If you're like us, then you love the style and esthetic of Jeep's line of vehicles. There is something so beautifully designed about their box-like Wranglers, and each iteration of the Grand Cherokee gets smoother and sleeker as the years go by.
But Jeep surprised us all this year, rolling out a fancy new hybrid that gives us the look and feel of a classic Jeep Wrangler with the utility and cargo capacity of a pickup truck. The end result is a beautifully designed machine that looks as rugged and off-road capable as it does sleek and eye-catching.
But is the 2020 Gladiator the right purchase for you?
10 Need It: You Plan On "Off-Road" Towing
Jeep already provides an impressive amount of towing power and capacity across its lineup of vehicles but the Gladiator gives you the aesthetic of a Jeep paired with the towing capacity and cargo space of a traditional pickup truck.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator (when properly equipped) is capable of towing 7,650 lbs. That's 450 lbs. more than the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee (7,200) while offering more storage space to boot.
9 Avoid It: You Plan On Towing Some Serious Weight
While the Gladiator offers some impressive towing capacity for its size and capability, it's certainly not in the same league as most traditional towing-focused pickup trucks. It can offer you better peace of mind if you're towing items across some difficult terrain but its overall capacity pales in comparison to that of the 2019 Ford F-150 (13,200 lbs.) or the 2019 Dodge Ram 3500 (18.210 lbs.).
8 Need It: You Can't Decide Between An SUV Or A Pickup
One of the biggest selling points of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is its clever SUV/Pickup Truck hybrid design. Essentially, the Gladiator is a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a short pickup bed slapped to its back end.
This setup gives you additional cargo space and carrying capacity without sacrificing much legroom. Your passengers will be more comfortable on longer journeys and you can invite more friends along for the ride. This is definitely one of the best options if you're looking for an SUV that can double as a small pickup.
7 Avoid It: You're Looking For A Hardcore Rock Crawling Jeep
Don't get us wrong, the Jeep Gladiator is one slick pickup and its traditional boxy Jeep design gives the impression that it knows how to handle a variety of terrain types. In fact, it's the first-ever pickup truck to receive the "trail rated badge," which is only awarded to vehicles which perform a series of grueling terrain-based tests.
However, accolades aside, this Jeep isn't meant to be as maneuverable as its smaller Wrangler counterpart. It'll definitely get you to some places that other pickups cannot but don't plan on traversing rock-filled mountainsides with ease. It's a bit longer than the Wrangler and Cherokee, offering more chances that you'll bottom-out in mountainous locations.
6 Need It: You Are An Avid Outdoorsman
It may not be the go-to truck when you consider hardcore rock-crawling but the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has the power, traction, and handling to overcome a wide array of obstacles that would cause traditional pickup trucks to falter. If you do a lot of camping, hiking, or just love the outdoors in general, the Gladiator can give you the peace of mind to get you from point A to point B safely, even if the terrain gets rough, elevated, or uneven.
The Gladiator is capable of traversing over medium-sized rocks and trees thanks to its impressive ground-clearance.
5 Avoid It: You Want The Biggest Bang For Your Buck
A standard automatic version of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator will set you back $35,000. That's not astronomical for a vehicle that is designed to tow and carry cargo across treacherous terrain.
However, if you're looking simply for a small to mid-size pickup that is roomy and offers similar towing capabilities, you'd be better off shopping around. For example, the 2019 Ford Ranger has a towing capacity (7,500 lbs.) that is close to that of the Gladiator, while also providing ample room for passengers thanks to its roomy cab. The real kicker? It's priced $10,000 cheaper at around $25, 495 retail. Unless off-road is your true goal, stick to traditional pickups.
4 Need It: You Plan On Fording Some Rivers
No one really thinks about the prospect of crossing or fording a river when purchasing a vehicle but it's something you really need to consider if you plan on doing any type of off-roading. Perhaps that perfect camping spot is located just past a raging creek?
The Gladiator has special water-sealing and an impressive clearance that will allow you to trudge through water up to 30-inches deep.
3 Avoid It: You Want The Best Gas Mileage In The Jeep Family
Take this one with a grain of salt but it's still a point worth bringing up. Jeeps aren't exactly known for their amazing gas mileage and the Gladiator is no different. You can usually expect to get around 21 miles-per-gallon average from the 2019 Grand Cherokee (depending heavily on the amount of city and highway driving you do, but the Gladiator sits two bumps lower, with a 19 MPG average.
It's important to keep in mind that towing will also affect this total and the last thing you want to do is run out of gas when you're miles deep in the mountainous wilderness.
2 Need It: You Want A Comfortable Off-Road Pickup
Many trucks claim that they're capable of handling off-road duty, and to be fair, a lot of them are. The Gladiator, however, was built with off-road driving in mind. This allowed the creators at Jeep to focus all of their attention into the suspension, shocks, and overall ride quality of their SUV/Pickup hybrid.
The end result is a spectacularly smooth journey that will have you slipping over (smaller) downed trees and rocks without the dreaded sound of clanging metal ringing through your ears. The plan was to craft a vehicle that could handle the harshness of the landscape while still offering the capabilities of a pickup, all without sacrificing comfort.
1 Avoid It: You Need A Longer Bed
While the Gladiator does feature a decent-sized bed that is capable of storing a sizeable amount of objects, it's definitely smaller when compared to a traditional mid-sized or large pickup truck.
Those of you planning to haul a ton of stuff in the bed, or looking into the possibility of massive trailers and motor homes will likely be better off opting for something with a little more space in the back end.