The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator looks very much like a Wrangler pickup because, essentially, that’s what it is.
If it looks like a Wrangler and it drives like a Wrangler, then it must be a Wrangler, right? Things are a bit more complicated than that, however, and Edmunds wanted to find out what exactly sets the two vehicles apart. To do that, they tested both the Wrangler and the Gladiator in similar conditions to see how the JT pickup differs from the JL off-roader.
The comparison should be quite relevant as it features the four-door 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and the 2020 Gladiator Rubicon. Even the color is the same, helping the reviewers point out the differences more easily.
Contrary to popular belief, the Gladiator is much more than just a Wrangler with the back cut off and a 5-foot (1.5-meter) truck bed welded on. The frame is both longer and stronger, and the link-coil rear suspension is sourced from the Ram 1500 pickup. These modifications allow the Gladiator Rubicon to tow 7,000 lbs (3,175 kg), double what a Wrangler Rubicon can tow.
There are also downsides to the fact that Jeep worked to make the Gladiator as capable as any midsize pickup – like how the longer wheelbase lowers the break-over and departure angles compared to the Wrangler Unlimited. However, the Gladiator Rubicon reigns supreme among midsize pickups when it comes to off-road capability.
Still, as the review points out, when it comes to off-roading, the Wrangler and the Gladiator aren’t all that different in terms of how they handle real-world harsh terrain situations.