If you were waiting for a special-order new GMC Sierra or Jeep Gladiator to show up at a West Coast dealership, you might have to wait a little longer. Unfortunately there was a train derailment in Lincoln County, Nevada, yesterday, and some of the victims were brand-new pickups.
Today’s truck trio includes three very expensive rigs that aren’t likely be used for hauling duties or any other truck-type responsibilities. And that’s a good thing, because they’re loaded up on equipment and leather, and covered in nice metallic paint. Which nice truck gets used as kindling? Let’s find out.
The Jeep Gladiator, a vehicle seven-slot aficionados spent decades begging for, is now on sale, offering buyers a pickup, sedan, off-roader, and convertible, all wrapped in one unmistakable vehicle.
This being a truck, prices naturally range from somewhat reasonable ($35,040 after destination for a base Sport) to exorbitant, but those not looking for a long-term commitment might find that leasing a Gladiator will give them — by far — the best bang for their buck. Thank sky-high residual values.
Jeep engineers and PR folks wasted no time in telling media, assembled in Sacramento to drive the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator mid-size pickup, that this truck is more than just a Wrangler with a pickup bed slapped on the back.
Technically speaking, it’s true — there are key mechanical and structural differences. So no one who uttered this assertion was lying.
But while those mechanical differences are important, they don’t change the fact that the Gladiator still feels just like a Wrangler with a bed. No matter what anyone from Jeep tells you, the Gladiator is, in a way, a Wrangler with a bed.
And that will be a good thing for many, if not most, potential buyers.
As Fiat Chrysler prepares the Jeep Gladiator for its highly anticipated dealer debut, consumers are gearing up for the first midsize pickup conceived of outside the boundaries of established industry norms in quite some time. The Gladiator is very different from the competition. It looks like a modified Wrangler, has a removable windshield, soft or hardtop roof, and doors, and even comes with a manual transmission option. It’s also new, which is noteworthy in itself.
Midsize pickups have a tenancy to linger. The second-generation Chevrolet Colorado first appeared in 2012 and Toyota’s Tacoma typically enjoys a ten-year lifespan before the manufacturer feels the itch for a full redesign. Even Ford’s Ranger is a reheated leftover sourced from the global market. While not necessarily a shortcoming in itself, the segment suffers from a distinct lack of innovation — and that’s exactly where the Gladiator could find its place in the sun.
You knew this one was coming.
The unveiling of Jeep’s first truck in nigh thirty years was a widely anticipated event at the L.A. Auto Show, with our man on the ground reporting at the time that neither man nor beast could get handy to the media area. Gaining admission during the reveal was only slightly less difficult than beating Reid Bigland at arm wrestling.
While we’re still sans pricing, we do know the level of kit bestowed on each trim of Gladiator, including – wait for it! – the base model.
The Los Angeles Auto Show — a title your author will always use in reference to the annual soiree, despite the show’s repeated attempts to rebrand it as “AutoMobility LA” — is over for another year. Shrimp consumed, after parties attended, the works of it.
As befits California, there were no shortage of stunners. On the other hand, as befitting its near-Thanksgiving time slot, there were also a few turkeys.
What was your winner? Betcha can’t guess mine.
Outside of a Nissan-hosted panel preceding the first media day, the typically mobility discussion was muted at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show (and even that panel wasn’t nearly as eye-roll inducing as the usual Ford pronouncements — at least this panel included actual experts making reasonable points, even if I disagree with some of them.)
L.A. was all about the cars – cars you’ll soon be able to buy, should you have the means.
Since reports arose last year of Jeep’s intention to use the long-departed Scrambler name for the upcoming Wrangler-based pickup, the media has more or less run with this assumption, placing a faint asterisk next to the moniker. Would it bother you to learn this might not be the pickup’s name?
Probably not, once you learn the real name, which Fiat Chrysler apparently posted on its media site for a brief period of time. Images of swords and armored breastplates usually have that effect.
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