Home Covid-19 Covid-19 News The Jeep Gladiator pickup truck is a monster off road, but might be too beastly for its own good on the highway

The Jeep Gladiator pickup truck is a monster off road, but might be too beastly for its own good on the highway

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

  • The Jeep Gladiator is a Wrangler-based pickup truck, which begins at $33,545 and has seven trim choices. The costliest model begins at $51,745.

  • Every trim options a Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and most characteristic the selection of both a six-speed handbook or an eight-speed computerized transmission.

  • The Gladiator is actually nice at off-roading and hauling, but it isn’t the greatest highway cruiser.

  • My loaner got here out to a whole MSRP of $62,020.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When the good media fleet folks kindly dropped the 2020 Jeep Gladiator off in entrance of my Brooklyn residence, I needed to chuckle. Contrasted sharply towards the grey concrete and the equally grey automobiles sometimes parked right here, the orange Jeep was garish, lurid, and impolite. A punchline straight to the eyes.

But it wasn’t simply the colour. There was presence. The Gladiator stands tall; it has beefy, all-terrain tires. Swaths of blocky, black trim. Squared-off fenders that stick out inches from the body. A design composed of straight traces and proper angles.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

The good information is that the Jeep Gladiator’s look will seemingly age nicely; straight traces and 90-degree angles do not precisely exit of style.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator: Jeep went wild on the elective options 

The Gladiator is Jeep’s take on the extremely profitable midsize pickup truck market. Designed to compete towards the likes of the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma, the Gladiator affords four-wheel drive, a five-foot mattress, off-roading prowess, and Jeepish appears to be like. 

In reality, if you happen to had been to eye it straight in the acquainted seven-slot grille-face, you would not be capable of inform there’s a pickup mattress connected again there in any respect. From the aspect, too, its entrance half is a Jeep Wrangler. Its again half is a rectangle. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

Jeep affords seven trims for the 2020 Gladiator. The most cost-effective is the Sport, which begins at $33,545. The costliest is the High Altitude, which begins at $51,745. For the function of my evaluate, Jeep loaned me the Gladiator Rubicon — tied for the second costliest in the lineup.

Trim levels for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
Trim ranges for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

Kristen Lee

Rubicon Gladiators include trimmings like an accessible forward-facing off-road digital camera, LED headlights and fog lights, protecting cab and cargo-bed rock rails, two-piece body-color fender flares with black insert, 33-inch tires as customary, and a fancy Rock-Trac 4×4 system, good for scaling over obstacles whereas traversing off street. 

My loaner was additionally outfitted with seemingly all of those choices: leather-trimmed bucket seats ($1,495), a premium audio system ($1,695), a roll-up tonneau cover ($595), adaptive cruise management ($795), an eight-speed computerized 850RE transmission ($2,000), a body-color three-piece hardtop ($2,295), a winch-capable metal entrance bumper ($795), 17-inch polished black aluminum wheels ($995), and the forward-facing path digital camera ($595).

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

In all, the whole worth of the car got here to a whopping $62,020. 

Show me the person who would realistically choice their Gladiator in such a style, as a result of I can’t think about them. $62,000 is a lot of cash for a midsize pickup! The choices Jeep gave its press automobile had been appreciated, but they did not actually add or detract from the truck’s main job, which is being a truck.

Details and security scores: Built for off-roading, but not for gasoline economic system

Powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the Gladiator makes a claimed 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed handbook comes customary, but an eight-speed computerized is elective.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

The engine is designed to supply low-range torque — which means that it is best-suited for low speeds and doing low-speed issues, comparable to off-roading, driving throughout harsh circumstances, hauling cargo, or towing one thing. 

The Gladiator is based mostly on the identical platform as the present Wrangler and makes use of a body-on-frame design: the car’s body and body are two completely different items. True, it means the Gladiator is maybe heavier and fewer fuel-efficient than one thing with a unibody building — the place body and body are mixed into one piece. 

But it additionally signifies that the Gladiator was designed from the floor up as one thing meant for off-roading and transporting heavy masses. Body-on-frame autos are typically cheaper to construct, too.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

Rubicon-trim Gladiators additionally put on a Jeep Trail Rated badge, which signifies that they’ve added floor clearance, huge tires, 30 inches of water fording skill, and as much as 7,650 kilos of towing capability. 

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not but given the 2020 Gladiator an total security score, it did award the truck 4 out of 5 stars for total frontal crashworthiness. The entrance driver aspect earned 4 stars, whereas the entrance passenger aspect earned 5 stars. Side crash hasn’t been rated, but rollover scored a mere three stars. The company reported a 26.7% danger of rollover.

What stands out: The factor is a god in its off-roading factor

Despite its fearsome and rugged appears to be like, the Gladiator is really a snug place to spend a few hours throughout lengthy commutes. There’s plentiful room in the cabin for 4 passengers, and even the rear seats are roomy. Plenty of headroom and legroom. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

The mattress, for us, hauled two suitcases, two backpacks, luggage of groceries, electronics, a purse, a laundry hamper, and two giant director’s chairs. Jeep supplied a tonneau cowl and that got here in very helpful, because it saved all of our stuff dry. 

Some mild off-roading later, it was clear to me the huge Jeep was in its factor. Trundling up and down grassy knolls and thru the woods, the Gladiator fortunately bumped, tilted, and thumped throughout the uneven terrain, all the time solidly planted. 

The off-roading suspension drank in the turbulence — not a lot soaking it up fully so that you just, the driver, would be numb to it — but slightly in a approach that was pliable and impressed confidence. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

Driving the truck throughout this form of surroundings was akin to sitting astride a very sure-footed, four-legged animal. Sure, I would not suggest doing it with an open mug of espresso in your hand, but all 4 wheels persistently felt they had been working collectively, cohesively, underneath me. 

That feeling was a direct results of the truck’s four-wheel drive and locking differentials — which permits each wheels on an axle to journey at the identical velocity so when one wheel loses traction, each maintain spinning and hopefully will pull you out of the low-traction scenario.

The 11.1 inches of floor clearance additionally meant that the Gladiator may crawl over a nice variety of issues in its approach. The trunk of a fallen birch tree, for instance, would have torn off the entrance bumper of (and brought about important injury to) your common crossover or SUV, but the truck stepped proper over the impediment and thought nothing of it. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

What falls brief: Not a comfortable highway camper 

The saying, “jack of all trades, master of none” sadly rings extraordinarily true right here. As stoked as the Gladiator clearly is whereas splashing about in muck or sand, it does not do the highway cruising with practically as a lot gumption. 

Don’t get me unsuitable; the Gladiator is a very advantageous around-town commuter, nice for working errands. You sit excessive and might simply see round and over different automobiles — a very huge deal for a brief person comparable to myself. 

But when you hit the highway, that confidence and sure-footedness from the low-speed off-roading all but evaporates. The bouncy suspension, so nicely optimized for uncivilized terrain, feeds some unwelcome wobbliness into the cabin. The huge, all-terrain tires hum loudly at excessive velocity. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Jeep

The Jeep additionally did not like sustaining highway speeds. Other automobiles merely require periodic throttle inputs to maintain up constant speeds of about 65 mph or so; fairly easy and inconsiderate stuff. The Gladiator felt as if it was continuously driving via molasses that saved dragging its velocity down. Eventually, I gave up making an attempt to carry to a fixed velocity on my own and as a substitute switched on the cruise management. 

And because of the approximate aerodynamics of a brick, I noticed the Gladiator to return a median of 19.2 mpg throughout the course of my mortgage, which included metropolis driving, highway driving, and around-town errand working. On the truck’s window sticker, the EPA offers the Gladiator a gasoline economic system and greenhouse-gas score of three out of 10. 

Hardware sensible, I do want the wing mirrors caught out a bit additional. The Gladiator is a lengthy car and it is not all the time straightforward to see the place it ends. It has thick C-pillars, which end in blind spots throughout over-the-shoulder glances. Wing mirrors with a wider discipline of view would have been useful there. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

How the Gladiator compares to its rivals: A bit costlier, and a bit extra uncouth 

Compared to different midsize vans accessible to US consumers, the Gladiator’s base worth is excessive. If your sole shopping for standards is for a midsize truck, then the Ford Ranger would be a advantageous factor to deliver house. The Ranger begins at $24,410, and its 4WD model will get an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the metropolis and 24 mpg on the highway. The Gladiator with the computerized transmission will get an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the metropolis and 22 mpg on the highway.

Certainly, different vans are seemingly extra snug and civilized than the slightly uncouth Gladiator. That’s the new truck pattern nowadays: SUV-like high quality and luxury, but with a mattress for all of your stuff. 

But in order for you a truck the place you’ll be able to pull its doorways off, a truck that revels in getting muddy from playtime and going the place there aren’t any roads, the Gladiator is for you. It’ll do the suburban life simply advantageous, but you’ll be able to inform its coronary heart is elsewhere.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Jeep

Our impressions: Maybe if I did not stay in Brooklyn

Perhaps this is a uniquely Me Problem, but I really felt too brief for the Gladiator. At five-foot-three, I used to be upset by the truck’s lack of working boards (don’t be concerned, you will get them as an choice). It took a number of days for me to get used to the large step up I needed to take to climb into the cabin. Twice, whereas exiting backward, I misjudged the distance from the truck to the floor and practically fell out of it.

Thankfully, the Jeep has handles at the A- and B-pillars that passengers can use to drag themselves up, but this crutch falls aside if you strategy the truck with objects in each fingers, comparable to a telephone, automobile keys, and a beverage. Even if you happen to handle to open the door with one finger, you will nonetheless must first attain into the truck to place every little thing down earlier than grabbing the deal with to hoist your self in. It’s an additional step. 

The lofty floor clearance — so nice for fallen bushes and the like! — additionally signifies that the mattress is fairly excessive up. Maybe you are tall sufficient you could simply attain in from the aspect to retrieve your objects. To that finish, I’m ecstatic for you. I needed to bodily climb into the mattress and push every little thing towards the tailgate earlier than I may take away it. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

Despite these small inconveniences, although, I favored the Gladiator. I recognize its existence. I respect its off-road capabilities and the way steady it all the time felt. If I lived in the desert, ideally someplace in the American Southwest, I’d positively take into account one. But because it at present stands, I stay in Brooklyn, and in Brooklyn, the Jeep pickup truck merely feels too huge to be allowed. 

That being mentioned, I’ve a onerous time determining who the Gladiator is really for. You’d suppose, given the reputation of midsize vans, they might promote extra rapidly than Jeep may make them. It definitely looks as if the automaker was betting on this very factor to occur. But it did not.

The Gladiator went on sale throughout the second half of 2019. Yet, the Compass, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and even the Renegade sold better than it did in Q4. I keep in mind automotive readers being very excited about the Gladiator. But it does not look like many individuals purchased them.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

Perhaps it is as a result of the Gladiator markets itself a little bit too a lot to the area of interest truck purchaser. The larger price ticket definitely means that. This truck appeals to the purchaser who most likely would not use their Gladiator as a work instrument, but slightly as a leisure car. A playtime buggy. A toy. 

Look no additional than Jeep’s own press images of the truck, which characteristic it prominently at play (or doing play-adjacent actions): fording creeks, going to the seashore, rock crawling, hauling a boat, and transporting kayaks and filth bikes. This is the truck you load up with tenting tools to get to that far-out campsite that is inaccessible to every little thing besides lifted Jeeps and donkeys. 

It’s not a unhealthy territory to occupy, even when a little area of interest. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.

Kristen Lee/Business Insider

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