2020 Jeep GladiatorLast Updated August 4, 2019 | Sam Padgett
The Jeep Gladiator marks the long-awaited return of a Jeep pickup truck. The Gladiator, or as it is also called, the Jeep JT, is the confluence of all things Jeep, a melding of old Jeep pickups like the scrambler, J-10, and the Commanche, with the iconic Jeep vehicle: the Wrangler. Yes, it is essentially a Wrangler with a bed, but the Jeep Gladiator is much more than the sum of its parts. Overall, the Gladiator can satisfy the desires of many different types of SUV, Car and even Truck owners, all while remaining a vehicle that doesn’t forget how to have a good time.
The Jeep Gladiator is the first Jeep pickup since 1992, and their approach to trucks has certainly changed since then. Jeep pickups up until this point have been their own distinct vehicles. But as the 21st century marches forward, car producers are forced to slim down their offerings and focus on particular parts of their line up. That’s exactly what Jeep did in this situation.
Before the JT (it's backend designation like JL on a Wrangler) was officially revealed to bear the name “Gladiator”, it was preemptively dubbed the Scrambler. The Scrambler looks a lot like the JT, in the sense that it had the body of a Wrangler with the addition of the bed. For all intents and purposes, the Scrambler is literally a Wrangler with a bed. Although that’s what the JT looks like, the deliberate choice of the different name Gladiator is meant to signal that there is more under the hood than its appearance lets on. There is a lot shared between the JL and the JT, but they are truly different vehicles.
Entering in the midsize truck category alongside trucks like the Honda Ridgeline, the Toyota Tacoma and the Ford Ranger, the Jeep Gladiator is certainly going to be faced with stiff competition. That being said it can outperform many of these trucks in terms of towing, off-road performance, and being an overall fun vehicle.
This isn’t where you are going to find the most differences between the Gladiator and the JL Wrangler. For the most part, their powertrains are shared. There are plenty of unique parts to either, but they have the same engine options, similar options for hard and soft tops, the same grille and hood, and cross-compatible wheels (to name a few). One of the biggest differences between the JL and the JT is the JT’s increased wheelbase. This change, which is completely necessary for the Gladiator to be a functioning truck in the first place, changes the feels of its handling and its overall off-road performance. Don’t worry, the Gladiator is still an incredibly competent off-roader.
|Interior Volume||103 cu. ft.|
Engines and Transmissions
Here’s some of the raw info on the Gladiator. It comes with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission, and upon its release, the only engine that it will have access to is the 3.6L Pentastar engine. Eventually, the 3.0 Liter EcoDiesel V6 motor will make its way into the Gladiator's engine bay. For a pickup, there honestly isn't anything more fitting than a diesel.
|3.6-liter Pentastar V6||285 hp||260 lb-ft|
|3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6* (Not released at launch)||278 hp||265 lb-ft|
One of the more surprising things about the Jeep Gladiator is that has the highest tow rating of its class. Capping out at 7,650 lbs, the Jeep Gladiator can out tow every other mid-size pickup truck currently on the market.
|Towing||7,650 lbs||6,500 lbs||7,500 lbs||7,000 lbs||5,000 lbs|
|Payload||1,600 lbs||1,405 lbs||1,650 lbs||1,532 lbs||1,580 lbs|
One of the things about the Jeep Gladiator that can’t be overstated is the fact that it’s a pickup convertible. There are a few odd examples of this in the past, but none that are as close to the mainstream as the JT. Just like any other Wrangler, the Gladiator can take both its doors and roof off, letting your drive completely surrounded by the air.
The process for removing the doors and roof on a Gladiator is nearly identical to how it was done on previous Wranglers. There are several latches and visible screws located on the interior of the Jeep Gladiator that attach the exterior body panels to the Jeep itself. The Gladiator also comes with the option for a soft or hard top. If driving with the wind in your hair is an absolute priority, then the soft top should be the choice for you.
Then there’s the bed, arguably the most important part of the JT. It is 60” feet long, and capable of holding up to 1,600 lbs. For the most part, it’s just a standard truck bed, nothing too unusual. There is the option for a power outlet in the bed, which can be used to charge and power a variety of useful tools. Instead of the traditional rear mounted spare wheel, it is instead placed under the bed on the Gladiator. That’s par for the course on every other vehicle except for the Wranglers which display their spare covers with pride.
It should be noted that there are some minor differences on the front grille when compared to a JL Wrangler. In order to allow for the air intake that towing requires, the grille slots have been subtly widened. There are a few minor adjustments on the body of the JT like this, but since the grille is such an important part of anything that bears the name Jeep, it’s important to point out.
Some familiar Wrangler colors make an appearance on the Gladiator. Below are the various options for Jeep Gladiator paint colors.
- Granite Crystal
- Sting Gray
- Billet Silver
- Hydro Blue
- Firecracker Red
- Bright White
While the overall design of the Gladiator's interior is quite close to the JL, though there are several additions that set it apart. For one, there are plenty of more interior storage options, with extra compartments being placed underneath the rear seats. These “secret” cubbies can both be locked and carried away from the vehicle, ensuring that you can safely and securely store things in your Gladiator when the roof and doors are removed.
There is also the option for a Bluetooth speaker that can be hidden under the rear seats. Besides the lockable cubbies, the Bluetooth speaker would have a dedicated mount that allows it to seamlessly blend into the Gladiator while remaining fully charged and ready for use. While this option doesn’t impact the Gladiator’s ability to function as a truck at all, at least it’s easier to bring your tunes with you wherever you go.
Jeep Gladiator Trims and Prices
There are plenty of exciting trim options on the Jeep Gladiator as well. There’s the Overland trim, which is more similar to the MOAB trim level on the JL Wrangler. For all intents and purposes, it is the top level trim that isn’t fully focused on off-road performance.
There’s also the Rubicon trim level which is a name to reckon with in the Jeep Wrangler space. On the JT, the Rubicon maintains its impressive off-roading capabilities and even has a few tricks up its sleeve that have yet to be applied to the Wranglers. This includes a front mounted trail cam which allows the driver to see the rocks and other obstacles in front of the vehicle up close. This allows for more precise off-roading as well as compensating for the slight dip in visibility on the JT.
As previously mentioned, the Jeep Gladiator does have a longer wheelbase than a Wrangler. The short wheelbase is one of the things that is given a lot of credit for the Wrangler’s off-road performance, and while that isn’t necessarily false, there are plenty of ways to compensate for the added length of the JT. For one, the only off-roading angle that is seriously affected by the Gladiator’s wheelbase is its breakover angle.
With the options of Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4x4 systems, rear and front third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-lock electric front, and rear axle lockers, a Trac-Lok limited slip differential, an electronic sway bar disconnect, and 33-inch off-road tires, the Gladiator is just at home offroad as any other Wrangler. Similarly, the Gladiator retains the ability to be able to ford up to 30 inches of water.
The Rubicon trim level comes with the best offroading hardware offered by Jeep, including such additions as rock rails, a heavy duty steel rear bumper, and a front-facing trail camera. The Rubicon also comes standard with the 33-inch tires, the electronic disconnecting sway bar, and an impressive 84.2:1 crawl ratio with the manual and a 77.2:1 on the automatic with the Rock-Trac 4X4 system.
The Gladiator will also accept plenty of the off-roading focused mods that you can find on other mid-sized trucks and Wranglers. From sturdier bumpers, to lighting mods, a Jeep Gladiator will be just as customizable as any other Wrangler you could spot on the road or the trails.
All in all, the Gladiator is a pickup truck that can drive anywhere, combing both the utility of a truck and the unparalleled freedom of a Jeep Wrangler. All of the Gladiators will come with the coveted Jeep Trail Rated badge which is certainly not just for show. This vehicle will be a big contender in both the 4X4 and the truck world, further extending the Jeep experience beyond the standard Wranglers. Trucks are one of the fasted growing vehicles in today’s automotive markets. Although this truck will be handily competent stock, the aftermarket scene will surely have a lot to add to this exciting new vehicle. The immense customization options that are offered on Wranglers will surely catch up to the Gladiator. As it looks now, many of the parts and mods for the Wranglers should fit like a glove onto the new Gladiator, but there will surely be a whole cornucopia of new mods to spruce up this new Jeep truck. Here at CJ Pony Parts, we are excited to see what this new era of Jeep has to offer, and will continue to provide the parts and knowledge necessary to get the most out of your Jeep Gladiator should you chose to buy one once it hits dealerships near you.
Base Gladiator Model Spotted & New Engine Specs Revealed (10/24/18)
Thanks to Mopar Insiders, more images of the upcoming Jeep Gladiator (JT) truck have surfaced. These shots appear to show a base level trim of the new Jeep vehicle, meaning that the Gladiator will have a more affordable option. Additionally, the typically Jeep halogen lights can be seen bleeding through the vehicle wrap, as well as 17-inch steel wheels.
Furthermore, a newly leaked document from FCA sheds some light on what is under the hood of the Gladiator. It shows that the base Gladiator can come with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with a 3.45 axle ratio. The premium trim level, when equipped with the 3.6-liter, will instead have a 4.1 axle ratio. Both models will also have an axle ratio of 3.73 when sporting the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine. Additionally, the Gladiator’s max trailer weight is slated at 6,500lbs, a number which is nearly double that of the Wrangler. As it seems now, the reemergence of a Jeep pickup is nigh!
Jeep Gladiator Top & LED Headlights (06/29/18)
Photos on Autoblog’s website reveal that the Jeep Gladiator will definitely have a removable top as well as LED headlights. Even though the top appears to be a hardtop, rumors are that the truck will also have a soft top option, but we’ll just have to wait and see for now.
Wrangler Pickup Taillight Images (06/12/18)
Thanks to Fiat Chrysler Authority’s website, images of the Wrangler pickup’s taillights have been revealed. The taillights appear to be from the JK Wrangler, so they will probably be swapped out with ones that are more aligned with the JL Wrangler, as the truck will be built from the same platform more or less. Even though these are more than likely not the final taillights, we can still get a better idea of where they are located in relation to the tailgate. Although the rear fenders also resemble those found on the newest Wrangler, the Gladiator will potentially boast some unique fenders as well as a bumper specific to the truck as the spare tire mount is located underneath the bed.
Jeep Truck Frame Spotted in Toledo Factory (06/07/18)
While visiting the FCA manufacturing plant in Toledo, Ohio, Artec Industries spied something very special in the paint facility — the frame of the new Jeep truck. Completely bare, the crew cab frame confirms many initial suspicions about some of the JT’s new features. For instance, a roll bar is quite obvious from the photo, as well as a vent behind the front fender and a folding windshield. Artec even measured the back door of the truck, which they said is the same size as the Wrangler Unlimited since they are using the same doors as the JL.
Jeep Gladiator Tailgate Spied (5/3/18)
New spy photos of the Jeep Gladiator show the tailgate of the highly anticipated Wrangler truck. Although we can’t see too much from the photos, we can get the general idea of what the tailgate may look like. As expected, there isn’t a spare tire carrier as it will most likely go underneath the truck. As the last JK Wrangler rolled off assembly lines less than a week ago, the factory in Toledo, Ohio, is now beginning to retool for the Jeep truck. We are hoping the truck will debut at the LA Auto Show in November so we can get a full look!
Wrangler Pickup Interior Spotted (4/25/18)
Although there have been several spy shots of the Wrangler pickup’s exterior, not much has been revealed about the interior, expect the fact that it is supposedly based on the JL Wrangler platform. Spy shots found on Autoblog.com show that the interior appears to have the JK Wrangler’s dash, but that could just mean that this is an older prototype. Removable roof panels are visible from the photos, along with the roll bar. Whether or not the Jeep Gladiator will indeed have the JL Wrangler’s interior remains an unanswered question for now. Until more concrete information is available, this is the closest look we’ve seen when it comes to the inside of the new Wrangler truck.
Jeep Pickup Spy Shots! (4/5/18)
Thanks to Motor Authority, new spy images of the Wrangler pickup have surfaced. These snowy shots show the truck in full camo, but we can still get a pretty good idea of the pickup’s structure. What we’ve seen so far is that it will basically be a four-door Wrangler with a truck bed. It’s not yet clear whether there will be a two-door option available. With the recent release of the Ford Ranger and the anticipated 2021 Bronco, competition between Ford and Jeep is starting to heat up.
Wrangler Pickup Production Moves Up (3/26/18)
According to new information on Motor1.com, the Jeep Wrangler pickup is scheduled to begin production in the fall of 2018, with arrival in showrooms planned for April 2019, which is earlier than original announcements. Although a first look at the Wrangler pickup hasn’t been revealed yet, we will hopefully get a glimpse of the truck at the L.A. Auto Show, where the 2018 JL Wrangler was unveiled in November 2017.
It hasn’t been confirmed whether or not the Wrangler truck will be available in both a two-door and four-door option, as the spy shots we’ve seen so far only appear to be a four-door, Unlimited version. As several engine options are available for the JL Wrangler, the same may be true for the new truck. With the Ford Bronco and Ranger making a comeback, it only solidifies the market demand for both trucks and utility vehicles. Stay tuned for the newest updates on the Wrangler pickup!
Jeep Pickup Trucks Spied! (3/15/18)
Thanks to photos posted on Twitter by @Jeep_Family, we now get another look at the Jeep pickup, although not much is revealed. Even though we can’t see too many details in these photos, it’s still pretty exciting to see several potential Jeep Gladiators on the back of a vehicle carrier!
Sources: jalopnik.com, motor1.com, thedrive.com, autonews.com, autoblog.com, autoguide.com, fcauthority.com, Artec Industries | Image Credit: JL Wrangler Forums, Scrambler Forums, motor1.com, thedrive.com, motorauthority.com, autoblog.com, autoguide.com, Artec Industries, fcauthority.com
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