2020 Jeep Gladiator — Everything you’d expect in a Jeep plus a truck bed

By Jim Prueter

(April 14, 2019) It’s been 28 years since there’s been a Jeep-branded pickup, the Comanche, sold from 1986 through 1992. As one of the most highly anticipated new vehicles to launch in years the Gladiator finally arrives amid renewed interest in midsize pickups among the likes of Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Ford Ranger entries.

The new Gladiator, that rolls off the Toledo, Ohio, assembly line is derived from the epochal Jeep Wrangler by closely sharing the front two-thirds of the Wrangler 4-door SUV with a separate 5-foot cargo bed, fold-down tailgate and best-in class towing capability. Its Wrangler-based design instantly differentiates the Gladiator from the other midsize pickups.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the Gladiator for a Jeep Wrangler given its familiar 7-slot grille, round headlamps, domed Rubicon hood, flared fenders and square tail lamps at the rear.

The cab is a 4-door only offering that along with the roof (a choice of a hard or soft top) are removable making the Gladiator a convertible all-wheel-drive pickup that no one else offers. There’s even a fold-down windshield, removable carpeting and a generous array of grab handles about the cabin.

Gladiator is available in four trim levels: base Sport, Sport S, Overland, and off-road-focused Rubicon. All prices include a  $1,495 destination charge. Jeep provided an Overland model for on-road driving and a Rubicon for off-roading during my test-driving.

At launch, all trim levels are powered by Jeep’s familiar 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers 285-horsepower and 260-lb-ft of torque. A six speed manual transmission is standard; add $2,000 for the eight-speed automatic.

Being a Jeep it naturally comes with unsurpassed off-road capability that’s enhanced with the Rubicon model that includes standard electronic-locking front and rear axles, FOX monotube shocks; skid plates, ability to ford up to 30-inches of water, Rock-Track part-time 4WD transfer case and an optional forward-facing camera for added off-road conveniences.

The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is one of the most unique vehicles on the market with the combination of Wrangler off-road capability, pickup truck utility and the cool factor of a convertible truck with removable doors. Perfect for workday commutes and undeniable weekends for genuine rugged Rubicon Trail capabilities.

It’s everything one would expect with a Jeep plus the added convenience of a truck bed.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $35,040 - $45,040
Price as Tested: $60,125 (Rubicon) $55,980 (Overland)
Engine: 3.6-Liter, 285-horsepower V6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 17-mpg city – 22-mpg Highway – 19-mpg Combined
Seating: 5

Crash Test Ratings: The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has not been crash tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Where Built: Toledo, Ohio

Competes With:
Chevrolet Colorado
Ford Ranger
GMC Canyon
Nissan Frontier
Toyota Tacoma

Fab Features:
The only truck that’s also a convertible
Unsurpassed off-road capability
The cool factor of driving a Jeep