Pickup trucks are big business, and Jeep hopes to capitalize on their popularity with the introduction of the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator. This midsize truck combines the iconic styling and legendary capability of a Jeep with the versatility of a pickup truck.
From the front, the Gladiator looks a lot like the Wrangler with that familiar seven-slot grille made wider for better air intake and improved towing capability. It even has the same round headlamps. Once you come around to the side, then things look a little different. That familiar styling sees the addition of a five-foot steel bed. Now you have a Jeep pickup.
This isn’t just a pickup truck in looks. The Gladiator has the capability you need in a truck. It can tow up to 7,650 pounds with a maximum payload of 1,600 pounds. It has helpful features including a power-locking tailgate with damping and three different stopping positions.
There’s under-rail bed lighting so you can see what you’re doing at night, integrated tie-downs, and an available covered external power source. Storage options increase with the available Trail Rail Cargo Management System and there’s even an available spray-in liner and tonneau cover.
In keeping with its Jeep-ness, the Gladiator lets you enjoy the open air with a fold-down windshield and removable doors. There’s also a choice of either a soft top or two hardtops. This is a pickup truck that’s as ready to get work done as it is to have a little off-road fun.
The Gladiator features two 4×4 systems. The Sport and Overland get the Command-Trac system with a 2.72:1 low-range ratio while the Rubicon gets the Rock-Trac system with a low-range ratio of 4:1 and electronically locking front and rear differentials. No matter which Gladiator you choose, it’s ready to go off-road.
Additional standard features include skid plates and front and rear tow hooks. The Rubicon gets a heavy-duty off-road bumper in the rear with an available front steel bumper that’s winch-ready. There’s an approach angle of 43.4 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, and departure angle of 26 degrees. Add up to 11.1 inches of ground clearance and the ability to ford up to 30 inches of water, and there’s not much you can’t do with this truck.
Power comes from a choice of two engines. Initially, the Gladiator will be offered only with a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. While a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, an 8-speed automatic is optional.
The second engine is a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine with 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This engine will be paired only to an 8-speed automatic transmission specially designed to handle the extra torque. If you’re looking for the diesel, then you’re in for a wait as it’s not due until next year.
The interior of the Gladiator is designed to be both comfortable and functional. There are contoured front seats with adjustable bolsters and lumbar support. You can get those front seats heated along with a heated steering wheel. Even the rear seats get attention with an entirely new design for added comfort.
The rear seats can also be locked in place to provide storage behind the seats, and they fold flat to create a larger load floor for bulky items. Folding the seats also lets LED lights on the quarter panel trims illuminate the storage space for easier use at night.
There’s a fully-featured infotainment system, too, featuring Uconnect with either a five-inch, seven-inch, or 8.4-inch touchscreen display. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports up front standard. Take a look at the center console and you’ll find plenty of places to store you phone and other tidbits.
The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is available in a choice of four trims. Pricing is $33,545 for the Sport, $36,745 for the Sport S, $40,395 for the Overland, and $43,545 for the Rubicon. Look for it in dealerships this May.