What is the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator?

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is an all-new midsized four-wheel-drive truck. It’s based on Jeep’s recently-updated Wrangler platform, with an added 5-ft. pickup bed in the back. It comes in 4WD only, with four doors, three trims, two transmissions, one engine, and hard-top or soft-top versions that seat up to five people.

This area of the market has grown in popularity, with a number of capable models that include the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Titan, Honda Ridgeline, GM’s Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Ford‘s Ranger pickup.

Jeep says the new Gladiator is unique and it is in a “Class of One”, because of its capability, plus it’s “the world’s only open-air pickup”. What is unique is the distinctive level of 4×4 talents for all versions and the top-level skill of the rugged Rubicon model.

Plus, MOPAR, Jeep’s parts, service, and customer care organization, has developed more than 200 aftermarket add-ons and upfits, as well as special packages for Gladiator buyers. MOPAR is an organization within Fiat/Chrysler Automobiles, Jeep’s parent company.

How much is a Jeep Gladiator?

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is comes in three basic trims: Sport pricing starts at $33,545, with a Sport S at $36,745; Overland ($40,395) and Rubicon ($43,545). There is an additional $1,495 destination charge for all. These prices are for Gladiators with a manual transmission; choosing the automatic adds $2,000.

Trim names follow the nomenclature of Wrangler trims:

  • Sport is the base model, while Sport S adds other special trim features.
  • Overland is comparable to the Sahara.
  •  Rubicon is the highly-equipped off-road truck, named after the legendary 4WD trail in northern California.
  • A special Launch Edition version will be sold on ‘Jeep 4 x 4 day’ -April 4th. Orders for this limited-edition can only be placed on Jeep.com and the uniquely-trimmed version will sell for $60,185.
  • The Launch Edition will be available to the first 4,190 customers; this number was chosen because the factory where Jeep vehicles have been built since 1941, in Toledo, Ohio, has an area code of 419.
  • The model will be sold through a “concierge pre-order experience”. What’s really cool is that buyers can enter Jeep’s “Find Your Freedom” contest to win one year’s salary of $100,00 to get the chance to explore the country on your own adventures!

When will the Jeep Gladiator be available?

 The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will be available beginning in May, through the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Jeep’s dealer network.2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon offroading

Where did the Jeep Gladiator get its name?

Many think of Jeep autos as 2-and 4-door Wranglers, as well as the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, Renegade, and Compass models. However, Jeep has also been associated with many years of highly-capable pickup trucks.

After years of building military, commercial and consumer trucks, Jeep introduced the Gladiator truck in 1962 as a 1963 model that was in production for 26 years (1962-1988). During this time, Jeep was owned by Willys, Kaiser, AMC, and Chrysler. The Gladiator didn’t really look like a Jeep, however.

Alongside the Gladiator in the 80s, Jeep also toyed with a truck that resembled the Wrangler; it was a CJ-7 with a pickup bed, the CJ-8 Scrambler. This sparked a love for Jeep’s 7-slot grille and its truck body, with a front-end married to a pickup truck bed. The Scrambler was in production from 1981-1985.

Jeep re-introduced the Gladiator name at the end of 2004 and 2005. The Gladiator Concept was a preview of the new JK Jeep Wrangler paired with the utility of a pickup.

It was to recall the Gladiator of decades past and also the 7-slot-grille on the Scrambler that fans adored in the 80s. Although well-received, it took Jeep 15 years before the auto company brought out the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

Gladiator now looks like a Jeep with its traditional design cues:

  • Overland and Rubicon models come with optional LED headlamps and fog lamps that project crisp white lighting, adding to the truck’s modern-day look.
  • The LED-equipped models get LED daytime running lights that form a halo around the outside perimeter of the headlights.
  • The pickup’s forward turn signals are positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares.

What are the Jeep Gladiator dimensions and how much does it weigh?

 Jeep changed the Wrangler’s frame to create the 2020 Gladiator, lengthening the wheelbase by 19.4 inches to 218 inches. It’s the longest vehicle in Jeep’s lineup. Its weight ranges from 4,672 lbs. to 5,072, is 73 inches wide and 75 inches tall, with a box volume of 35.5 cu.ft.

What is the towing capacity of the Jeep Gladiator and how much weight can it carry in its bed?

 Jeep says the 2020 Gladiator has best-in-class towing of up to 7,650 lbs. and a best-in-class payload rated to 1,600 lbs.

  • It also has trailer sway control and meets the SAE J2807 towing test standards.
  • Gladiator’s 7-slot front grille has more room between the slots for improved engine cooling, especially for towing.
  • The tailgate is lightweight to operate and capable of stopping in three positions.
  • Cargo can be easily secured with integrated tie-downs for flexible carrying and stowage.
  • The bed can hold up to 19 sheets of plywood and has a locking tailgate.
  • An available spray-in bed liner, bed-divider, and tonneau cover provide more ways to keep items secure and add strength. Gladiator Rubicon models are equipped with protection for the cab and cargo with rock rails.

What powertrain does the new Jeep Gladiator have?

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator comes with only one engine now: FCA’s 3.6-liter Pentastar gasoline engine produces 285 hp. and 260 lb.-ft of torque.  This V6 comes with a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine is known for low-end torque, a benefit for extreme off-roading, towing, and hauling cargo.

Later in 2019, a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 with a turbocharger will be available; it is paired with an 8-speed automatic. Its torque also aids with low-end performance, reduces gas emissions to help save the planet and uses less fuel than a gasoline engine. Both engines have standard Engine Stop Start (ESS) that helps fuel economy.2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland parked

What makes the Jeep Gladiator have a smooth ride?

 The 2020 Jeep Gladiator’s body sits on a strong steel frame; it has lightweight, high-strength aluminum doors, hinges, hood, fenders, windshield frame, and tailgate.

We appreciated the quiet and smooth ride that comes from its engineering.

  • The truck’s overdrive ratios improve highway fuel economy and also reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.
  • Jeep says the eight-speed automatic transmission delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio, which is well-suited to the new truck; towing and 4×4 performance benefits come from a 4.7:1 first gear ratio and the 4.1:1 final drive ratio.
  • The manual features a comfortable shifting position and it has good shifting accuracy. A 4.41 ratio spread offers impressive fuel savings at faster speeds and makes quick acceleration with smooth shifting. Engineers also worked on the gear ratios, crawl ratio performance, to eliminate vibration and improve sound isolation.
  •  Handling is helped by Jeep’s five-link coil suspension in front that uses a lateral control arm and four longitudinal control arms. The rear five-link coil suspension has two upper and two lower forged steel control arms for longitudinal control and a track bar for lateral axle control. Springs have been tuned to balance on-road driving and off-road capability.

What are some of the 4WD technologies that makes the Jeep Gladiator really great off-the-road?

 The 2020 Jeep Gladiator looks tough and it is:

  • It has impressive angles of approach and departure to clear obstacles and climb and descend hills, along with tow hooks; 11 inches of ground clearance; and 30 inches water-fording on the Rubicon trim (10 on others).
  • It has integrated rock rails; underbody protection; aggressive 33-in. tires, with wheel wells and fender flares that can accommodate 35-in. rubber. The spare tire carrier can hold full-sized tires.
  • Other items:
  • Sport and Overland versions get a two-speed transfer case with 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio/heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio.
  • Rubicons get Jeep’s Rock-Trac 4×4 system with Dana 44s with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. Standard is 4.10 front and rear axle ratio and Tru-Lock front and rear axle lockers and an electronic sway bar disconnect.
  • A forward-facing off-road camera on the Rubicon shows obstacles ahead and a track-power washer cleans from a button activated on the info screen.
  • The windshield folds down with the easy release of 4 bolts and the doors can be removed–Jeep says in 3 and ½ minutes!

What are some of the safety and technology features of the Jeep Gladiator?

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has more than 80 available advanced safety and security features that are standard or optional, including:

  • Blind-spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Path detection
  • ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation

Technology features include three Uconnect systems w/ Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with Uconnect 5- and 7.0- or 8.4-inch NAV and touchscreens, with high-resolution graphics and pinch-and-zoom capability. Drivers and riders also have a host of infotainment features, such as SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Connected Services that provide real-time information.

 Two USB ports and a USB-C port up front and two in reach of occupants in the back seat connect to the media center. A 115-volt AC outlet powers select three-pronged home electronics.

Clever is the Bluetooth wireless speaker that docks in a protected cubby behind the rear seat. Kept charged at all times when docked, you can remove it and take it to the party, your campsite or tent.

Where can I buy a Jeep Gladiator?

One of the easiest ways to check out the models, features and specifications of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is to search Jeep’s online site or visit AutoGravity’s Jeep Gladiator page to find a dealer located near you and to “build and price” the exact Gladiator you would like.

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Brings Pickup Back to Jeep
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2020 Jeep Gladiator Brings Pickup Back to Jeep
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The 2020 Jeep Gladiator brings the brand back to the pickup game with low-end torque, increased storage capacity, and classic Jeep styling
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AutoGravity
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Sue Mead’s automotive career began as a freelance evaluator for Four Wheeler Magazine in 1988, on the first team that included women as testers. Today, she travels the globe test-driving cars and trucks, and working as a photojournalist/feature writer for dozens of publications, specializing in 4WD and adventure. Mead has been an auto editor and 4WD editor for CNN/fn. Her books include Monster Trucks and Tractors; Off Road Racing, Legends and Adventures; and Rock Crawling. She has been to 70 countries; driven enough off-road and 4WD race miles to have circumnavigated the globe twice! Mead won the Open Production class at the 2011 Dakar; and is an inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

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