The Jeep Gladiator 2020 had us all wrapped up in knots before it was finally revealed – and the combination of it being a Wrangler with a truck bed won our hearts. It has all the cargo space you need and still has a second row to comfortably seat a family. Or even keep your more precious cargo clean and dry in case you keep the bed open.
Plus, it’s a Jeep, so what’s not to love about it? It’s like the perfect ride for a Jeeper who longed for a truck; or a trucker who longed for a Jeep… Here are ten facts you may not have known about the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
10 Based On The Wrangler, But Not Quite
If you don’t look at the bed, the Gladiator seems very much like the Wrangler – and from the back doors forward it does seem to carry many of Wrangler’s design cues. If it looks like the Wrangler, Jeep has done so on purpose, but it’s a lot different from the Wrangler too. The rear suspension is a five-link one and is more related to the RAM 1500 than the Wrangler. This makes for a very comfortable ride for the second-row passengers as well. For a truck, there’s barely any roll because of this heavy-duty rear suspension. This is why the Wrangler makes for a bumpier ride.
9 The Bed Is Heavy Duty
While many may dub the Gladiator as a Wrangler with a pickup bed, it isn’t so. The Gladiator offers a five-feet pickup bed which is pretty much the same as the ones that come in the Ford Ranger and even the short-bed Chevrolet Colorado.
The Gladiator also comes with a 7,500+ pound towing capability as well as a 1,600 pounds payload capacity. This means your mountain bikes, dirt bikes, kayaks, camping gear, or even a boat just found a new means of transport. And this also opens up the Gladiator to a whole new camping world with bed-build tents and cool stuff to be with under the stars.
8 Off-Roading Is A Breeze
Most if not all Jeeps come with a pretty good all-terrain capability. The Gladiator may just prove to be the boss of them all despite it's larger wheelbase. The better suspension maybe what we need to thank for its all kind of terrain handling prowess, or it could be one feature that even the Wrangler doesn’t have. That of the Off-Road Mode Plus – this alters throttle as well as stability control settings depending on the four-wheel driving settings that the drives use. Simply put, this feature makes the Gladiator go places even the Wrangler couldn’t ever explore before.
7 The Gladiator Nameplate Isn’t New
The Jeep Gladiator 2020 may be all-new, but there has been a Jeep Gladiator before and this was a pickup too. The first Jeep Gladiator existed between 1963 and 1972, after which it was simply called the J Series pickup. Pickups are nothing new for Jeep. They have been part of Jeep’s fleet since 1947.
Ever since the XJ-based Comanche was killed off in 1992, there has been a pickup gap in Jeep. Technically though, the last pickup truck FCA had was the Dodge Dakota – so killed in 2011 thereafter which all pickups became part of RAM.
6 Still, Need More Storage?
If you still need a nifty storage space despite than rear cargo bed, never fear. Just lift the rear seats of the Gladiator, and you’ll find a neat storage bin then and there. And for extra convenience, the aftermarket bike rack for avid bikers is mounted on a set of sliders – which means you don’t have to haul yourself half into the bed to get your bikes out. You just need to slide them out. Plus, to keep you stress-free, there’s also a full-size spare tire fitted underneath the bed, behind the rear axle. This is something all off-roaders would be thankful for.
5 Yay For Toledo
On the left side of the bed, you’ll find 419 stamped rather mysteriously, but its no mystery. The Jeep Gladiator assembly plant is the same as the Wrangler one; in Toledo, Ohio and 419 is Toledo’s area code. The Toledo Assembly Complex is massive and covers 312 acres. The north plant handles Wrangler’s assembly while the smaller south plant that recently had an upgrade now rolls out the Gladiators.
The upgrade of the south plant started in 2017 when FCA announced a $1billion investment into retooling it to enable it to make Gladiators. Since the Gladiator is based on the JL-platform, the same as the Wrangler, work began quickly and easily.
4 Speed Is A Downside
While the Gladiator is one cool adventure pickup truck, don’t expect it to do anything fast. It ambles. The 2019 Ford Ranger which is not fast, can still best the Gladiator is terms of acceleration. While the six-speed manual transmission of the Gladiator is good – its response time lags. The eight-speed automatic transmission would save the driver a ton of time in up or down-shifting. While it fair not to expect a sports car-like speed from the Gladiator, it barely gives pickup-truck like speed. You’ll feel the engine working as hard as it can on uphill terrains as well.
3 Similarities To The Wrangler
As we stated before, the crew cab part of the Gladiator is nearly identical to the Wrangler, and the similarities do not stop with looks. Much like the Wrangler, the Gladiator features removable doors and foldable windshields. All the Wrangler-compatible doors and windows will also fit the Gladiator since the front end of both the cars are virtually the same.
The top comes off as well; be it the zipperless Sunrider soft-top (standard) or the optional hardtop choices (in body color or matte black). The hardtops are Jeep’s Freedom Top, with two separate removable panels; one from the front passenger roof and the second from the rear set roof.
2 It Is Cheaper Than The Wrangler, Technically
The best trim of the Wrangler and the highest prices are the Rubicon – and the one major reason people opt for the Rubicon is the Dana 44 axles in the front and the rear. Other Wrangler trims house the Dana 30 axle in the front and Dana 35 in the rear. In the Gladiator though, in all trims including the base one, Dana 44s are the standard for both front and rear. The Sport Trim of the Gladiator is approximately $33,000, while a Wrangler Unlimited Sport is $31,000. So in the Gladiator, just for an extra $2000, you get $4000 worth of Dana 44s and a bed thrown in as well. The Gladiator makes more financial off-roading sense.
1 Lots Of Fun Stuff
For the front entertainment, the Uconnect multimedia system with a standard 5-inch touchscreen is offered. There’s an option of a Uconnect 3 with a 7-inch or 8.4-inch screen, with added ApplePlay and AndroidAuto capabilities. Uconnect 4 also offers satellite radio support. Then there are the standard USB charging ports too. One fun thing is the premium audio which is a subwoofer and a detachable wireless/Bluetooth speaker that is stored in a compartment behind the rear seats – perfect to carry music with you whilst you camp. The bed is also highly configurable with several rather clever and innovative solutions already available to suit your every need, and whim.