The Jeep brand is making waves with their brand-new vehicle model with exponentially increased Jeep Wrangler storage space.
At the 2018 Los Angeles Car Show held at the LA Convention Center, Jeep debuted the 2020 Jeep Gladiator after 25 years without a dedicated pick up truck release. The truck will be in direct competition with small to mid-size pick-up trucks such as the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and the Nissan Frontier.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is tapping into America’s growing demand for pickup trucks and targeting lifestyle buyers who want a smaller pickup, so they can throw stuff in the flatbed for their adventure needs. Set to hit dealerships in next Spring, this brand-new vehicle includes all the great features of the SUV version with a massive increase in Jeep Wrangler storage and four trim levels to be offered: Sport, Sport S, Overland, and the Rubicon.
The 2020 Gladiator will greatly resemble the regular SUV version of the Jeep Wrangler under the hood. The venerable 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and the turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 are the two powertrains that will be offered, with the diesel option coming during the 2020 calendar year.
The Pentastar will make 285 horsepower and 260 pounds feet of torque in the gladiator and will allow for either a six speed manual or eight speed automatic transmission. The diesel edition will offer up to 260 horsepower will over 400 pounds of torque paired with an automatic transmission.
Two- and four-wheel drive systems will be offered in the robust new Gladiator. The Command Trac system will serve as the standard for the baseline Sport, Sport S, and Overland trim levels, while the robust Rubicon will feature the heavy duty Rock Trac system with a more aggressive low range crawl ratio. The heavy duty Dana 44 axles featured in the higher level trims of the SUV Wrangler will be mounted at the front and rear on all Gladiator trim levels. The top-level Rubicon will receive electronic locking front and rear differentials, as well as electronic front sway bar disconnects.
The maximum trailer rating of the Gladiator comes in at a whopping 7,650 pounds, with up to 1,600 pounds of payload capacity with Jeep Wrangler upgrade to the Max Towing Package.
Turning the notorious, widely loved, Jeep Wrangler into a mid size pickup truck will obviously bring about quite a few changes to the exterior design of the classic vehicle. However, it is very clear that the Gladiator is a direct cousin of the best-selling Jeep Wrangler. The Gladiator contains a bunch of aluminum construction in the doors, hinges, hood, tailgate, and windshield frame.
Also, compared to a four-door Wrangler, the Gladiator has a 19.4-inch longer wheelbase (137.8 inches) and adds 31 inches in overall length (219.4 inches). While shorter than a full-size Ram 1500 crew cab with a five-foot box, which measures at 232.9 inches in length, the Gladiator easily surpasses the crew cab versions of midsize pickups the Ford Ranger (210.8 inches) and Toyota Tacoma (212.3 inches).
News for Wrangler enthusiasts include the addition of a removable soft or hard top to enjoy the breeze when travelling. The zipperless Sunrider soft top is the standard pick, while the two hardtop choice are optional. They both feature top panel configurations with removeable panels over the front passengers and a single piece for the rear as featured in the Jeep Freedom line. Unlike the Wrangler however, no power sliding top option exists or a rear windshield wiper. LED headlights and taillights come optional on the Gladiator.
Right off the bat, Jeep makes it known that the Gladiator will only be offered as a 4-door crew cab riding on an extended wheelbase. Compared to the Wrangler Unlimited, the Gladiator's new frame is stretched 31 inches with a wheelbase that's 19.4 inches longer. The suspension consists of a lateral and four longitudinal control arms up front shared with the Wrangler, while the rear rides on a five-link coil suspension exclusive to the Jeep pickup for improved on-road ride comfort.
The pickup bed is obviously news here and will be the main selling point for consumers looking to make the Jeep Wrangler upgrade. With its steel construction and lockable, damped, tailgate that transform into three different positions. The bed itself has several options straight from the factory that include a spray-in bed liner, a 400-watt, 115 Volt power outlet, and a Trail Rail cargo management tool for all your Jeep Wrangler storage needs. A bed divider or Tourneau cloth cover is also available to keep the items in your flatbed safe and secure, while a full size spare tire Is mounted directly under the bed with the capacity to accommodate any tire up to 35 inches.
Like the exterior and engine on the Jeep Gladiator, the interior design will also look all too familiar to real Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts, as everything from the front seats forward resemble the best selling 4x4 SUV.
Jeep has long been scolded for its barebones approach to configuring Jeep Wrangler interiors, as they were focused on pleasing the off-road crowd who do not particularly care about all the latest technology and gadgets.
However, as the Jeep Wrangler became an increasingly popular option for consumers looking for an edgy daily driver, Jeep took notice and started implementing the latest and greatest in modern car technology.
Up front, the latest in Jeep’s Uconnect multimedia system will be offered on a standard 5-inch touchscreen. Critics expect Jeep to offer Uconnect 3, as is in the current line of Wranglers. Optional and upgradable will be a 7 inch or 8.4-inch screen running Uconnect 4 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Sirius Satellite Radio support. Two original USB ports and 1 USB-C port will be located up front with two more ports at the rear for backseat passengers. As usual, a premium audio sound system and subwoofer will be available and locks into place in a compartment behind the rear seats. Jeep also claims that the rear seats offer the most legroom of any mid-size pickup in the category.
According to Jeep, the new Gladiator will share all the modern safety features that the Wrangler has – that includes more than 80 available active and passive safety systems as per company standard. Features optional to the Gladiator include a blind spot monitor, rear view camera that spots cross-path movement from behind the vehicle, and adaptive cruise control.
A feature not included in the SUV version of the Jeep Wrangler that will receive a warm welcome from off road enthusiasts is the inclusion of a forward-facing camera that, at low speeds, is able to detect off road obstacles. By turning on this camera, exclusive to the Rubicon model, the downward facing lens can spot things the driver may not be able to over the hood.
The new Gladiator is set to appear in showrooms in the Spring of 2019, but pricing has been a major concern for critics. With the least expensive Jeep Wrangler already being priced at just under $30,000 and the cheapest mid-size truck priced about $10,000 less, its difficult to see how Jeep will price its new pickup to remain competitive in the market. Of course, the Gladiator is more of a specialized vehicle than its competitors, it will still be classified in the mid size truck category and will be (and already is being) compared to trucks in that class.
Through its interior and exterior design, engine capabilities, and sparkling safety ratings, its clear that Jeep did not stray far from the famed Jeep Wrangler when recreating it in pick up truck form.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator contains everything featured in modern SUV Wranglers with a massive 5-foot flat bed at the rear to carry their daily necessities and adventurous travel needs, while giving you the exact same off road capabilities.
The new pick up truck recently introduced by Jeep is honestly quite beautiful and very suited for any journey life might take you on. If you’re looking to spice up the look of your Jeep Wrangler by adding a five-foot flatbed that exponentially expands your Jeep Wrangler integrated storage, the Gladiator may be the vehicle for you!
Do you love the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator? Do you hate it? Let us know in the comments section below!