- 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

2020 Jeep Gladiator - Ready for war

Gladiator, not Scrambler, is the name of the Wrangler based pickup that brings Jeep back into the fiercely competitive segment of recreational trucks.

2y ago

Jeep is all too familiar with sending vehicles to war, but compared to its nineteen forties forbear the new Gladiator will end up on a completely different battlefield. Competition in the expanding midsize truck segment is hostile and Jeep made sure to come armed to the teeth.


With a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds the Gladiator trumps the Toyota Tacoma and comes very close to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon diesel. At launch Jeep only offers the familiar 3.6 V-6 with 285 horsepower. A 3.0 diesel will be available in 2020, offering slightly less towing capacity due to cooling capacity, even though it has a higher torque rating of 442 pound-feet.

Off-road weaponry

Like the Wrangler JL, the Gladiator can be ordered with either a six-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic, but the JL's optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo will not be offered. The Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4x4 systems are both available with the latter being standard on the Rubicon, containing a 4:1 low range transfer case, Dana 44 axles with electronic front- and rear-axle lockers, front sway-bar disconnect and 33-inch off-road tires. Even though the Gladiator retained the solid axles from the Wrangler, the rear suspension has been changed to a five-link design with forward-facing shocks to prevent so called bed shake. No other pickup in this segment offers such an extensive array of off-road weaponry. The only truck that can actually go toe-to-toe with the Gladiator on that level is the gargantuan and much more expensive Ram Power Wagon.

Jeep also has the competition beat when it comes to driving open. The folding soft top works the same way as it does on the Wrangler and the hardtop comes with the two removable roof panels. Even the doors come off easily and the windshield folds down like on the Wrangler. It took Jeep ages to finally return to the truck segment, after tormenting fans with numerous (Wrangler based) concept vehicles like the 2005 Gladiator Concept, the 2010 Nukizer 715 Concept, the 2012 J-12 Concept and the 2016 Crew Chief 715 Concept.

Only one size

Jeep will offer the Gladiator in four trim levels: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon which means countless variations to choose from, like hard or soft top, black or painted fenders, practical or hard-core off-road and of-course automatic or manual. The Gladiator comes in only one size though, a four-door with a five-foot bed which makes it over four feet longer than a two-door Wrangler..

Production of the Gladiator starts in early 2019 in the Toledo factory where the Wrangler JL rolls off the line since November 2017 and where Jeep has been producing vehicles since World War 2. Pricing has not been announced yet, but expect a 3,000 to 5,000 dollar premium over comparable Wrangler Unlimited models.

Β© Words Natan Tazelaar

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Comments (18)

  • ABOUT FREAKING TIME. MY '75 J10 has been waiting long enough! My wifes '81 is starting to need some work also. So we will be buying 2.

      2 years ago
  • I really like what jeep has done here. We finally have unique style and character to choose from in the marketplace. Not that I even dislike any of the others, it's just that they were all beginning to look alike.

      2 years ago
    • I completely agree with you. The Gladiator is a nice and cool way to stand out in this segment and it is much more versatile than the others.

        2 years ago
    • This might make me a truck owner lol! I would coat the whole thing in tan textured bed liner.

        2 years ago
  • A very natural extension of the Jeep family line, amazing that it took so long. This will surely appeal to a lot of buyers.

    Shared to the D_TRB USA facebook page Natan!

      2 years ago
  • So happy to finally see this Jeep! Though, my one fear was realized in seeing that there's no 2-door. It's disappointing, because this was a great opportunity for a truly small truck. These are just a little too big for what I wanted, but still very cool and a very welcome sight.

      2 years ago
    • I hope Jeep will listen to their fans and followers closely and introduce two more variants of the Gladiator. (picture comes from @mechmasterscolombia on Instagram)

        2 years ago
  • Looks a bit like a Hummer, in a good way!

      2 years ago