The Jeep faithful has been clamoring for a pickup ever since the Gladiator concept was introduced at the 2005 North American Auto Show. Now, 14 years later, their wait is almost over as the company has begun shipping the production pickup to dealerships.
Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall, the 2020 Gladiator is billed as the “most capable midsize truck ever” as it has excellent off-roading abilities and a best-in-class towing capacity of up to 7,650 lbs (3,470 kg).
Styling is heavily influenced by the Wrangler and the Gladiator is the only truck in the segment to have a removable roof. A soft top comes standard, but customers can also order a black or body color three-piece hardtop.
The interior largely carries over from the Wrangler, but the Gladiator has unique rear seats which can fold flat to allow for loading of larger items. The rear seats can also be folded up into a “stadium” position to reveal a hidden storage bin underneath.
The Gladiator is being launched with a familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that produces 285 hp (213 kW / 289 PS) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed automatic is also available.
Next year, Jeep will offer a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 260 hp (194 kW / 264 PS) and 442 lb-ft (599 Nm) of torque. The engine should appeal to drivers who want to tow with their Gladiator, but it will only be available with an automatic gearbox.
Pricing starts at $33,545 and the entry-level Gladiator Sport comes equipped with air conditioning, Keyless Go and a Uconnect 3 infotainment system with 5-inch touchscreen display. The model also has 17-inch steel wheels, Dana 44 axles and a Command-Trac four-wheel drive system.