We started hearing about a Jeep Wrangler pickup in 2005. It has taken 15 years to arrive, but today we look at the much-anticipated 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
From the front it looks like a Wrangler with the 7-slot grill and round headlights, but as you go to the side view, the 5-foot pickup bed changes everything. The 18” wheels look good, albeit a little small. Side steps flow into oversized Jeep fenders. I admit it looks odd to see a bed on a Wrangler but things are proportional and for me, it works. The reaction all week has been love it or hate it, and nothing in between.
Gladiator comes in 4 trim levels. Starting from bottom up there is the Sport, the Sport S, the Overland that you see here, and the bad boy Rubicon.
Unlatch the hood and you’ll find the tried-and-true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that is putting out 285-horses. My review truck is 4-wheel drive and has an 8-speed automatic, but a six-speed manual is available.
Climbing into the Gladiator, you see a nice, understated interior with optional leather seating and sparse stitching. A nice gauge cluster greets you with a cute little Gladiator running across the welcome screen when you push the start button. The driver info in the center of the gauges is highly configurable.
Center dash is the 8.4” Uconnect system which operates the sound system, navigation, apps, climate, Bluetooth, and vehicle settings. The system works great and is very intuitive. It is actually one of my favorite screen setups ever.
This screen also operates a terrific rear camera, Wi-Fi hotspot, and Travellink to get real-time traffic and weather info. One cool page is the off-road page that will tell you your pitch and roll degrees when you are off the pavement. This can be a huge safety features for the experienced off-roader.
Below the screen are your automatic temperature controlled air controls, hill descent control, the start/stop disable switch, the power window switches, and USB ports. Also, there are 4 auxiliary switches to add accessories like additional lighting or a winch.
The center console has a large gear shifter with a Jeep silhouette on top, next to that is the 4-wheel drive stick shifter, a couple of cup holders, and a two-tier armrest with storage. Moving to the back seat, it has incredible head and legroom. The seats fold from the top down, or the bottom up and there is storage for the bolts that hold the tops on. There are also two large, lockable bins to protect your valuables when the top is off. If you look up, you’ll find two speakers on the built-in roll cage.
Overall, the interior is nicely done and quite functional.
My review vehicle has just over $15,000 in options, including leather seating, trailer towing package, premium LED lighting all around, the automatic tranny, and a traction lock rear axle.
It also has the active safety group which is rear park assist and blind spot monitoring. Other options are keyless entry and remote start, and the cargo management system that gives you cargo rails, bed lighting, and a 115-volt plug inside the bed. Finally, this one has the $2295 dual top group. Today I am showing you the soft top to make the Gladiator essentially a convertible, but it has a 3-piece hardtop also. I was not given the hard top, and I wish I had it. With the soft top on, it is so loud inside you can’t use a cell phone and have to blare the radio. I would not purchase this vehicle if I could only have the soft top on.
What is fun about Jeeps is you can make them so different. Take the top off, take the doors off, fold the windshield down and enjoy the fresh air. This is an enjoyable daily driver other than the interior noise. If you want to go off-road, it’s incredibly capable with 10-inches of ground clearance. If you wish to tow, it’ll handle 6000 pounds.
City gas mileage is 17 city, 22 on the highway, and 19 combined.
Gladiator was a long time coming, but I have to say, it was worth the wait. Just be sure you get the hard top option.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland
- What I liked most: The versatility and interior room.
- What I would change: Find a way to quiet the cabin with the soft top on.
- MSRP: Base price $40,395. MSRP is $57,230.
- Fuel Economy: 17 City/22 Highway, 19 combined.
- Fuel Tank: 22 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
- Dimensions: 218” long/73.8” wide/75” high.
- Weight: 4676 pounds.
- Trailer Towing: 6000 pounds.
- Miles When Tested: 7200 miles.
- Official Color: Black Clearcoat.
- Spare tire: Full-sized spare tire and wheel.
- Final Assembly Point: Toledo, Ohio.
- 2020 Gladiator in a few words: There is much to love about the Gladiator, but it’s not for everyone. Take a good test drive!
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance.
- Manufacturers website: Jeep
Photo Gallery Credit: Jeep