Jeep Gladiator 2020 First Look
Jeep Gladiator 2020 First Look By Auto Critic Steve Hammes
What will it look like? Will it be called the Scrambler?
The buzz has been building for years. But the real question in my mind is why are people going so crazy about the new Jeep pickup truck?
I suppose the timing is right seeing as how off-road trucks are suddenly hot. But I suspect that it’s our insatiable appetite for things we can no longer have that is driving this frenzy. After all, Jeep hasn’t produced a truck in over a quarter century.
So here we are with a revival of the Gladiator, harkening back to a Jeep truck of the same name produced until 1972. A 2020 model that’ll arrive by next summer, the Gladiator will be offered in 4 trim levels ranging from Sport to this; the mighty Rubicon. No longer called compact, this is a midsize truck; a Wrangler stretched by 2 ½ feet, in a 4-door crew cab/short box configuration.
It’s initially available with the company’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter V6 with either a standard 6-speed manual or optional 8-speed automatic; a 3.0-liter diesel is planned for 2020. Compared with a 4-door Wrangler, the Gladiator has made some tradeoffs to its off-road capabilities in favor of the 5-foot bed, evident in its lesser breakover and departure angles. But this Rubicon still flaunts its heavy-duty axles, a deep 4LO gear with impressive crawl ratios, more suspension articulation thanks to an electronic disconnecting sway bar, 33” tires, rock rails and up to 30” of water fording. And towing has ballooned all the way up to 7,650 pounds.
Plus, you still get to have open-air fun, with a standard soft top or available 3-piece hardtop, fold down windshield and lightweight removable doors.
Jeep says the Gladiator has been specifically tuned for a higher degree of ride comfort while preserving its claim as the most capable midsize truck ever. And of course customization will run wild, with Mopar offering more than 200 parts and accessories alone.