By Eilis Smith
Do you remember the last time Jeep had a pickup truck? Production of the Jeep Comanche officially halted in 1992. Almost three decades later, Jeep answered the prayers of Wrangler and pickup truck fans alike.
Americans have been longtime fans of the Jeep Wrangler and we also have a long history of loving pickup trucks. For off-roading enthusiasts and haulers who love adventure, it may seem only natural that we combine the two. That’s exactly what Jeep did! No matter what angle you look at the Gladiator from, it looks like a Wrangler with a truck bed stuck on the back. Which is exactly what it is. It seems like a simple and obvious idea but it’s actually a genius concept! Jeep has taken its most iconic adventure and offroading vehicle and enhanced its functionality with a dash of added cool factor. That might be one of the biggest reasons the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is still turning heads.
The Gladiator was built on the Wrangler platform centered around the concept of off-roading. Its closest competitors developed their concepts on a basic pickup truck. We can see how this would lead to very different capabilities; however, Jeep wants us to know that the Gladiator isn’t just your standard offroading vehicle, it’s also a powerful mid size pickup truck.
The Gladiator is not the same as a Wrangler – it has many different features that are more truck based. The Gladiator’s box in the rear is what really sets this vehicle apart from both its competition and its predecessors. The five-foot-long steel box has a maximum payload capacity of 1,600 pounds. The box adds 30 inches to the length of the Gladiator when compared to the 4-door Wrangler. The Gladiator also rides on a longer wheelbase – 19 inches more than the Wrangler.
The Gladiator is stacked with awesome capabilities and easy to make adjustments that you just don’t see in your average pickup truck. For example, one cool feature on the Gladiator is the ability to remove the roof and doors from the vehicle. Not to mention that the panels above the front seats are removable by a single hand! The rest of the hardtop and the doors will require tools for removal. You might also want a nice clean and dry area to store them while you head out for an adventure.
The Gladiator may look rugged on the outside but for all of it’s off-roading and country life pedigree, its interior is built for comfort. The Gladiator’s interior comes with all the required modern gadgets, and Jeep seems to have fixed the ergonomic quirks from the previous-generation Wrangler. Some Gladiator enthusiasts say it is so comfortable, it makes you forget you are driving a truck.
The driver and passenger seats are manually adjustable for height, recline, rake, and lumbar support. Both seats are large and comfortable enough to make road tripping a breeze.
The backseat is a bit snug for multiple travelers, but if you have a family of young children, they will feel right at home. The backseat has an added bonus for those who do not need the extra space for passengers; you can fold down the second row of seating to reveal optional lockable storage spaces behind the rear seats. The seat bench also folds up to show another storage compartment below.
Overall, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has been turning heads since last year for a good reason. The combination of off-roading vehicle and pickup is something we didn’t realize we had been missing from our lives. If you are interested in checking out the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, visit our friends at Dishman Dodge Jeep RAM Chrysler.