There’s never been anything quite like the All-New Jeep® Gladiator, engineered from the ground up to be a true pickup truck. Backed by legendary Jeep Brand 4×4 capability, Gladiator is ready to carry you and your gear around the corner or to the far corners of the earth.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator picks up where the brand’s last cargo-bed-carrying model—the Comanche—left off in the early ’90s. Based on the legendary Wrangler, the truck version pairs a four-door cab with a five-foot box and an obligatory batch of serious off-road equipment. The latter includes large off-road tires, a sturdy suspension, and advanced all-wheel-drive systems. While a diesel-powered V-6 will arrive eventually, only a gasoline version will be available when this truck-ute goes on sale. Still, the 2020 Gladiator represents a unique entry among mid-size pickup trucks. Its unmistakably rugged exterior and removable body panels make it an extremely stylish and versatile mode of transportation.
The 2020 Gladiator lineup starts at just over $35,000 and costs exactly $2000 more than a base four-door Jeep Wrangler. We definitely think the extra coin is worth the added practicality of its truck bed and another 4150 pounds of towing capacity. We’d recommend the Gladiator Sport S and stick with the standard six-speed manual transmission. We’d add the anti-spin rear differential (which requires the knobbier all-terrain tires) for improved off-road ability along with the Trailer Tow package to unlock maximum towing capability. The 7.0-inch Radio Group adds a larger touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the Cold Weather package adds a heated steering wheel and heated front seats. Our Gladiator would also have the optional three-piece hardtop instead of the standard soft-top. The Sport S also offers numerous other desirable options that are otherwise unavailable on the base Gladiator.
The 2020 Gladiator will arrive in dealerships with a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque routed through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. We tested an Overland model with the automatic, which needed 7.2 seconds to scoot from zero to 60 mph. In other words, it’s slightly slower than most mid-size pickup truck rivals. The Gladiator will eventually add a diesel 3.0-liter V-6 that develops 260 horses and a mighty 442 lb-ft of twist, but that won’t arrive until 2020. Choose the Max Towing package and it can tow up to 7650 pounds and carry 1600 in the cargo bed, which both closely align with the diesel-powered Canyon and Colorado.
Inside, the Gladiator has an upright dashboard that imitates the Wrangler’s and supports user-friendly controls. Durable details include a waterproof push-button start, and there are optional convenience features such as a heated steering wheel and heated front seats. Jeep says the truck’s stretched wheelbase improves back-seat legroom versus the four-door Wrangler. The Gladiator also has body and roof panels that can be easily removed to create an open-air cabin.
Every model has a standard touchscreen, but only the larger 7.0- and 8.4-inch displays come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The stereo system can also be upgraded with an optional subwoofer and portable wireless speaker behind the back seat. Front-seat passengers will be privy to several power points, which include two USBs and a USB-C port; a 115-volt outlet is also available.
The Gladiator has yet to be crash-tested by either the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Otherwise, the Jeep pickup will be available with a handful of driver-assistance features. The Rubicon model has a useful front-facing camera that will come in handy when blazing trails or crawling over rocks.