Gladiator Features That Only a Jeep Pickup Can Offer
The interior of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator offers several unique features that only a pickup by Jeep could offer. Jeep is amplifying its lineup by adding the Gladiator, which is a pickup truck version of the popular Wrangler SUV. All they are doing to it is stretching the wheelbase, adding a truck bed, improving the rear suspension, but leaving the brand’s ruggedness, styling, and simplicity intact.
This strategy has expanded the Wrangler’s model range and has created a tough decision for some Jeep shoppers who could be torn between the SUV and truck body styles that are now available. Exclusive is the all-new rear seats with secure storage design, a heritage-inspired center stack, and open-air freedom are among the many innovative, functional and intuitive features offered in a Gladiator model. This mix of craftsmanship and high-quality materials resulted in the Gladiator being named one of Wards 10 Best Interiors for 2019.
“The Gladiator’s rugged interior styling is a subtle balance of premium materials, must-have features, and technology that turns the basic daily drive into an adventure,” said Ralph Gilles, Head of Design, FCA. “The truck encompasses the spirit of the Jeep brand while checking all the boxes our customers desire.”
These offerings include the ability to take the doors off and the top off as well, something unique to the Gladiator. A push-button starter, featuring a weatherproof surround, comes standard. There is a 7.0- or an available 8.4-inch touchscreen which houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits atop the center stack.
“We think that all of the thoughtfulness that we put into the interior offers the customer something that they’ve always wanted in a pickup truck, but was never available to them,” said Chris Benjamin, head of Jeep engineering design. “The Gladiator is about functionality. It is about how you use it. It is about your lifestyle.”
The most versatile feature of the Gladiator is the rear seat, which offers several different storage solutions. The rear bench is divided into a 60-40 configuration and can be folded up into “stadium” position to a standard open storage bin. There’s also an optional lockable bin to provide secure storage space when the top or doors are removed.
The lockable storage bin that is available features two different sized doors that correspond to the 60/40 split rear seat cushion, and it uses the same lock as the glove box and center console. The removable dividers can provide up to five separate compartments to allow for storage of items ranging from yoga mats, fishing rods to backpacks, food and other gear in the bin. The seat is lockable.
The name goes back to a 1960s Wagoneer-based pickup truck, and this repetition reminds us of the old Wrangler 1980s Scrambler. The Scrambler was a two-door Wrangler with an elongated rear section. The Gladiator takes the concept further, by replacing the rear cargo area of the current four-door Wrangler with a 5-foot bed.
The front roof panels can be removed providing an extensive driving experience, but there’s no place inside the vehicle to store them. One of the options is probably strapping them in the bed in their storage bag. A fully removable top is a critical distinguishing feature of the Gladiator.
No other truck comes anywhere close to offering an extensive driving experience. Just like the Wrangler, the doors to the Gladiator can also be taken off. The Gladiator, thanks in part to its 19-inch-longer wheelbase, rides better than the Wrangler.
It also rides better than its two truck rivals, the Toyota Tacoma and the Ford Ranger. The Gladiator’s wheelbase extends about 10 inches longer than those models’, as well as the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon’s. The Gladiator also has solid axles in the front and rear, a simple design known for its low-cost and durability.
The Jeep acclimated to the Ram 1500 rear coil-spring suspension, which resulted in a more civilized ride than in most other pickup trucks. The second row is roomy. The interior space benefits from the Gladiator being a Wrangler from the bed forward.
The rear seatback is upright. Power ports, rear vents, and floor-mounted cup holders make the backseat cozy for passengers. The rear seat folds up and also goes flat to create storage flexibility.
There’s a lockable storage unit underneath the seat, which is handy for securing luxurious items when the top is off. The 5-foot bed is typical for its class, although the Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, and the GMC Canyon, offer another version with a 6-foot bed. The short bed is appropriate for weekend chores.
Some Gladiators have a soft tonneau cover, which can be rolled back rather quickly when the bed needs to be accessed. The tailgate doesn’t slam down when it’s opened, which is a nice touch. The powertrain is a standout element, just like in the Wrangler.
The 285-horsepower V6 with the eight-speed automatic transmission work well together. Combined, there’s durable power, smooth shifts, and sudden acceleration. Jeep has claimed that the Gladiator has best-in-class 7,650-lb. towing capability. For now, leasing a Gladiator can be about the same price as a Jeep Compass.
Come see for yourself if a Jeep Gladiator is a right SUV for you with The Jeep Experts at Hollywood Chrysler Jeep.