2020 Jeep Gladiator Aims To Be The Most Rugged Midsize Pickup

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 29, 2018

After roughly 25 years of anxiously waiting, Jeep has finally unveiled a pickup truck. Upon first impression, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator looks like the Wrangler-inspired pickup truck that every fanatic has been waiting for. While Jeep fans will be happy to see the new Gladiator, the truck has a lot of tricks up its sleeves that make it a strong option in the rapidly-expanding mid-size pickup segment.

To make the Gladiator pickup, Jeep took the Wrangler frame and stretched the wheelbase by 19.4 inches, while the frame itself is an additional 31 inches longer in overall length compared to a four-door Wrangler. All of the work on the frame allowed Jeep to tack on a five-foot bed at the back, and increase the vehicle's payload and towing capacity.

At the time of launch, the Gladiator is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Unlike a lot of other pickups on the road, the engine can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is expected to be available starting in 2020. That motor will be rated at 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic will be the only available pairing for that engine.

In traditional Jeep fashion, the Gladiator will have two available 4x4 systems. The Command-Trac system is standard, while the Rock-Trac is also available. In addition to the 4x4 systems, the Gladiator can also be fitted with electric front- and rear-axle lockers, heavy-duty skid plates, 4.10 axles, Fox shocks, 33-inch tires, a limited-slip differential, and electronic disconnecting sway bars.

With all of these goodies and the truck's rugged design, the pickup has an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, a brakeover angle of 20.3 degrees, and a departure angle of 26 degrees. Thanks to 11.1 inches of ground clearance, the Gladiator will be able to traverse through 30 inches of water.

When not off-roading, the pickup is one of the more versatile offerings in the mid-size pickup segment. When properly equipped, the Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,600 pounds. We're going out on a limb and guessing those figures are for the gasoline engine. And when you compare them to a similar midsize pickup, the new Ford Ranger is the closest with a 7,500-pound towing capacity and 1,650-pound payload rating.

Sure, the Gladiator is a rugged pickup, but the truck is also a front-runner when it comes to safety. Jeep claims the Gladiator has more than 80 available safety features, which include blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, adaptive cruise control, and a forward-facing off-road camera.

On the inside, the Gladiator has three Uconnect systems, which include a 5-inch, 7-inch, and 8.4-inch touchscreens. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included with the infotainment systems, as is Siri Voice control.

On paper, the Gladiator sounds like the ultimate pickup truck for drivers wanting to go off-roading during the day and completing a Home Depot run at night. Jeep's new option also reveals just how competitive the mid-size pickup segment has become, as consumers want a truck that has it all in a compact package.

Four trims will be offered for the Gladiator: Sport, Sport S, Overland, and Rubicon. The pickup will be built in Toledo Ohio and go on sale in the second half of next year. If pricing for the Gladiator is competitive, we could easily see it become the truck to beat.

Learn more about the 2020 Gladiator

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website