There is a brand new midsize truck on the market from a brand that needs no introduction: this is everything you need to know about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
The new midsize truck from Jeep shares its platform and much of its styling with the new JL Wrangler, plainly obvious from the moment you lay eyes on the truck. But its dimensions have been stretched to accommodate a five-foot box on the back, the only bed option for the Gladiator.
The wheelbase of the truck is 19.4-inches longer than a four-door Wrangler while the truck’s frame is 31 inches longer. Total wheelbase measures in at 137.3 inches, while the truck 218-inches long, 73.8-inches wide and 75-inches tall with a soft top.
Powering the truck is a 3.6-liter V6 making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic will no doubt be the transmission of choice, but Jeep continues to offer a six-speed manual as standard equipment, a necessary option if you want to achieve the maximum payload number on the Gladiator of 1600 pounds.
Tow rating for the truck is pegged at 7650 pounds, making it the segment’s best gas-powered tow vehicle, though the Colorado diesel retains the best-in-class moniker with its 7700-pound tow rating.
For a little more context on towing, the top-tow configuration is a Gladiator Sport with an eight-speed automatic. The Gladiator Overland with a manual can pull 4,000 pounds while the automatic Overland is good for 6,000 pounds. As for the Rubicon, manual models can tow 4,500 pounds while automatic Rubi’s are good for 7000 pounds.
A 3.0-liter diesel will be available for the Gladiator starting in 2020 offering 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. This new EcoDiesel will also be available in the Ram 1500 sometime in the near future.
Curb weight for the Gladiator is a spread from 4650 pounds for a Gladiator Sport manual, up to 5072 pounds for the Gladiator Rubicon automatic. The manual transmission is just 22 pounds lighter than the automatic.
Four trim levels will be offered with the Gladiator: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. Supporting each one of these models are two solid Dana 44 axles with coil springs all around, including a five-link coil spring rear suspension in the back similar to what is found on the Ram 1500. Going for a non-Rubicon Gladiator model will include the Command-Trac transfer case with its 2.72:1 low-range ratio and 3.73 rear ale ratio. The Trac-Lok limited-slip differential is an available option on non-Rubicon models.
There are three roof options for the new truck, either a three-piece body color hard top, three-piece black hardtop, both of which have removable panels known as Freedom Panels, or a manual-folding soft top. All the interior structural bars on the Gladiator are painted body color.
If you do get a Rubicon, just like in the Wrangler, you’ll get the Rock-Trac transfer case, good for a 4:1 low-range ratio and hooked up to a 4.10 rear axle. The Rubicon has a total of 11-inches of ground clearance and water fording is rated at 30-inches. New 33-inch Falken Wildpeak Mud-Terrain tires will also be an option on the Rubicon.
Approach angle for the truck sits at 43 degrees while the departure measures in at 26 degrees for Rubicon models. Non-Rubicons make due with JUST 40.8 degrees of approach and 25 degrees of departure.
An electronically disconnecting sway bar in the front is also part of the Gladiator Rubicon package. A new front camera has also been added to the Gladiator that is meant for off-road use to help the driver see what is directly in front of their vehicle and it includes its own small washer to keep it clean.
At the back end of the truck in the new bed, Jeep has gone with all-steel for the walls and floor, and has included some neat convenience features like the trail rail cargo, a power outlet and plenty of tie-down locations. The tailgate has been damped and Jeep included a clever little stopper by the tailgate hinges that will allow you to stop the gate in three different positions. There is 44.8-inches of space between the wheel wells, which is not enough for most standard ATVs, although the wells in this truck are pushed right to front of the bed, unlike most trucks which have wheel wells in the center.
Rubicon models get standard bed rock rails to protect the rear corners of the bed when off-road.
The back seat of the Gladiator offers 38.3-inches of legroom, and some new storage options. A lockable bin can be had underneath the seat that stretches the width of the cab. Those rear seats have backs that fold down and bottoms that fold up for maximum versatility, and for those fun days out on the trail, a new Bluetooth speaker has been included with the Gladiator that neatly tucks away in a storage and charging spot behind the rear seat.
One of the more clever features on the Gladiator is a small bin underneath the rear seat meant to hold all of the bolts needed to fold the windshield and remove the doors. Each holding position is clearly marked, so after you take your Jeep apart it’s easy to put back together.
The new Gladiator will be on sale in the second quarter of 2019.