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2020 Jeep Gladiator: First Look

  • It’s a Wrangler-based pickup truck
  • On sale April 2019
  • Pricing to be announced

There have been rumors and concepts, but now the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck is official after being unveiled at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Yes, the words "Jeep" and "pickup truck" are in the same sentence. This is a new variant of the Wrangler SUV, one of the most capable off-road vehicles in the world.

What’s exciting about it?

The 2020 Gladiator seems set to become one of the most capable off-roading pickups. Because it uses the Wrangler as a foundation, the new Gladiator starts life with a distinct advantage. This generation of Wrangler was all-new for 2018 and is far more refined, modern and comfortable than the model it succeeded. It’s still built on a ladder frame, though, and employs solid Dana 44 axles — such are the demands of the off-roading crowd.

The Gladiator may also come with locking axles, a limited-slip differential, electronically disconnecting anti-roll bars, and 33-inch all-terrain tires. It can wade through 30 inches of standing water.

The cab is a 4-door unit whose doors (made of aluminum, so not too heavy) and roof are removable, making the new Gladiator a convertible all-wheel-drive pickup into the bargain. The windshield will even fold down. Out back is a 5-foot bed that can take a payload of 1,600 pounds and offers a 115-volt power outlet. The Gladiator is 31 inches longer than the 4-door Wrangler and has a wheelbase that’s 19.4 inches longer.

Driver aids include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and a front-facing camera for tricky off-road terrain. Among the convenience features are a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.

What’s under the hood?

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator launches with a 285-hp/260 lb-ft 3.6-liter V6 linked to a 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 8-speed automatic. In 2020, a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 with the 8-speed automatic becomes available. This develops 260 hp and a muscular 442 lb-ft of torque.

Maximum towing capacity is 7,650 pounds. The seven slots of that iconic Jeep grille have been widened for the Gladiator, to provide sufficient cooling when it has to work this hard.

How much does it cost and when is it available?

Jeep hasn’t mentioned pricing yet. But we do know that the 2020 Jeep Gladiator will reach dealerships around April 2019. Trim levels are Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.

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