Jeep Gladiator

For 2020 the Jeep Gladiator comes with just one engine option, a 3.6L V6 making 285 horsepower. Transmission options include a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 8-speed automatic. Properly equipped, Jeep claims the Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 lbs. Power is sent first to a transfer case and then to the rear or all-four wheels depending on what mode the Gladiator is in. Needless to say, the Gladiator is likely one of the most capable pick-up trucks in the North American market, being based on the Jeep Wrangler.

The Gladiator comes in four basic trims, Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. Standard features on the base Sport trim include 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, a body colored grille, a fabric convertible top, a 5-inch touchscreen display, an integrated voice command system with Bluetooth connectivity, an 8-speaker sound system with USB and audio input jacks, steering wheel mounted audio controls and Jeep's Uconnect 3 multimedia system.

The Sport S trim adds nicer 17-inch aluminum wheels, power windows, door locks and heated mirrors as well as remote keyless access.

The Overland trim gets bigger 18-inch wheels, body colored exterior fenders, automatic headlights, nicer side steps for easier entry into the vehicle, a 7-inch touchscreen in the center console with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio with a one-year subscription and a second 7-inch display, this time in the driver's instrument cluster.

The top of the line Rubicon concentrates on being the most off-road capable trim level of the bunch. It features bigger 33-inch tires, a more robust 4x4 system with extra low gearing for rock-crawling, an electronically disconnecting front sway bar, locking front and rear differentials, rock sliders on the side of the vehicle and FOX branded shock absorbers. Options on the Rubicon include a forward-facing camera for extra tricky off-road work as well as wider Dana 44 axles.

The Gladiator, like every version of the Wrangler that came before it, is highly customizable. There are several different roof configurations including what Jeep call a "Freedom Top" which can be fully removed, or removed in several different sections, giving owners a few options on how much sun they'd like to get during a drive. Like the Wrangler, its relatively easy to remove the doors and the vehicle can be driven without them easily. Despite being one of the best off-road vehicles ever built, the Gladiator is available with a full adaptive cruise control system which will automatically speed up and slow down with traffic, even coming to a complete stop when necessary.

Editors' Review

When I first drove the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, I thought I'd found my off-road dream truck. Solid axles, a crazy crawl ratio, front and rear differential lockers and a convertible to boot? Hell yes. But then Jeep unveiled the Gladiator Mojave, and now that I've had a chance to put it through its paces, well, move over, Rubicon.

The Mojave is only offered with four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case. It's also only available with Jeep's 3.6-liter V6 engine, and while a six-speed manual transmission is standard, you can opt for an eight-speed automatic for $2,000.

This is also the first vehicle to get Jeep's new Desert Rated badge. This means that, in addition to all of the usual off-road stuff that goes into earning the Trail Rated badge, the Gladiator Mojave is prepped for high-speed desert running. I'm talking about bombing through whoops and scrambling up dunes. Yes, any Gladiator can do things like this, but with its 1-inch front lift and completely retuned suspension, the Mojave will get through this kind of terrain easier and faster.

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The Good ~ Purposeful suspension upgrades ~ No noticeable loss in other off-road abilities ~ Easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment tech ~ The roof comes off!

The Bad ~ Reduced tow rating ~ Fully loaded models get pretty expensive

The Bottom Line The 2020 Jeep Gladiator was already the king of the rocks, now with the Mojave trim, it's the king of the desert, too.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 9
  • Design 8
  • Media 8.5

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