2020 Jeep Gladiator: Taking truck love to a new level
I'll admit I've always had a soft spot for Jeep.
After all, I had a CJ, may dad had a CJ, and there is nothing like driving with the top down and the doors off.
The problem is they had next to zero utility.
Well, all that is changing with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
It is all business in the front and a five-foot party in the back.
This isn't the first time that Jeep has produced a truck.
It produced pickup trucks pretty much continuously from 1943 till 1992 when the Comanche bit the big one.
In fact, this isn't even the first time that we've seen the Gladiator name.
Jeep applied it to the J-Series from 19 63 to about 1987 so there's actually a lot of history here.
For those of you who think that this is just a Wrangler with the bed.
You are wrong.
This has got a brand new frame and they took the five link rear suspension from the Ram 1500 and threw it back here so that means that this guy.
Can actually tow.
So a regular Wrangler four door can tow about 3,500 pounds.
This one, 7,650 pounds.
[LAUGH] And I am so excited by that.
It's best in class.
Palers also got an a jump 1,600 pounds, second only the Newport Ranger by just a scosche.
Under the hood is a 3.6 Liter V6 engine which is putting out 285 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque.
Now that is made to 60 manual transmission, but I've got the optional eight speed here.
Yeah unfortunately we're not getting the two liter turbocharged engine with e-torque, but in 2020 we will see a three liter diesel which should be pretty darn cool.
So with this power plant, I feel I really like it.
There is plenty of get up and go and there doesn't seem to be too much of an efficiency penalty thanks to a stop start system.
I've been driving the The pants off of this guy for the past week and I'm averaging about 20 miles per gallon.
The eight-speed transmission stays out of it's own way for the most part.
It does it's job with no muss and no fuss.
And on the whole, this combination is just really, really well sorted.
They are really well-mated components.
[SOUND] Now as much as I like the gladiator [LAUGH] Really, really like the Gladiator.
Every vehicle has one stupid thing right.
And here on the Gladiator, it's the inside of the [INAUDIBLE] top I can't tell you how many passengers have said wait, is that styrofoam?
No, it's not styrofoam, it's just ugly and Jeep should paint them.
There's not a ton of storage up front but Jeep did do a solid and put a little hidden cubby underneath those rear seats and the rear seats fold flat so it's easy to load things.
Plus there is an optional Bluetooth speaker back there that's always plugged in and always ready to go.
Driving a jeep on the pavement is one thing.
If i knew I wasn't going to be doing a lot of offroading, I'd probably pick this overland [UNKNOWN].
It's really comfortable but there's no [UNKNOWN] and the tires aren't very aggressive.
I like to go to the dirt.
I took a top of the line Rubicon, and I went out to find some rocks.
Actually, I found a lot of mud because it was raining really hard.
Well, I have finally made it out to my happy place on road, and it is raining and super muddy.
[LAUGH] This is amazing.
What's great about this is that the Gladiator has the falcon wild peak tires which are a lot better in the mud than the BFG KO2s that come on the regular Wrangler so I'm really happy to have this.
We have had, probably five inches of rain so this mud is really thick, really deep, really clay-like.
So while thee gladiator is a lot better at towing and hauling than a regular Jeep Wrangler, what it is missing a little bit is geometry right.
Because I got a way longer wheeled based.
Wheel based is about 19 inches longer than a regular Wrangler.
And then I also got all of thee overhang in thee back, It's still got the great approach angle in the front of about 44 degrees on the Rubicon but my brake over angle is about 20 degrees.
That is definitely not best in class.
But even with the bed I've still got a departure angle of 26.
Which is best in class, so really all you're really dealing with is break over angle, and frankly, a little bit of momentum can cure that.
You know, what's really gonna help me out here in the Gladiator and in the rocks is the awesome crawl ratio, right?
So I'm in the eight speed automatic, and that gives me a final crawl ratio of 77 to 1. Now, if I choose The six speed manual, that gives me a crawl ratio of 84 to 1, it's bonkers.
So what do those numbers mean?
Basically, the higher the crawl ratio, the easier it is to go up and over obstacles.
It means that you're gonna have a lot of torque at very, very slow speeds.
Which is what you want when you're trying to get up and over rocks.
So let's see how she do.
Look at that mud puddle.
So it is amazing the show of the [UNKNOWN] is making the up this course, it s rainy,it is slip, it is muddy, it is rocky and nothing.
Is touching it.
I mean, yeah I'm sliding around a little bit, but I wouldn't want to take a regular truck up here.
And this thing's just like, yeah I'll take it.
You want more?
I can give you more.
Come on baby!
So, after driving this bad boy on the pavement and off-road, would I drive a Jeep Gladiator?
The answer is an unequivocable yes.
Sure I lose a little bit of off-road geometry, but the gains I make And utility are totally worth it for me.
You just have to decide if it's worth it for you.