Ever since we got our hands on the newest Jeep Wrangler late last year, we immediately started asking when the pickup version would out. Jeep teased the two-door Jeep Gladiator pickup back in 2005 and has been on our minds ever since. Well, now it’s here in all its glory. This is the 2019 Jeep Gladiator.
While the Gladiator looks like it shares a lot with the standard JL Wrangler, underneath there’re an entirely new and unique frame, plus a bigger set of axles, brakes and wheels to go along with. Up front, the Gladiator gets power from the current Pentastar V6 – it’s good for 285 hp and 260 lb-ft, and can tow up to 7,650 lbs and carry a 1,600-pound payload. But, if you hold out until 2020, you’ll have a second engine choice: the 3.0L EcoDiesel which pumps out 260 hp and 442 lb-ft.
Also unique to the Gladiator is a new Overland trim – it sits above the standard Sport and Sport S and below the Rubicon flavors – though at first glance it seems the new trim only offers slightly bigger rims and a unique option when it comes to all-terrain tire choices. The latter presumably makes it a worthy in-between option considering a Sport S and the full-bore off-roading Rubicon. The Rubicon gets Fox aluminum-bodied shocks, full-length rock sliders to protect the longer frame, optional steel bumpers and optional 33-inch mud-terrain Falken M/T tires. The Gladiator is also the only convertible pickup on the market and looks decidedly badass with all the top down, all the doors off and the windshield folded over the hood.
Now that the Gladiator is officially known – and the mid-sized truck segment grows by one – we feel vindicated in thinking that Jeep was always bound for the off-road pickup fight too. The Toyota Tacoma TRD is used to ruling the roost, but now it has the Chevy Colorado AEV Bison and Gladiator as competition. The Jeep, however, with its 43.6-degree approach angle, 26-degree departure angle and 11.1 inches of ground clearance, put it at the top of the segment.
Jeep didn’t mention any pricing, but with the extra sheet metal and steel needed it’s easy to assume the entry-level sport will be in mid- to upper $30,000 range. The Chevy ZR2 Bison starts at $48,045, which is where the Rubicon will likely land, but we’ll know for sure early next year.
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