If you’ve been anxiously awaiting Jeep’s return to the small pickup truck market with the release of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, the wait is almost over.
Based on the Wrangler JL, the much-anticipated Gladiator is due to appear at dealerships this spring, offering families and off-road lovers alike a new option for getting their Jeep on!
So what does the new Gladiator mean for the off-road enthusiast?
Lots of Wrangler-style fun with a little more room to bring your gear with you.
Wrangler JL Looks In Pickup Truck Style
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is built off the JL Wrangler, which is obvious because it looks like a stretched JL with a bed, keeping the boxy Wrangler look quite well.
Everything from grille and headlights to fenders and taillights are the same, with the only noticeable difference in the look being the elongated wheelbase.
The wheelbase has been lengthened by 31” overall, with 20” behind the rear seats alone where the crew cab is closed off and the bed continues.
Equipped with 35” tires, there’s still room to upgrade to 37” tires without making any extensive modifications to the body or suspension, especially when you add the Grumper Front Fender System.
Spacious Familiar Interior with Room for 5
On the inside, the Gladiator is all Wrangler up to the front seats, with the same 2018 updated interior.
Driver positioning, driving controls, and everything else will feel the same as driving a Wrangler.
In the back, there is a 60/40 split rear bench that seats up to three and includes tons of storage under the flip-up seats to replace what’s been taken away from behind the seats.
Engine and Drivetrain
Developed for off-road, the Gladiator is only available in 4WD and comes with a choice of two engines: the 285-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or the 260-horsepower turbo-diesel 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.
The 3.6-liter is available with a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic; the 3.0 is available only with the 8-speed automatic.
The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo will not be available on the Gladiator.
There is a variety of gear, axle, and suspension options to choose from within the different trim packages.
The Command-Trac 4WD system is standard on the Sport and Overland models with the Rubicon equipped with the more rugged Rock-Trac 4WD system with greater low-range capacity.
Depending on the trim package, engine, and drivetrain combination, the Gladiator GVWR ranges from 5,800 to 6,200 lbs with a payload range of 1,150 to 1,600 lbs and a tow capacity of 4,000 to 7,650 lbs.
The Gladiator’s 5-foot bed comes with a flexible tonneau cover and includes many convenient features like D-ring tie-downs and under-rim LED lighting plus optional spray-in bed liner, bed divider, and 115-volt power outlet.
Both a soft and hard top are available to cover the bed and the spare tire is now located underneath it.
The tailgate includes a damped, multi-latch system for partial opening and the bed is a perfect size for hauling off-road gear, motorcycles, and much more.
Features and Trim Levels
The trim levels for the Gladiator are the Sport and Sport S, the Overland that replaces the Sahara, and the Rubicon.
It includes many of the standard Wrangler JL features including the fold-down front windshield, removable doors, and available in-cabin tech plus all of the more than 80 standard and optional safety features available on the JL.
The Best of the JL with A Pickup Bed to Boot!
If you’re a fan of the Wrangler JL or off-road trucks in general, the new Gladiator based on the Jeep JL is sure to catch your eye.
Offering all the capabilities of the Wrangler in a more utilitarian pickup truck style, the Gladiator has been called a true “lifestyle” vehicle for the Jeep-loving family looking for safety, convenience, and capability in one package.
Upgraded with the newly available upgrades such as the Grumper, Grumper Front Fender System, and Lifestyle Winch Bumper from Fab Fours, the Gladiator promises all the off-road fun of a Jeep and pickup combined!