Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Jeep Gladiator pickup truck: this is it, folks!

Jeep Gladiator pickup truck: this is it, folks!

You get the familiar keystone-shaped grille and round headlamps, while at the rear the square tail lamps are present and correct. The doors are also removable, while the windshield can fold down as well.

Customers will be able to choose from two hard and two soft top options along with many different door, top and windscreen combinations. At launch, it comes with four packages: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. Indeed they say this is not bringing the segment to Jeep, but rather announcing Jeep to the segment. Happily the 2020 Gladiator promises to be just as capable as it is handsome.

While the Gladiator's 725kg payload may be down on what we in NZ expect a ute to haul, it can still tow 3,500kg. A Trail Rail Cargo Management System is also available.

Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models get an available three-piece body-color hardtop; all models can have a black three-piece hardtop. The front fascia gets the signature "keystone" design with its seven-slot grill and circular headlights.

The Rubicon edition of the Gladiator will feature a forward-facing off-road camera that offers obvious benefits when navigating through rough terrain. The HVAC vents have platinum chrome bezels. That's a big claim, but given the success of the Wrangler and other products over the years and right up until now, it would be foolhardy to bet against it. Cloth seats are standard and leather upholstery can be added for an extra charge. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are optional. These are the engines confirmed for the United States market - they might differ when the chunky pickup makes its way across the Atlantic. The seat bottoms also flip up to take advantage of the flat-load floor, which, of course, can be optioned with modular, lockable storage.

Depending on the grade, the Gladiator can be equipped with an infotainment system centred around a 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Even with those touchscreens, there are dedicated controls for climate control and media volume. There's also two USB ports and a USB-C port in a nod to modern conveniences. An audio upgrade with a removable wireless speaker can be added, too. Revealed today at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, like the Ford Ranger, was a late comer to the slowly growing mid-size pickup class. An 8-speed automatic is optional.

The EcoDiesel has been re-designed for this application, offering up to 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque on full song. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and is created to handle the increased torque output.

Capability-wise, Jeep says the Gladiator fitted with the automatic delivers a crawl ratio of 77.2:1.

Two 4×4 systems will be available. It gets a Command-Trac 4x4 System, a two-speed transfer case with a low-range transfer box, and heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio. At 218 inches from bumper to bumper, the Gladiator splits the difference between the short- and long-bed versions of the Chevy Colorado crew cab.

The Rubicon goes one better with a Rock-Trac "4LO" ratio of 4:1, along with locking differentials and electronic anti-sway bar disconnection.

The Gladiator's tray bed is about 1500mm long, with inbuilt tie-downs and an under-floor spare wheel mount capable of holding rolling stock up to 35 inches in diameter. That length isn't good for the Gladiator's breakover angle (20.3 degrees for the Gladiator Rubicon compared to 22.6 degrees for the Wrangler Rubicon) or its departure angle (26 degrees for the Gladiator Rubicon versus 37 degrees for the Wrangler Rubicon), but that's the trade-off for more utility. The Gladiator rides on a wheelbase that's more than 18 inches longer than the Wrangler Unlimited's and its rear overhang stretches a further 12 inches to accommodate the bed.

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