2019 Jeep Gladiator: Will $12k in Mopar mods make life better?
If you're like me when you were a kid, all you wanted to do was play with Hot Wheels or Legos or Tonka trucks.
And maybe that's why this mid sized truck holds such full size appeal for me.
This is the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and it is like a toy truck come to life for us big kids.
That's especially true with this particular Rubicon, which has been descended upon by Fiat Chrysler's in house performance parts division, Mopar.
In fact, you might not realize it, but there are over $12,000 in hop ups on this Gladiator plus the cost of installation.
These changes do a lot to alter the character of this vehicle for better and for worse.
Let me walk you through why.
The Rubicon is jeeps most capable Gladiator, and this one is even more special.
It's been set upon by Mopar FCS aftermarket division, and it's got about two dozen parts.
[UNKNOWN] over 200 catalogue pieces.
Let's start with the stance of this thing.
It's much [UNKNOWN] than even the normal Rubicon thanks to a two inch lift kit with Fox shocks about 1500 bucks.
A set of wider 17 by eight and a half inch wheels feature a 12 millimeter offset for an even more planted look.
There's about a grand worth of BF Goodrich kale to rubber raft around these 1100 dollar wheels.
The upshot is much better arrival and departure angles and enhanced off road traction.
The downside is a much firmer ride, more tire noise and more drag which you really feel out on the freeway.
If you're used to hitting the trails every weekend, you're all good here.
But if you're looking for a daily driver and something to knock around at a campground a few times a year, well I've been driving this truck for a week and let's just say you're gonna want to consider how hardcore you really are you get a lot but the street compromises are real.
You've probably heard me talk before about how good lights are my number one safety feature This Rubicon has LED headlamps and they're a huge improvement over the old model.
But if you're off road at off hours, you're going to want even more candlepower.
This truck has over 25,000 additional lumens here and here at about 1200 bucks.
If you like the nightlife, this is money well spent.
I'm guessing that the first thing that caught your eyes about this Jeep are these amazing two inch tube doors.
For about $1200 a set, they give you that unmistakable jeepneys in the breeze experience.
Plus, they offer a little protection out on the trail from wayward branches.
And as an added bonus, they sound like you're in an amusement park.
[SOUND] These two doors, they're easy to install.
I put them on in no time, and then about 1200 bucks plus meris.
I'm a buyer.
If you're into conquering the truly rough stuff, these $950 rock sliders to protect your gladiators underbelly, well they're well worth it.
If not save your money because they make getting in and out just that little bit tougher.
With all the modifications that have been done to the front and the sides of this vehicle, you wouldn't expect for Mopar to leave the bed alone.
And you'd be right.
There's a $950 hard tonneau cover, but it's what's inside that's really cool.
This 1200 dollar drawer system is from a company called Decked and it fits inside the gladiators, five foot bed.
You get a pair of lockable drawers that can hold 200 pounds each.
They're great for tools or messy gear, and they've got drain plugs.
You can even put 2000 pounds on top, making it a good place to strap down your ATV.
If you're just looking for more cargo space for bigger items, though well, stick with the tonneau.
This truck is also fitted with a Mopar exhaust, for about 1200 and $50, it gives you a burlier sound.
Plus it tucks the twin tips right up against the bumper so that you don't snag things out on the trail.
This definitely makes this trucks V6 sound meaner than stock and I like that when the doors are off or when you're out on the trail and the sound ricochets off the trees.
On the freeway, though, well, not so much with the doors on in particular, the exhaust drones and you hear every shift, since the engine is always working so much harder to spin those big tires.
Well, that's saying something.
Speaking of life inside, not much has been done to this cabin.
There's mopars formats with integrated drains, pedal pads and these $35 grab handles.
If you're five foot nothing like my might as well be wife, well, they may be the best accessory that you can buy on a lifted truck.
The lesson here is that the new Gladiator is a really amazing truck.
And there are a million different ways to customize it.
I drove a less extreme gladiator over in the while back, and it was so good that I've been spending a lot of time in jeep's configurator and steering back in my bank account.
But some of you need more and a rubicon really is the way to go.
The best thing about going with mopark gear, is that you won't void the factory warranty.
Plus, you can roll the costly accessories right into your monthly payments if you buy them when you get your new vehicle.
So no matter which trim of Gladiator you buy or who you choose to accessorize it, you're guaranteed to get a great vehicle.