What looks like a Jeep Wrangler in front and a pickup truck in back? The answer is a Jeep Gladiator. This chimera of the auto world has Jeep fans cheering. After more than 30 years since their last truck offering, Jeep is back in the game and in the best way possible. Because now you can get the styling and sensibilities of a Wrangler with the versatility and utility of a pickup. All-new for the 2020 model year, the Gladiator is promising to be very popular, helped by the fact that Jeep is promising best-in-class towing along with removable door and roof panels for real adventuring. In this preview guide, we’ll show you what the Gladiator is all about.
It’s About Power
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator powers through whatever the trail throws at it thanks to a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. (An 8-speed automatic transmission is optional.) If you’re a diesel person, you might want to wait because coming later there’ll be a 3-liter EcoDiesel V6 that delivers 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
These are great numbers for a compact truck, which is why the 2020 Gladiator offers best-in-class towing. We’re talking about 7,650 pounds, narrowly beating the second-place Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado. You can expect to haul up to 1600 pounds in the cargo bed. All in all, the Jeep Gladiator is not just a pretty face, but a real truck through and through, eager to knuckle down and get to work.
Yes, the Gladiator is unmistakably a Jeep. Those right angles immediately give it away. In fact, should you see a Gladiator barreling down the highway in your rear-view mirror, you might mistake it for a Wrangler until the Gladiator passes you. The base trim level offers standard features like in-bed cargo lighting, 17-inch steel wheels, black one-piece fender flares, and folding soft-top with sunroof. All Gladiators come with a four-door cabin with a five-foot cargo bed in back.
One of the coolest features is how modular the look is. In the cold winter months, you have a cabin like any other truck. But as soon as the sun comes out, pop off the top and side panels and you have a more convertible-like look and feel. The standard is a Sunrider top, but there’s also a Premium Sunrider top, Freedom Top (a 3-piece hardtop with defroster and a power rear window), or a body-colored hardtop.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has the look of a Jeep off-roader and the feel of a powerful truck. This is a hybrid of two worlds, and the results look very promising. Even if you’re not sure about buying quite yet, you owe yourself a test drive.