The All-New 2020 Jeep Gladiator: A Closer Look – Costa Mesa, CA
The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator has finally arrived at dealerships, after plenty of anticipation and fan demand since first being announced at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. For buyers seeking a mid-size truck, the Gladiator makes for an intriguing and formidable option over comparable vehicles. Essentially a four-door Wrangler Unlimited at its core, the Gladiator transforms this iconic Jeep into one with a longer wheelbase, larger cargo bed, and unmatched off-road performance. If you’re looking for a truck that delivers off-road durability and handling, the ability to handle lots of cargo, and is just plain fun to drive, then explore some of what the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has to offer.
The new Gladiator is available in four trim levels. All four come standard with a 3.6 L V6 engine that pumps out 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, a five-foot cargo bed, and four-wheel drive. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission by default, but an eight-speed automatic is also available.
At the base, level is the Gladiator Sport which features 17-inch wheels, old-school manual windows, door locks & mirrors, cruise control, eight-speaker audio system, 5-inch information display, rearview camera, and Bluetooth connectivity. Also standard on the Sport are a folding soft top roof, removable doors, and a folding windshield. For drivers looking to haul a boat or trailer, a 4,500 lb tow hitch is included, along with anti-sway trailer control and a trailer power plug.
This incremental upgrade includes everything on the base Sport, but also adds a few additional items such as power windows and locks and heated exterior mirrors. A few optional packages are also available for the Sport S:
- The Technology Group Package upgrades the display to a 7-inch touchscreen, and adds in climate control, Satellite Radio, and Apple CarPlay & Android Auto functionality.
- A Cargo Group Package includes a rail-based cargo management system and extra 115-volt power outlet in the truck’s bed, which provides huge benefit for those who have power tools that need to stay fully charged.
- The Safety and Advanced Safety Group Packages add on more advanced safety features to those already found on the Gladiator, including cross-traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring.
Stepping up to this trim level essentially gets you the Sport S but with a bit more style and function. Enhancements include larger 18-inch wheels, side assist steps, and tinted windows. Automatic headlights are also standard on the Overland, as are a comfortable leather-wrapped steering wheel, USB ports for the passengers in the back, and a 110-volt power outlet for the folks up front.
Drawing upon its Wrangler roots, the Rubicon model of the Gladiator is aimed squarely at off-road enthusiasts, with a different transfer case, larger-clearance fenders to allow for the huge 33-inch all-terrain tires, locking front and rear differentials, and rock rails and skid plates to protect against natural obstacles.
All four Gladiator trim levels can be upgraded with a booming sound system with nine speakers and twelve channel, 552-watt amp with a rear subwoofer. You can also opt for a spray-in bed liner, tonneau cover, and a choice of hardtop roof and a premium soft top. On selected trim levels, you can also get an even larger 8.4-inch touchscreen display, leather seating, premium Alpine sound system, and a detachable Bluetooth speaker for enjoying your favorite tunes outside the vehicle.
Handling and Performance
The Gladiator’s pairing of engine and transmission allows for excellent performance on all kinds of road or trail surfaces and acceleration is fairly responsive thanks to the steady V6. Braking is smooth and predictable, but the vehicle’s heavy and large tires do require a bit more stopping distance.
Shifting is also smooth and agile thanks to the eight-speed automatic transmission, but drivers who want full control will probably want to go with the six-speed manual option. Still, the automatic features a manual shift mode that provides complete control over the transmission and is especially beneficial in off-road situations.
Let’s get right to it. If you’re looking to buy a Jeep, you know you are going to want to leave the pavement in order to seek some wilder adventures, and the Gladiator was made to roam. As noted above, the Rubicon model is especially suited for all-terrain travel. In addition to the features already mentioned, the Gladiator’s high ground clearance and a generous approach angle should be able to handle anything you can throw at it. An available forward-facing off-road camera assists in spotting any sudden obstacles that may appear in your path.
Another key feature that drivers look for in a Jeep is its ability to haul heavy loads. The Gladiator excels in this regard, with four standard tie-downs in the bed, which also has a reasonably low floor and side walls which allow for easy loading and unloading. The tailgate also has a clever “half-open” setting which aligns with the tops of the fenders, making it a breeze to haul plywood or sheetrock. As far as load limits, the manual transmission models are good for 1,600 lbs while the automatic can support 1,160 lbs.
Storage in the rear of the cab is also plentiful, with key-lockable bins located under the flip-up seats, and the seat backs also fold down flat.
Small space storage within the cab is also furnished by several small nooks to store items, including the glove box and center console, front cup holders, and dashboard tray. The doors of the Gladiator provide additional storage via mesh map pockets.
Technology and Entertainment
While the Gladiator’s heart lies off the beaten path, an assortment of tech options are included that are useful no matter the destination.
The standard touchscreen display provides sharp, clear, easy to read graphics, and buttons and controls are laid out logically. Of particular interest to off-roaders is the navigation map, which includes trail information as well as roads.
Audio quality is excellent within the Gladiator’s cabin, and full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration easily recieves music and calls from your device to your ears. Got a laptop or other device and need to keep it charged? Four USB ports – two in front and two in back – along with three USB-C ports should cover a wide range of devices.
Of course, what has been described above only covers a small portion of what the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has to offer. If you like what you’ve read so far, then it’s time to move forward to purchasing one of these brand new Jeeps, and Orange Coast CDJR is the place to start.
Orange Coast in Costa Mesa, CA, is committed to offering the best car-buying experience possible, and our skilled, professional staff can guide you through each step of the process, from initial research to financing options to the final sale and beyond. Our expert service technicians will also be there after the fact to offer the best care possible for your Gladiator.
Stop into Orange Coast today to see the full array of features on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and get ready to hit the road (or trail)!