After years of teasing, the new Jeep Gladiator was finally revealed at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. A pick-up truck with serious off-road capabilities, the Jeep Gladiator is possibly the best mid-size truck on the market.
The Gladiator is in many ways an updated Jeep Wrangler pick-up truck; however, it also comes with many new features that are all its own. For instance, it can now tow up to 7,650 pounds! The Wrangler and Gladiator do have the same front suspension hardware, but the latter is upgraded with a rear five-link setup for better handling. The longer wheel-base also makes the Gladiator the smoothest ride for a solid-axle jeep, and makes it brake smoother than the Wrangler ever did.
The Gladiator comes in four models:
- Sport S
All come with a 5-foot bed, 4-door cab, and a 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine—available with a six-speed manual on all trim lines—with 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Jeep says they will be offering a diesel engine in the future that will be available with the eight-speed auto, but they do not plan to make the 2.0-litre turbo four cylinders available that they had with the Wrangler.
The price starts at $35,545 and goes up to $60,815 (plus $1,495 for destination) for the limited Launch Edition.
The Rubicon is the model of choice for off-road adventuring. It clears steep hills and rough terrain with barely a hitch, and as the only drop-top pickup truck on the market you’ll enjoy nothing more than riding the hills with the wind in your hair. The truck bed does add some overhang, but tough rock rails under the bed make this a non-issue.
- Locking front and rear differentials
- Electronic-disconnect front sway bar
- 2:1 crawl ratio (84:1 with manual transmission)
- Two-speed transfer case
- Fox monotube shocks
- Raised suspension
- 285/70R17 tires, choice of A/T or M/T
The Overland also performs well on rough terrain, but where it really shines is on-road. While most specs remain the same as the Rubicon’s, there are some important differences. For instance, Rubicons have a faux-scooped hood whereas the Overland’s hood is smooth.
As for colour, Rubicon and Overland flares and hardtops are available in black or body colour, while both Sport models only offer black flares. With the Overland you also have the choice of getting brushed silver trim in the grille slots and different wheel designs.
The Sport and Sport S are the most affordable Jeep Gladiator trims, but they are still immensely capable. Both have great towing capacity (7,650-pount) and payload (1,600-pound), and the same impressive engine, interior, transmission and 17-inch wheels.
- The Sport has black-finish steel wheels while the Sport S has silver-finish aluminum wheels.
- Tinted windows are standard on the Sport S but can be added for $495 on the Sport.
- The Sport has manual crank windows whereas the Sport S has window switches.