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All-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator: The most capable, mid-sized bakkie built on a tough heritage

2018-11-29 11:00
2020 Jeep Gladiator

Image: Newspress

The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator – the most capable mid-size truck ever – builds on a rich heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks with an unmatched combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep design, open-air freedom, clever functionality and versatility.

Not to mention best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, superior on- and off-road dynamics and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology features.

"Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand - North America.

Best in class

"There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pickup truck buyers everywhere. Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility and functionality resulting in the most capable mid-size truck ever," Kuniskis added.

READ: Tough, refined and legendary: The new SA-bound Jeep Wrangler is the epitome of all-terrain driving

The Gladiator delivers unmatched capability with best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload capacity, composed on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety.

Legendary off-road capability comes courtesy of the Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4x4 systems, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited-slip differential, segment-exclusive sway-bar disconnect and 33" off-road tyres.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is available in these different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. Built in Toledo, Ohio, the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator arrives in US showrooms in the second quarter of 2019.

A modern take on authentic Jeep design

The Gladiator boasts a rugged, distinguished design aesthetic that is immediately recognizable with traditional Jeep design cues. 

The Jeep design team kept the legendary seven-slot grille seen on Wrangler but widened the grille slots for additional air intake to assist with the increased towing capacity. The top of the keystone-shaped grille is gently swept back to enhance aerodynamics.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models offer available LED headlamps and fog lamps that project crisp white lighting, adding to the truck’s modern look.

Gladiator models are equipped with LEDs featuring daytime running lights, which form a halo around the outside perimeter of the headlights. Forward turn signals are positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares.

From behind, traditional square tail lamps feature available LED lighting and give way to a wide tailgate opening for unobstructed loading of cargo into the bed. The tailgate is damped and capable of stopping in three positions, while cargo is easily secured with a power-locking tailgate.

Clever functionality and versatility were the focus while designing the Gladiator’s durable bed to streamline usability. Under-rail bed lighting, an available covered external power source (400W 115-volt, three-prong) and strong integrated tie-downs, provide durability and versatility. The available Trail Rail Cargo Management System provides additional storage options to organize and secure cargo.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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The full-size spare tyre and mount is located under the bed, behind the rear axle, and capable of holding up to a 35" tyre.

An available spray-in bed liner, bed divider and tonneau cover provide even more options to keep cargo secure while helping with durability. Gladiator Rubicon models are equipped with protective cab and cargo bedrock rails. 

Rugged and up to task

A four-bolt design at the top of the windscreen’s frame allows for the windscreen to fold down quickly and easily. A header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windscreen is folded down.

This allows the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windscreen folded. Two-piece body-colour fender flares with a black lower insert give a raised profile and are standard on Overland and available on Rubicon models.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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Lightweight, high-strength aluminium doors feature the Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge to eliminate guessing which size bit is needed to remove the doors. A toolkit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windscreen is provided as standard equipment. 

All Gladiators feature body-coloured sports bars, which are welded to the body and feature integrated grab handles for front occupants.

A premium Sunrider soft top provides a segment-exclusive easy open-air option, which helps to quiet wind noise and allows for access to partial and full open top positions. The soft top features retainers that slide into a track for easy rear window removal.

Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models share an available three-piece body-colour hardtop option, offering a unique, premium appearance, while a black three-piece hardtop, available on all models, offers even more options for open-air driving. The two Freedom panels and quick-release latches enable a fast removal and installation of the hardtop. All hardtops feature a manual rear-sliding window.

Dozens of different door, top and windscreen combinations allow for endless configuration possibilities.

Premium features and technology

The Gladiator’s interior combines authentic styling, versatility, comfort and intuitive feature use. Precision craftsmanship and high-quality materials are found throughout the cabin.

The heritage-inspired centre stack features a clean, sculpted form that complements the horizontal dashboard design and sports a finish dictated by the model choice. A hand-wrapped instrument panel features a soft-touch surface with accent stitching on Gladiator Overland and available on Rubicon models.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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Functional features, including climate and volume control knobs, media charging and connectivity ports, and Engine Stop-Start (ESS) control are all sculpted for quick recognition and are easily within reach of the front-seat occupants.

Inboard and outboard circular HVAC vents are surrounded by a platinum chrome bezel for a precise and premium yet rugged appearance with full functionality.

Jeep functionality and versatility are celebrated in the centre console and distinguished with metal-plated accents. The centre console houses gear shift selection, transfer case and parking brake. Real bolts featured on the shifter, grab handles and the infotainment screen’s frame highlight genuine construction methods.

A push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround, is standard on the 2020 Gladiator and is easily located within the driver’s reach.

Cloth or leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Available comfort features include heated front seats and steering wheel.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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All-new rear seats feature high-quality premium materials giving the seats an athletic look that also delivers comfort and support. The rear seats, exclusive to Gladiator, features segment-leading rear leg room and utilizes a unique design that can be locked in place to provide secure storage behind the seat back. The rear seats can be folded flat to access cab-back storage and provide a load floor for larger items.

With the rear seats folded flat, LED lights on the quarter trim panels illuminate the storage space behind the seats. Two storage nets on the cab-back wall provide even more secure storage.

Clever storage solutions are found throughout the 2020 Gladiator, including durable mesh pockets that extend the entire length of the doors and numerous phone storage areas.

The rear seat cushions can fold up into "stadium" position to reveal a standard open storage bin, which utilizes the space under the seat for storing miscellaneous items.

An optional lockable bin provides secure storage space when the top or doors are removed. The available lockable storage bin features two different size doors that correspond to the 60/40 split rear seat cushion. Removable dividers can provide up to five separate compartments and uses the same lock as the glove box and centre console.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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A removable bolt bin fits in the under-seat storage space and makes it easy to secure bolts when the doors and top are removed, or the windscreen is folded down. The bolt bin lid indicates the corresponding number of bolts and their location under the lid in Petroglyph style.

The driver and front passenger vinyl-wrapped door-trim panels are soft to the touch. Lift-Assist handles under each door armrest feature an integrated pull-cup design that makes door removal quick and easy. Convenience features include passive entry with Keyless Go.

The instrument cluster features a 3.5 or an available 7" thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display. The 7" LED display allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways, including current media being played, tyre pressure, tyre-fill alert, or digital speed readout. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice, and speed functions and allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel at all times.

A 7.0 or an available 8.4" touchscreen houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently on top of the centre stack.

The fourth-generation Uconnect system enhances the user interface and system performance with quicker startup times and improved screen resolution. A 5" touchscreen is standard on Gladiator Sport. Directly below the touchscreen are functional features such as climate and volume control knobs and media connectivity ports.

Exclusive to Gladiator Rubicon models, a forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen. The front camera sits behind the middle slot of Gladiator’s seven-slot grille and can be accessed through the available Off-road Pages.

Two USB ports and a USB-C port up front and two in reach of occupants in the back seat connect to the media centre. A 115V AC outlet is available to power select three-pronged home electronics. 

Optional audio upgrades include a subwoofer and portable wireless speaker located behind the rear seat. LED lights on quarter-trim panels illuminate the storage space and the docking station for the wireless speaker. A net on the left side of the cab wall provides additional storage when equipped with the subwoofer and wireless speaker.

The Gladiator offers the proven 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 engine at launch with a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 engine being offered in 2020. 

The 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 engine delivers 209kW and 260Nm of torque and features Engine Stop-Start (ESS) as standard. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque – an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all Gladiator models equipped with the Pentastar V6, and an eight-speed automatic transmission is optional.

Known for its refinement, power, efficiency, and adaptability, the Company has produced more than 8.6 million V6 Pentastar engines since production began in 2010.

It benefits from the popular V6 engine’s low-range torque, which is needed when out on the trails or during demanding conditions such as hauling cargo or towing a trailer.

Gladiator models will offer the EcoDiesel V6 engine, rated at 183kW and 442Nm of torque, with Engine Stop-Start (ESS) standard. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and is designed to handle the increased torque output. It will be available starting in 2020. 

FCA US engineers adapted the engine – designed and manufactured by FCA EMEA – to meet the NAFTA region’s regulatory requirements.

The EcoDiesel V6 engine implements refined turbocharger technology with a low-friction bearing designed for low-end and transient performance.

The Gladiator offers an eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling the vehicle to optimize engine output while on the trails or enjoying smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds. The eight-speed automatic is available on all Jeep Gladiator models.

Gladiator’s eight-speed automatic transmission offers a responsive driving experience. Whether commuting during the week or rock crawling or hauling cargo on the weekend, customers will enjoy a smooth, linear power delivery and improved fuel efficiency.

A unique set of two overdrive ratios improve highway fuel economy and reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

All Gladiator models are equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission. This transmission features a unique design that employs optimized gear ratios for bolstered crawl ratio performance and is cable-operated, eliminating shifter vibration and bolstering sound isolation.

The shift pattern features a comfortable shifting position and bolsters shift accuracy. A 4.41 ratio spread offers impressive fuel efficiency at faster speeds and delivers quick acceleration with smooth, precise shift quality.

The Gladiator delivers legendary off-road capability courtesy of two advanced 4x4 systems. Both Command-Trac and Rock-Trac systems offer full-time torque management, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions.

An available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential on Sport and Overland provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.

Gladiator Sport, Overland and Rubicon models receive a Trail Rated badge thanks to legendary Jeep 4x4 capability. It utilizes a variety of ways to optimize ride, handling and sound characteristics while bolstering fuel economy even while towing and hauling.

Utilizing a body-on-frame design and featuring a superbly engineered five-link suspension system, Gladiator delivers on capability, with composed on-road driving dynamics, passenger safety and best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload capacity.

The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminium closures, including the doors, door hinges, bonnet, fender flares, windscreen frame and tailgate help curtail weight and boost fuel economy. Other ways the Jeep engineering team looked to manage weight included using hollow track and stabilizer bars, aluminium engine mounts and steering gear.

The springs have been tuned for an optimum balance between on-road handling while providing a comfortable ride around town, with or without cargo in the bed, and legendary off-road capability.

Ride comfort, body-roll control, handling, payload and towing capability is significantly enhanced with assistance from shock tuning, hardpoints, and body mount strategy.

Gladiator also benefits from up to 30" of water fording, up to 725kg of payload and up to 3 469kg of towing capacity with the available Max Towing Package.

Safety and security were paramount in the development of the Gladiator, which offers more than 80 available active and passive safety and security features.

Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection and forward-facing off-road camera, standard ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, Adaptive Cruise Control, and electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation.

It also offers three Uconnect systems – Uconnect 5-, 7" and 8.4NAV, delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features drivers and passengers desire, including a full-colour LED instrument cluster.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

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The Uconnect system includes easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster startup times, and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics.

The Gladiator is available with the Uconnect 7.0 or 8.4NAV systems and includes the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.

Apple CarPlaySeamlessly integrates an iPhone with the vehicle’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. iPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, and receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions and more while staying focused on the road.

Android AutoThe system shares useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google technology. Featuring Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance, and on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music, plus the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel and ask Google search any question. Android Auto also makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.

Drivers and passengers also have an abundance of infotainment features at their fingertips with SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Connected Services that provide real-time information.

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