The pickup truck fits a niche of driver that wants utility and power above all else. There are many pickup models out there, many of which branch out beyond their expectations. While the area of ‘off-road’ pickup trucks is well-developed, Jeep is returning to the category with its 2020 Jeep Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator is the first Jeep brand pickup truck of the new millennium, having gone out of fashion way back in the 90s. With the return of the Jeep Gladiator, comes a new line of a pickup truck that is off-road capable first, and utility second. While some critics have come out against the Jeep Gladiator due to its smaller truck bed and simple powertrain options, the voices of praise are clearly overpowering. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is one of the most unique vehicles on the road, and not just in appearance. Equipped with a serious engine beneath the hood and a wide array of trail-chewing off-road gear, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, is easily one of the most versatile pickup truck models out there. And when you visit Derrow Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, one of our dealers will gladly give you a comprehensive test drive.
What do you expect from a pickup truck? Mind-blowing power? Serious towing capacity? Off-road capability? Well, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator covers all three and then some. Utilizing a body styling eerily similar to Jeep’s flagship Wrangler model, the Gladiator is a beefy powerhouse that has no issue standing apart from the rest in more than just performance.
Pop the hood on any base model Jeep Gladiator, and you’ll find a 285 hp and 260 lb-ft worth of torque 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which it shares with the Jeep Wrangler. Paired with this V6 engine is a 6-speed manual transmission, and of course, in typical Jeep fashion, the Jeep Gladiator comes with a 4x4 drivetrain no matter how much you spend. If the manual transmission isn’t your speed, you can upgrade to an 8-speed automatic, which makes for some substantial acceleration and gear shifting. One shouldn’t judge the Jeep Gladiator based on its size either, as base models can haul up to 7,650 pounds behind its tailgate, which makes it a reasonably capable tower. The ground clearance of the Jeep Gladiator is also something to gawk at, with 11.1” between the ground and the undercarriage. So, as you may already notice, even the entry-level Jeep Gladiator is a pretty competent off-roader, and with a starting price of $33,545, taking one of these rugged pickup trucks home with you is as easy as it looks.
Upgrading the 2020 Jeep Gladiator lends for a pretty rewarding experience, although you won’t be able to find another engine option until late 2020. This second engine option will come in the form of a 3.0-liter turbodiesel that’ll use the 8-speed automatic transmission as its source for power transfer. This engine offers 260 hp and an extremely impressive 442 lb-ft of torque. That said, upgrading the Jeep Gladiator extends beyond just the engine purring beneath the hood. Like the Jeep Wrangler, the Gladiator can be upgraded to offer completely removable doors, which can allow you to get a completely open-air driving experience. In trim levels like the Gladiator Rubicon, you’ll find some beefier off-road gear that makes this pickup nearly unstoppable when put to the trail. The Gladiator Rubicon comes equipped with 33-inch off-road tires, locking rear and front differentials, a solid transfer case for low crawl ratio, durable skid plates, and automatic sway bar disconnects. And if you want to get technical, you can pay to mount a camera to the Jeep Gladiator’s front grille to have a closer look at the trail.
With all of this additional gear, how does the Jeep Gladiator perform on the trail? Well, it can certainly hold its own with its smaller counterpart, the Jeep Wrangler. While you may not get the kind of nimble off-road performance that you can expect from a two-door Jeep Wrangler, you’ll undoubtedly find quite a thrill behind the wheel of an amped-up Jeep Gladiator.
Interior spacing can be something of a problem for other pickup truck models; this isn’t the case for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Behind the front seats, rear passengers get a maximum of 41 inches of legroom, more than you can find in even rival SUVs. This rear legroom isn’t the only thing the Jeep Gladiator has going for it either. The big windows of the Jeep Gladiator make for stellar visibility, which can come in handy when venturing out on the trail.
A total of five can fit into the Jeep Gladiator comfortably. As to be expected, the interior materials vary from soft plastics and cloth to premium leather, which feels quite luxurious under the palm. The front row of the Gladiator is just as impressive as the back with seamless manual adjustment and plenty of room to stretch out. And when it comes to cargo, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a champion, with a 5-foot cargo hold, and plenty of room on the inside to take advantage of as well.
Beyond just space and materials, the Jeep Gladiator offers some different packages. One package, in particular, equips the Jeep Gladiator with an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated. The Gladiator can also be built to include a heated front seat and steering wheel, as well as a power outlet in the rear. Although, while all of these interior features make for an almost luxurious drive, the Jeep Gladiator truly shines when you observe what it can do combined with the kind of interior luxuries it provides.
When met with a passing glance, the Jeep Gladiator looks a lot like the Wrangler, nearly identical even. This stylistic similarity diminishes, though, when you take a closer look at the full picture. The truck bed of the Gladiator extends past the four doors, adding some additional length to the typical Wrangler design. Although, besides the differences in body styling, Jeep took directly from their successful Wrangler line, with the seven-slot front grille, fender flares, and iconic round headlights.
The Jeep Gladiator wheelbase is much larger than the Wrangler by about 19 inches, many of which go to the rear seats providing additional legroom for passengers. Only available in a four-door styling, the Jeep Gladiator is a beefy vehicle, and that’s hardly a problem. The 5-foot truck bed is the perfect size for the Jeep Gladiator, and it can be upgraded to include a spray-in bedliner and a roll-up cover. All totaled, the Jeep Gladiator may look similar to the Wrangler, but besides a few stylistic similarities, these are two very different flagship vehicles.
Staying safe in a vehicle is always essential. It is almost extra important to have great safety features when purchasing a vehicle that is built for off-roading. Luckily, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, like other Jeep models, offers a suite of active safety packages that can give you complete awareness when on the road, or even on the trail.
While some of these intuitive safety features aren’t offered as standard in the Jeep Gladiator, upgrading to them isn’t too much trouble. The features available in the safety gear packages include things like blind-spot monitors, which use sensors to help you avoid colliding into another vehicle or object within your blind spot. This same initial package offers rear-parking sensors that make parallel parking into tight spaces a pure breeze. If you upgrade to the higher safety and driver assistance package, you’ll get additional features such as adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking. This feature is truly impressive as it utilizes an array of both cameras and sensors to detect the flow of traffic in front of you, and will apply the brakes if you’re at risk of collision. With all of these fantastic safety features, you are sure to be safe in the Gladiator both on and off the road.