Ever since Jeep ended its run of the Comanche in 1992, Jeepers have been waiting for another production Jeep truck. Well, in 2020 their wait will be over. Making its first official appearance at the LA Auto show, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has made its debut!
As with any SUV converted to a pickup truck platform, ala H2/H3 SUT, the truck bed looks like exactly what it is, a truck bed on the back of a Wrangler. Seemingly, the aftermarket world has made better looking Jeep truck conversions for years, especially with the two-door models.
Built in Toledo, Ohio the Gladiator will have some upgrades over the JL, with the most impressive being towing capacity. For years, Wranglers have had a measly towing capacity of 3500-lbs, limiting what enthusiasts can pull behind their rigs.
They bumped that number to 7650-lbs, so Jeep guys will not only be able to tow larger trailers but will be able to tow fellow Jeeps home after breaking on the trail (haha). The Gladiator Sport boasts Jeep’s 3.5 V6 and 8 Speed Transmission putting out 285 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque, with a rumored 3.0 liter EcoDiesel on the horizon. While the Gladiator supposedly has less than 50% of JL parts, they at least kept the good stuff, such as Dana 44 axles front and rear.
One thing that has yet to be seen is how the extended wheelbase of 137.3 inches (19.9-inches longer than the four-door JL) will affect off-road performance, especially on some of North Georgia’s tight trails. With removable doors, hinges, top and fold down windshield, you’ll still maintain all of your cool points, though. As far as hauling goes, the steel constructed bed sits on four crossbars, has an aluminum tailgate, tie-down points, lighting and handles 1650 lbs of payload. In the booming midsize truck segment, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator will be a contender with the likes of the TRDPro, ZR2, and the new Ford Ranger.