By on November 28, 2018

Image: FCA

The midsize truck market’s explosive growth has already brought the Ford Ranger back to our spacious skies and amber waves of grain. However, Jeep thinks America the Beautiful wants a midsize truck that tackles the purple mountains’ majesties while looking down upon the fruited plains. Enter the 2020 Jeep Gladiator; the vehicle that Jeep calls the most capable midsize truck ever.

Jeep customers have been vocal about their lust for a Jeep truck ever since the Jeep Comanche ended production 25 years ago. The dream of the capability of a Wrangler in a truck package has been elusive. Customers demanding such a vehicle have been forced to fulfill their desires in the aftermarket. That is, until now.

Image: FCA

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is the truck off-road enthusiasts have been dreaming about. Jeep executives made it clear that the Gladiator is just as capable off-road as the Wrangler; at the same time, the Gladiator can tow more than any other four-wheel-drive midsize truck. With up to 7,650 pounds of towing capacity and 1,600 pounds of payload, now you can tackle Moab with three friends while also towing a boat.

The Gladiator’s body-on-frame construction features a new lightweight, high-strength steel frame. When compared to the Jeep Wrangler four-door, the Gladiator’s frame stretches an additional 31 inches, while the wheelbase is 19.4 inches longer.

The longer wheelbase and the bed’s positioning center aft of the rear axle centerline ensures better weight distribution and a more comfortable and composed ride when carrying cargo. The prop shaft, brake, fuel lines and exhaust system were lengthened to accommodate the changes needed to make the design work. The Gladiator also sits on front and rear Dana 44 solid axles. The goal was to take the success of the Wrangler and add capability. All of this extra strength and capability makes the Gladiator tip the scales at around 400 pounds more than the Wrangler Unlimited.

Coming in crew cab guise only, the Gladiator features a five-foot steel bed. Four steel cross members reinforce the load floor. The bed also features a covered external power source and strong integrated tie-downs. The tail gate is made of aluminum, while the Gladiator also features a two-inch Class IV hitch. Four skid plates protect vital components from rocks, debris, and mall curbs.

Image: FCA

The cab has significant carryover from the four-door Jeep Wrangler. The hood, doors, and tops are shared with its bedless siblings. This gives the Gladiator the ability to take the top off, remove the doors, and fold down the windshield for a unique open air experience that’s unmatched in its class.

At launch, the only engine offered will be FCA’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque will flow through an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Both transmissions are available on all trim levels. In 2020, the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel, with 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, becomes available.

The Gladiator will arrive in three trims. The volume seller (and most basic truck) will be the Sport trim. Those looking to add luxuries like LED lights, a leather wrapped steering wheel, a larger touch screen, and a body colored top to their trail-rated truck can opt for the Overland Trim. The ultimate in off-road trucking is available through the legendary Rubicon trim.

Once off-road, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator delivers the expected capability courtesy of two 4×4 systems. The Command-Trac 4×4 system, standard on Sport and Overland, features a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio. On Gladiator Rubicon, a Rock-Trac 4×4 system features heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard, as are Tru-Lok locking differentials.

Image: FCA

The Jeep Gladiator hails from Toledo, Ohio, where Jeep vehicles have rolled off the assembly line since 1941. The new truck will make its production home in the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex, where the Jeep Wrangler JK was built until April 2018.

The Toledo South Assembly Plant, or Toledo Supplier Park, is a co-location manufacturing facility where supplier partners build and manage key manufacturing process facilities completely within the plant footprint. FCA will utilize that same manufacturing system to produce the new Jeep truck, working with two of the original supplier partners. Kuka and Hyundai Mobis will supply the body and chassis, respectively. Production is expected to begin in the first half of 2019.

Pricing and fuel economy will be announced at a later date.

Image: FCA

Image: FCA

Image: FCA

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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79 Comments on “2020 Jeep Gladiator: A Lineup Forms Outside the F&I Office...”


  • avatar
    Jon

    GIVE ME A REGULAR CAB!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Never going to happen.

      I can’t find hard data (FCA doesn’t seem to publish it) on how many Wranglers sold are Unlimiteds, but … the first local dealer I checked has *three* Wranglers in stock.

      And *eighty* Wrangler Unlimiteds.

      The second one has 5 Wranglers and 55 Unlimiteds.

      See the pattern here? Nobody buys two door Wranglers except a minority of enthusiasts.

      You will not get a line devoted to a short-cab truck Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        It is 80/20 or thereabout. Was 70/30 a few years ago but it is trending to the 4-door. Ford thinks the Bronco will be 80/20 in favor of the 4 door.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        *dedicated minority*

        Some of us still use a truck as a truck.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          That is what the eventual midsize Ram pickup is for. The Gladiator is a “lifestyle” pickup (and will of course be priced accordingly), it is not really intended to be a “truck” truck. Most people who want that want cheap (relatively speaking), which this will not be.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        Don’t be so sure. Google Jeep J8. The JK had a military variant, and it offered the usual 4 door body tub and a 2 door extended tub directly based on it. Same wheelbase and everything. The JT concept came from that. If this generation Wrangler gets that version…who knows. Offering the mid wheelbase model (that’s what the 4-door is now) as a 2-door full or half top could theoretically do this and at minimum development costs. If the Gladiator is a rockstar—and its all but guaranteed—FCA may well see fit to print even more cash on a 4th variant.

        • 0 avatar
          Pete Zaitcev

          I don’t think there’s any connection between J8 and JT. For crying out loud, J8 had leaf springs in the back.

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            Wrong. J8 is HEAVILY based on JK. Yes the frame and running gear are seriously upgraded but the body tubs are minimally different. At the time, the Toledo plant was at capacity. That’s why a 2-door JK-L couldn’t happen. It would have had to come at the expense of higher profit 4-doors. If there is demand and capacity for a 2-door JL on the mid wheelbase, it’s a possibility. That’s the only way a single cab wrangler pickup can happen. If they design such a beast with full and half tops in mind, they can’t lose. The JK-8 conversion sold well, despite being expensive and requiring cutting up a perfectly good 4-door.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        I drove a 2-door Wrangler JK for 9 years and it was great. Also, in this case we’re talking about a truck, which is different. Note that the bed on Gladiator is much too short. So, for instance, I cannot sleep in it, even diagonally. I would rather buy a 2-door Gladiator with a longer bed. On the downside, the 2-door JK has a (folding) rear seat, which I used every time kids came to visit, but a 2-door Gladiator isn’t going to have that function. So it’s both better and worse than 2-door Wrangler.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Love it or hate it, the Gladiator is going to sell and sell very well. Jeep is hot right now and its only getting better. I may sell one of my Jeeps to pick up a Gladiator, I’ve been waiting for a truck like this for years.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Jeep execs talked at length about how many Wrangler owners have asked for this.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I passed your article along to several friends across the US who are looking to replace their old S10s, Rangers, Dakotas, and without fail, each asked, “When will it be available, and how much will it cost?”

        Living where we do, in the boonies of the Great American Southwest, I am certain that buying one of these will entail travel to Colorado Springs, CO (Perkins Motors) or Albuquerque, NM (LHMiller, Mark’s Casa) or even El Paso, TX (Viva), or Phoenix, AZ, places where the biggest Jeep dealers are with the widest selection.

        And no doubt, each will sell them at a premium!

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I don’t like it already. Will it fit a motorcycle in this bed? Even if they take it to Africa, will it fit a grown lion in this bed?

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Jeep put two dirt bikes back there. They put the tailgate down though.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Exactly – this thing is narrow and short. It is like Mini, style over function. Dirt bikes are not good measure. What about bmw r1200?

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Yep, any vehicle with solid axles front and rear is surely about looking pretty and not being capable.

          I love how the first question about any midsize truck is “can it haul a (insert some item you rarely if ever see anyone hauling in a truck bed here)?! No? Then I dont want it! Its useless!” Because nobody would own (or could rent/borrow) a trailer that could haul such an item if it’s to be moved often enough to buy a vehicle based on it.

          Then, when a fullsize truck is featured, comments inevitably come along complaining about how its TOO BIG and NOBODY NEEDS A TRUCK THIS BIG!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Lol just like 4X4 capabilities, everyone wants it to do Moab, but the most they ever do is a muddy trail

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            I understand your sarcasm. But hey, this is p/u truck! And I don’t think, this is a good p/u truck

          • 0 avatar
            turf3

            Sorry, but if you can’t fit a sheet of plywood in it, it’s not going to be in my driveway.

            All that’s needed is to return to the proportions of the 1963 Chevrolet pickup with single cab and 8 foot bed. This is about the same size as today’s so called “midsize” trucks that you can’t fit the same sheet of plywood in.

            For that matter, the old Ford Ranger (the one that came after the mini truck) could carry a sheet of plywood though you had to cut two 2x4s to fit in the little recesses and lift it up above the wheel wells. And that truck was MUCH smaller than today’s “midsize” truck.

            So, I’m sorry, close but no cigar, it’s just another “lifestyle accessory” = four door SUV with a little balcony out back.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Don’t!

          Short beds, alu tailgates, and bikes with longish wheelbases, shaft driven heavy rear ends with much of that weight unsuspended, driven over offroad anything, weren’t meant to be….. Dirtbikes are fine, as they’re light, and very well suspended.

          I’m scared of putting Goldwings et al in 6.5ft full size halfton beds these days, with all the lightweighting they’re undergoing. In the name of “capability,” per the marketing guys, nonetheless…..

          Get a Powerwagon, or other 3/4 ton. Or at least a Nissan XD.

  • avatar
    mrwiizrd

    Any idea if the manual transmission will be available with the diesel engine?

    If so, I’ll be in the market for one of these.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Where would pricing for one of these fall, mid 30’s to low 40’s? I’m sure they will sell a ton of these.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      FCA hasn’t given pricing details. If I had to guess, they base Gladiator Sport will start a few thousand over the Wrangler Unlimited Sport. That starts at $31,500. So lets say $35,000 to be safe? Pricing should be out Q1 or Q2 2019.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    So, call it what – 5,000 lbs? And it’s going to tow 7,650 more lbs, with those barn-door aerodynamics and that of the trailer…with 260 lb/ft of torque?

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      Metric pounds!

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      Its all in the transmission. More gears = more options for multiplying torque.
      My 2006 GMC is rated for 7200lbs. It has two more cylinders and 70lbft torque more than the jeep. But it has half the number of gears.

      Also just because it can tow 7650lbs does not mean you should. I do not regularly tow more than 50% the rated capacity of a truck and never exceed 70% of a vehicles rated towing capacity. I often see old men towing heavy fifth wheel trailers with a brand new half ton pickup truck. Those truck will likely need a motor and/or transmission rebuild shortly after the warranty expires.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      It’s all about transmission and gearing.

      A 4.10 rear gives you a lot of oomph – and the Dana 44 is pretty strong.

      It will get terrible fuel economy doing so, but nobody buying one will care.

      (Also frame design, cooling capacity, etc.

      It’s not just “horsepower and torque”, important as they are.)

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Well aware of the phenomenon of torque multiplication, guys.

        That’s still pretty optimistic.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          If you are planing on doing any serious towing your getting the diesel with 442 tq on tap.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            The diesel may actually have a lower tow rating that the gas engine. I guess there isn’t enough room for the same level of cooling they have on the gas engine. That being said, I’d bet the 3.0L is much more comfortable to tow with and gets better mileage when towing.

            Diesel specs aren’t available yet though.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      It’s the same rating more or less as an optimally equipped Ram v6 and the Ram did the SAE j2807 test to certify it. Seems plausible.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    As a 5-time Jeep owner (2 CJ-7s, YJ, TJ and a Scrambler)! I really REALLY like this. But it needs a Hemi!!! The 345 is plenty, and while Id really want it backed with a manual, Id shut up and take the TF-8. If a straight up Scrambler reboot as a single cab can’t happen, Im okay with the crew cab/bobber bed. No desire for an extracab whatsoever.

    C’mon, say it with me: he-MI!!! he-MI!!! he-MI!!!

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    This is what a license to print money looks like…..

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I’m not a jeep guy but I like this.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    With about 20 inches of extra wheelbase it won’t be long before the aftermarket converts some of these into enclosed SUVs (possibly with a truly terrible 3rd row).

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The only issue I can see as far as off-roading goes is the extra 19.4 inches of wheelbase.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “2020 Jeep Gladiator: A Lineup Forms Outside the F&I Office”

    Did someone say F&I office? Pulsing third brake lights for everyone!

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Good bye Ranger. You never really stood a chance but it was cute you tried.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I think it’s cute how every vehicle you see makes you immediately think of a Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        I think it’s cute how you come to the comments section to talk of nothing related to the post and rather childishly make comments about other commentators.

        And yes, god forbid I compare one newly announced mid-sized truck to another newly announced midsized truck. What was I thinking.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      It will be interesting to see which trucks/vehicles this cannibalizes. I’d definitely worry if I were trying to stock up on bison’s or baby raptors. TacoTRDs seem to just have their following- I’m not sure if anything can pry that group apart. I don’t think it would mess much with regular canyon/rangers. It might cut into the 4dr wrangler most. Either way- its pretty cool. I like it alot.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        My bet is the most traded in vehicle will be the Wrangler Unlimited.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        This will steal from everyone’s 1/2 ton buyers and their mid-sized buyers. Expect a lot of 1/2 tons on the Jeep used vehicle lots.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I agree, this will be the darling of the “lifestyle” truck buyer, you know the guy everyone here complains about who never carries a load in his truck bed

          A poor man’s G650 Landaulet

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            I could totally own this as a ‘lifestyle’ vehicle. A 16ft fiberglass bonded tub style trailer and my mountain bike in the bed. It would beat the hell out of #vanlifing.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        “Jeep execs talked at length about how many Wrangler owners have asked for this.”

        There is one pool.

        Honestly I would see the Ranger/Canyon as where it is least likely to steal buyers. I could see some of the “Lifestyle” crowd (Tacoma and some half ton buyers) grabbing one, but at the end of the day I think the largest percentage is Wrangler owners. Exactly how big that chunk is will make or break it.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    Looks great, and I’ll bet you can open the door and start it without an iPhone app.

    Currently using a tundra to tow race car. The drawback is it huge in other situations.

    If the gladiator can comfortably tow 5000lbs and the diesel is a good motor it’s a no brainer.
    On the other hand if it ends up being a 50k vehicle mighta s we’ll get a raptor.

    Either way this keep truck will sell well, why wouldn’t it.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Wow, is that sexy. I’ve been considering a Tacoma this winter, but I will now wait to make a decision.

  • avatar
    Zoodles95

    Count me in as impressed. There is more than enough towing capacity to meet my current needs (I presently tow with a 2013 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman with a Hemi). My travel trailer is 4500 lbs and I think this could handle that.

    FCA knocked it out of the park. Being able to row my own gears would be a plus. I was looking at another Ram in a few years but this might fit the bill instead.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I like this Jeep. I read an Aussie article claiming the diesel will tow 3.5 tonnes.

    I also hope it will be reliable. If FCA can produce a Landcruiser tough pickup it will have more success in the global markets.

    The 2.8 diesel should also be offered in a single cab chassis variant.

    To be claiming this as the best ever midsize pickup is a tall call. It needs to be very special to outdo a 70 Series V8 diesel pickup, a very tall challenge.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      The diesel will most likely tow less than the gas version. This was per Jeep executives. They can’t get a robust enough cooling system under the hood when the diesel is in there. The max tow version will be gas powered. I didn’t include diesel towing numbers because Jeep hasn’t fully certified the engine yet.

      (I only have US market information. FCA consider this a US market vehicle. Sales in other regions are of lesser importance.)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice piece btw.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    There will be an article of someone having made a 6×6 version of this in about a few days after they’re for sale…

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      I’ve already written it. I just have to fill the name of the company, product, and specs in MadLibs style.

      “Today ___________ announced that they would be taking control of Truck Mountain with their ________ horsepower, 6×6 version, of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator called the ________ Maximus TrailKing 450 X.”


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