The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is here, the first pickup truck in the company’s lineup since, well, I can’t remember. In true Jeep form, the truck arrived at the Los Angeles auto show, now called AutoMobility, in dramatic fashion.
As one of the early-day press day presentations, the Jeep Gladiator reveal was, as expected, a wake-up call. The first example arrived in the appointed hall by rolling up a few steps. Two others overcame off-road challenges to emerge on the stage. It was great theater, but also showed the qualities for which the Jeep brand is known and exemplified how it excels.
The Gladiator, a midsize truck, can be had with removable doors and pop-down windshield for off-road enjoyment; it also has full-bodied protection as desired, with functionality, dependability and versatility, and tops in-class 4×4 capability. It’ll tow 7650 pounds and take 1650 in the bed.
Jeep’s 2018 Wrangler, Motor Trend’s SUV of the year, gained a partner in this Gladiator pickup truck being built in Toledo, Ohio for second-quarter 2019 deliveries. Like many of its trail-rated stablemates, Gladiator is made of lightweight, high-strength aluminum for its doors, hinges, hood, fenders, windshield frame and tailgated, keeping the weight down and ability to reconfigure high.
Gladiator will first appear with Jeep’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic – or six-speed manual – transmission. In 2020, a 3-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will be available with the eight-speed automatic.
Jeep’s fourth-generation Uconnect infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the choice of 7-in or 8.4-in touchscreen sizes, both with pinch-and-zoom capability. There are four configurations of Gladiator: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.
Judging by the interest at the show itself and the response to its over-the-top introduction, it looks like Jeep has another winner with its new Gladiator pick-up, whether buttoned-up with a hardtop or equipped with soft-top options on the truck.