After a too-long hiatus, Jeep’s lineup will once again feature a pickup truck.
Customers have been asking for a Jeep truck for years, ever since the automaker discontinued the Comanche in 1992. The long wait seems to have been worth it though, as Jeep describes the all-new 2020 Gladiator as “the most capable midsize truck ever.” The body-on-frame Gladiator also claims best-in-class towing and 4×4 payload.
In a segment that includes models with serious off-road capabilities such as the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger, those are big claims indeed.
Command-Trac 4×4 system for Sport and Overland models
Off-road capability comes courtesy of two advanced 4×4 systems that offer full-time torque management for optimal grip in low-traction conditions.
Sport and Overland models get Command-Trac four-wheel-drive which features a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio. An optional Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential provides extra torque and grip during low-traction situations — such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.
Rock-Trac 4×4 system with 84.2:1 crawl ratio for the Gladiator Rubicon
The range-topping Gladiator Rubicon features the more advanced Rock-Trac 4×4 system that packs heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. Additionally, it gets Tru-Lok locking differentials and a 4.10 front and rear axle ratio.
The Rubicon also offers improved articulation and suspension travel thanks to the electronic sway-bar disconnect. When equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission, the Gladiator Rubicon has a crawl ratio of 84.2:1 — 77.2:1 on models equipped with the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Approach, breakover, and departure angles of 43.6, 20.3, and 26 degrees
Other off-road bits include the skid plates, front and rear tow hooks, steel heavy-duty rear bumper (standard on Rubicon), and front steel winch-ready bumper with removable end caps (optional on Rubicon).
Put together, all of this hardware gives the Gladiator Rubicon an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees, and ground clearance of 11.1 inches (282 mm). It’s also capable of up to 30 inches (762 mm) of water fording.
As for the utility-related claims, the 2020 Gladiator has a towing capacity of up to 7,650 lbs (3,470 kg) and a maximum payload of 1,600 lbs (725 kg).
Torque-rich 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will arrive in 2020
The Gladiator will be motivated by two V6 powertrains. The standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 delivers 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. Available from 2020, the optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will make 260 hp and 442 lb-ft (599 Nm) of torque. Both engines offer stop-start as standard. The gasoline unit is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed auto, while the diesel only comes with the automatic transmission.
The all-new Jeep Gladiator will be built alongside the mechanically-related Wrangler JL at the Toledo plant in Ohio in the first half of 2019, and will arrive in U.S. dealerships in the second quarter of 2019.