Take a look at the underside of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and see if you can tell the difference from a regular Wrangler.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator, and as we have said a few times now, it’s a Wrangler with a pickup bed. But actually, that’s selling the Gladiator short. Sure, it has the same engine, cabin, and the same body from the passenger doors onward, but there are some notable differences between the compact utility vehicle and the new Jeep pickup.
They’re just all underneath the chassis.
We have Jalopnik to thank for bringing us these shots of the Gladiator’s nether regions which show a stark contrast between the new pickup and the old Wrangler JL.
Starting with the suspension. The Gladiator sports a beefier, 5-link suspension system designed to handle the added weight of a pickup bed under full load. You can see the Gladiator’s suspension on top while the Wrangler JL is on the bottom.
You can see that the control arms of the rear suspension are entirely different between the two, with the upper and lower arms much closer to together on the Gladiator than on the Wrangler. The rear spring is also much more pronounced on the Gladiator as it expects to work under more weight than the Wrangler.
Another shot from a different angle once again shows the differences between the control arms, control arm brackets, and spring perches, and also shows the similarities between the Dana 44 axles.
Moreover, the Gladiator comes standard with additional skid plates as well as additional reinforcements for the rear undercarriage. It’s all intended to protect the delicate internals from being damaged when the Gladiator goes off-roading with a full payload, and while you can definitely get such upgrades on the Wrangler, rock rails and metal bars are standard on the Gladiator.
You can check out even more up-close shots over at Jalopnik thanks to a man on the ground at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Or you can wait for the Gladiator to go on sale later in 2019 to get a first-hand look yourself.