standard boat-and-trailer combination a ton of drivers will be using. The bed is big enough to carry a good amount of cargo without being too big to keep costs and convenience down. The Gladiator is the most off-road capable midsize pickup truck ever thanks to a combination of impressive equipment like front and rear Tru-Lok® locking differentials, branded FOX shocks and an available forward-facing TrailCam Off-Road Camera.
But this thing is not just a trail-runner. It’s got the tech and safety features drivers expect in every vehicle these days. It looks and acts like a Jeep, but inside you’ll find a blind-spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control that has a full-stop feature, forward collision warning with active braking, and even rear cross-path detection. The Gladiator is just as at home in the grocery store parking lot picking up your supplies as it will be on that weekend camping trip you’re stocking up for.
The Gladiator takes everything you love about a Jeep and incorporates the latest technology, equipment and features to produce something wholly new that still feels familiar. The first models are on showroom floors, and drivers are taking notice, because the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is stepping into the arena and it’s already looking like a champion.