Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has re-entered the midsize truck segment with its Jeep brand’s latest vehicle, the 2020 Jeep® Gladiator (JT). Yes, it’s finally here. After years of rumors, speculation and spy photos, the all-new Jeep pickup is here.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is not just an altered Jeep Wrangler (JL) that was made into a pickup truck. In fact, both vehicles are very different. Using a completely different frame the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is 204-inches long, or about 31-inches longer than that of a 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The wheelbase for the Gladiator is also larger, with an increase of 19.4 inches over the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JL) for a total wheelbase of 137 inches. This added length was needed to add the 5-foot steel bed. Yet, the Jeep Gladiator is only 400 lbs. heavier than the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JL).
Four trim levels will be offered upon its release to the public in North America (originally we had thought three). Those trim levels are Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.
When you compare the Gladiator to the Wrangler Unlimited, the Gladiator features bigger axles, brakes, wheels and suspension with longer rear link arms set lower for better control and towing capability. The Gladiator will have a 1,600 lbs. (725-kg) payload capacity, while it’s towing capacity can be rated up to 7,650 lbs. (3,470-kg). A Class IV receiver is optional and features both 4-pin and 7-pin harness plugs.
The first engine available at launch will be the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 rated at 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. Just like it’s Wrangler brother, it comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic.
The long-awaited 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will make its debut in the year 2020 (so a little longer wait). Jeep is not giving any additional information about the EcoDiesel at this time. However, it will be only available with an 8-speed automatic when it does arrive. But power ratings should be around 260 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft of torque, according to wait Jeep showed off during the Wrangler (JL) debut.
Like a typical Jeep, the Gladiator is ready for off-road adventurers. Despite being larger than the a Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, it is quite nimble off-road. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon will be the most off-road capable midsize pickup available. Gladiator Rubicon offers 11.1-inches (282 mm) of ground clearance, an approach angle of 43.6-degrees, breakover angle of 20.3-degrees and a departure angle of 26-degrees. The Rubicon model also features 30-inch waterfording ability, 4:1 transfer case and of course electronically actuated anti-sway bar.
Rubicon will also feature 33-inch mud-terrain Falken M/T tires (LT285/70R17) with a C-load rating, which are different from the Wrangler Rubicon’s BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. Other things that set the Gladiator Rubicon apart from its Wrangler counterpart is the welcome addition of Fox aluminum-bodied 2-inch diameter shocks and full-length side bars with an additional bar for the bed area to help while off-road. Optional steel bumpers are available, while Mopar already has a ton of Jeep Performance Parts available for the Gladiator at launch.
While the Gladiator shares much of its sheet metal with the Wrangler (JL) the grille has been modified for better airflow. Also different about the Gladiator’s iconic grille is a forward-facing camera placed in the center of it. It is one of over 80 safety and convenience features available on the Gladiator.
Gladiator is also the only available convertible pickup on the market. It is also the first true convertible pickup since the 1989 to 1991 Dodge Dakota Convertible (Yes, the Chevrolet SS/R offered an open air-experience, however it was a retractable hardtop). Just like the Wrangler (JL), Gladiator will offer hard-top, soft-top or options for both.
In the bed of the Jeep Gladiator, functionality is key. The box offers shorter and lower bedsides than full-size pickups, which allows for easier loading and unloading of cargo. With Gladiator’s tailgate, there is a neat feature that allow a halfway-down option. This allows 4×8 sheets of plywood to easily be carried in the box.
Inside the Jeep Gladiator, it looks almost identical to the Wrangler (JL). The Gladiator’s rear seats can still be folded down, there is underseat storage that is lockable as well. But it is virtually the same inside as the Wrangler (JL), which is a very good thing.
We can’t wait to get our hands on one. Jeep has gone all out in making the 2020 Jeep Gladiator not just a Jeep, but the best midsize pickup on the market. Stay tuned, as we will be covering more about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator as more information becomes available.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Image Gallery: