The One Thing Wrong with the Jeep Gladiator
I prayed and prayed, and still it happened...
TOO MANY DOORS! GRAUGGHHHH!
Look, look at this. Seriously, step back. It's so damn long. Wranglers used to be cute, but this thing is monstrous.
It's only available with 4 doors: the wrong number for a Wrangler. Yes, I know it's not actually a Wrangler; but it's obviously a Wrangler that obviously has too many doors.
If you reference one of my earlier rants, you'll find that I think 90% of cars don't need 4 doors and if you think otherwise you're a coward. I'm especially hot on this topic for trucks: they're being diluted by making the cab bigger with every successive generation. The Gladiator isn't the exception here, it's the rule.
Wranglers have gotten bigger with every generation. It's a fact of life- people want their subscription to the Jeep Life so they can do Jeep Things but they don't want to compromise on hauling their screaming children around. Then the Scrambler rumors started (before we knew about the name). I hoped and prayed for a 2-door. I bargained with God, Allah, and the ghost of the AMC brand. But deep, deep down in the squishy folds of my brain, I knew we were getting a 4-door and there was nothing to do but wait.
Pickup trucks are hot right now. 4-door Wranglers are hot right now. It's the crossover episode that EVERYONE was asking for. And don't get me wrong, I'm all for a Jeep truck. Not two months ago I drooled over a Comanche for sale in my hometown that I surely would have left with if I didn't already drive a disintegrating 4x4. The prospect of a new Jeep pickup had me giddy. I just wanted a 2-door.
The point of having a Jeep pickup is to have a compact no-compromise off-road pickup. At least to me, it would be. What we've ended up with is the definition of compromise. Make no mistake, it's still almost certainly going to be the most rugged and capable pickup on the market. But you can't look me in the eye and tell me that the same Scrambler with 2.5 feet less wheelbase and less weight wouldn't see an improvement in every measurable attribute except cargo capacity.
How big is the Gladiator, exactly? Well, from what FCA has said about it already, we know the wheelbase is 19 inches longer, and the frame is 31 inches longer. If we use this to assume the body is about 31 inches longer as well, that makes the Gladiator 219.4 inches long when added to the Wrangler 4-door's 188.4 inch length. This means the truck is over 18 feet long. It's not absurd compared to other midsize trucks like the Chevy Colorado (210 inches), but it is a bit wacky when compared to it's predecessors. The Gladiator is 67 inches (5.5 feet) longer than the 1st generation Wrangler (YJ) and 52 inches (4.5 feet) longer than the current generation (JL) Wrangler two-door. It's monstrous.
Look at this. This could have been our reality. (Photo Credit: see gigantic watermark)
It seems that some other corners of the internet share my sentiment. You can find renders of a 2-door Wrangler pickup anywhere without looking very hard.
I don't think Jeep will ever release a 2-door Gladiator, but I'll always hold a spark of hope that they'll remember us. I want my stubby, rugged little pickup that could scale the side of a building.