The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a cool new pickup truck that offers exceptional off-road capability, classic Jeep styling, and a practical truck bed — not to mention a removable roof and doors, along with a windshield that folds down. It’s also the newest pickup on the market by more than half a decade.
While much of the competition is advertised as being “all-new” or recently updated, the truth is that all of the other midsize pickups out there are based on old designs, while the Gladiator is based on the Wrangler, which was all-new just last year.
Take the Ford Ranger, for example. No matter how many ads Ford runs calling it “all-new,” at its core, the Ranger is a refreshed version of a vehicle that went on sale in foreign markets back in 2011. The Chevrolet Colorado is merely 12 months newer, having gone on sale in Australia and New Zealand in 2012. Even the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma isn’t very new. Toyota heavily updated the Tecoma back in 2016, but much of its basic architecture dates to 2005. And the Nissan Frontier, well, if the Frontier’s design were a person it’d be one year away from getting its driver’s license, as Nissan hasn’t bothered to update any part of it for almost 16 years.
This may not be obvious right away, but after you’ve spent a bit of time in each of the midsize pickups on the market today, the Gladiator’s newness shows. Unlike the competition, the Gladiator offers a robust, modern interior with a charming variety of textures and materials. Its design stays true to the Wrangler’s heritage while also bringing in modern touches like LED lighting and endless clever configurability. And it comes with great tech like a push-button ignition, a USB-C charging port, a large display screen in the gauge cluster, water resistant components and clever touches like multiple designated places for stashing a mobile device. Altogether, in a segment where automakers have been able to get away with mailing it in for years, the Gladiator is refreshingly modern, a big part of why it’s arguably the best midsize truck on the market. Find a Jeep Gladiator for sale
Chris O’Neill grew up in the Rust Belt and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in the auto industry for awhile, helping Germans design cars for Americans. Follow him on Instagram: @MountainWestCarSpotter.
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