If you are a Jeep fan, then hold onto your seat! There’s a new off-roading champion in town, and its name is Gladiator. That’s right! The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is ready to come home with you. This innovative adventure vehicle is a pickup truck with all the capabilities of a traditional Jeep. With exceptional payload and towing capacities plus an array of unique trims to choose from, this beast delivers stellar performance anywhere you take it.
Already named the 2020 North American Truck of the Year, the Jeep Gladiator has started off on the right foot. It’s also been awarded several other prestigious titles, such as making Ward’s top 10 list for the best interiors.
Able to seat five passengers, this four-door body style is built with a 5-foot bed and is classified as a mid-size truck. Available in four trim levels, you can opt for a sportier version or a full-blown off-roading warrior. Designed using the iconic Wrangler DNA, it’s impossible to mistake this beast for anything other than a Jeep.
Let’s dive in to take a deeper look at the performance specs, interior features, and exterior styling elements of this new ride.
Jeep is well-known for delivering the best off-roading performance out there. There’s even a running joke that the Wrangler can climb a wall! While it may not be able to crawl up a vertical obstacle at a solid 90-degree angle, most people can agree that it sure comes close.
Now that you have an idea of the capabilities that Jeep is known for, take those and apply them to the new Gladiator model. This pickup truck can do anything the Wrangle can do. Growling under the hood is a robust 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Mated with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, this vehicle is perfect for folks who love to drive. If you’re not partial to the stick-shift, you can opt for the 8-speed automatic. Jeep doesn’t discriminate. Each trim also comes equipped with a 4WD system for the ultimate off-roading experience no matter which model you choose. The maximum towing capacity is set at 7,650 pounds with the Max Tow Package, and the payload capacity maxes out at 1,700 pounds.
There are no other engine options, but that’s because the Gladiator doesn’t need anything else. Let’s look at everything this warrior can do with this V6 motor.
Fitted with heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, tow hooks, and protective skids plates, this model is the first truck to ever be rated for trails. Jeep gives it's "Trail Rated" badge to models that can compete in five categories: traction, water fording, maneuverability, articulation, and ground clearance. After conquering the trail rating exam and delivering optimal performance under extreme conditions, the Gladiator was awarded this badge of honor. Taking things a step further, it has also been rated for the desert––the upcoming Mojave trim is Jeep's first Desert Rated vehicle. To become Desert Rated a vehicle must meet the categories of traction, desert prowess, ride control and stability, maneuverability, and ground clearance.
Strapped with impressive equipment, the 2020 Gladiator has a ground clearance measured at 11.1-inches. It can travel over rocks without damaging the underside of the truck. With its high level of articulation and superior traction control technology, it can conquer the roughest terrain while remaining stable. Its precise steering mechanism allows it to veer sharply around corners and down narrow passageways. The engine is also water sealed and features a high air intake, which enables this truck to drive through 30-inches of water easily.
Locking front and rear differentials help the vehicle gain momentum by delivering optimized power to each wheel. The standard Rock-Track 4x4 drivetrain system with a 4:1 low-gear ratio allows the Gladiator to crawl up extremely steep inclines, and the electronic disconnecting sway bar makes conquering uneven terrain easy. Rock rails positioned behind the back wheels protect the bed from damage, and Fox Shocks dampen the impact of rough terrain and provide a smoother ride experience.
Now that you understand the capabilities of this off-road warrior, let's slip behind the wheel and see what’s inside.
Available in four trims, the base Sport model comes with manual windows, locks, and doors. This is a characteristic of the Wrangler, and it is best for people who like to remove the doors. Aside from the doors, the convertible soft top and foldable windshield are also removable. The tilt-and-telescoping steering column is adjustable to suit your height, and cruise control is great for highway driving. The voice-controlled infotainment interface is displayed on a 5-inch monitor that operates with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling. You can also listen to music through the 8-speaker stereo system. Interior color options include black or tan cloth.
Next is the Sport S model. This model adds a few modern conveniences such as power windows and locks. It also features an auto-dimming rearview mirror and several add-on package options. The Technology Group adds a larger 7-inch touchscreen interface that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with satellite radio and automatic climate control. Another package you can add is the Cargo Management Group system. This includes a 115-volt power outlet in the truck’s bed and a rail-based cargo management system for better payload organization. Interior color options are the same as the base Sport model.
The mid-level Overland plays off of the Sport S trim by making the optional features standard and adding a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an additional 110-volt outlet in the center console. Interior color options include black or tan cloth, or you can opt for the upgraded leather upholstery in either black or dark saddle (brown).
Finally, the top-tier Rubicon comes with all those off-loading features we mentioned before. Most of the differences on this ride can be seen from the outside, which we will cover in a moment. Interior color options include black cloth or the upgraded black or dark saddle leather upholstery. If you opt for the black leather, you will also get the Rubicon’s signature red contrasting stitching.
Additional options for any of the trims include a nine-channel 552-watt amp and subwoofer for optimal sound. You can also add an auxiliary switch group that allows you to hook up four electrical devices. A three-piece hardtop, leather seating, and a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen interface can also be equipped inside any Gladiator trim. There’s even a detachable Bluetooth speaker that you can take anywhere.
Jeep is renowned for being the most customizable vehicle in America. You can make the Gladiator look however you want. There are some distinctive exterior features on each trim, though. For instance, the base Sport comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels and all-season tires. The Sport S upgrades the wheels to alloy and includes power-adjustable heated side mirrors. The Overland rides on larger 18-inch alloy wheels and comes with body-colored wheel arches, side steps for easy entry, and tinted back windows. Lastly, the Rubicon includes giant 33-inch all-terrain tires to handle whatever landscape you throw at it.
Now, let’s look at some of the numerous exterior customizations you can make starting with the top. The zipperless Sunrider soft-top can be removed with one hand. The black Freedom Top hardtop consists of three panels that can easily be popped off, and there is also a body-colored aluminum hardtop option. For an even closer experience with nature, you can remove all four doors and the windshield.
The 5-foot bed is made of steel and is designed to keep all your gear and equipment in place as you travel. A weatherproof 115-volt power outlet is available for use in the bed, and a roll-up tonneau bed cover can keep your payload secure with ease. For more versatility, the tailgate has three positions, including upright, mid, and flat. This allows you to transport materials in a wide range of sizes and lengths.
There are ten paint options, including Black, Granite Crystal Metallic, Sting-Gray, Billet Silver, Hydro Blue, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Punk’n Metallic (orange), Gobi (tan-grey), and Gator (green).