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2020 Jeep Gladiator

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Review

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator boasts a comfortable interior, good towing abilities, and Jeep's legendary off-road prowess. Because it has not been crash tested, the 2020 Gladiator does not have an overall score or ranking.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent off-roader
  • Removable top and doors
  • Two rows of comfortable, adult-friendly seats
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Sluggish engine
  • High price tag

Research & Ratings

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is unranked in Compact Pickup Trucks due to missing safety data. Currently, the Jeep Gladiator's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 12 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 8.5
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other compact pickup trucks.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Jeep Gladiator a Good Truck?

Yes, the Jeep Gladiator is a good truck. It's been more than a quarter-century since Jeep last offered a pickup, but the company's storied lineage of trucks dates to the late 1940s, when Willys-Overland introduced a 1-ton truck with four-wheel drive. There have been several models since (including a Gladiator model in the '60s through the '80s), culminating with the Comanche, which was discontinued after the 1992 model year.

Enter the Gladiator, which launches Jeep back into the truck game for the 2020 model year. The Gladiator is unlike any other compact truck. This vehicle is almost like a Jeep Wrangler with a bed. You can remove the top and doors, and even fold down the windshield; things that no other truck can do. It matches several class leaders in towing capacity and is a far better off-roader than most rivals. Its interior is attractive and functional, with two rows of comfortable, adult-friendly seating and an easy-to-use infotainment system.

This brand-new Jeep has a few weaknesses, including a below-average predicted reliability rating and a V6 engine that seems to lack motivation at times, but those aren't enough to take the shine off an otherwise excellent truck.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Dimensions

  • Length: 18 feet, 2 inches
  • Height: 6 feet, 3 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,650 to 5,072 pounds

Should I Buy the Jeep Gladiator?

There are plenty of reasons to buy the Gladiator, many of which we touch on above. The Gladiator's base price sits far beyond other compact trucks'. Although that may deter some shoppers, this vehicle still makes a lot of sense for people that want a capable vehicle with off-road inclinations. No matter how much you like the Gladiator, you may still want to see how it stacks up against alternatives like the Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Wrangler, and Honda Ridgeline.

Compare the Gladiator, Tacoma, and Wrangler »

Should I Buy a New or Used Jeep Gladiator?

The Jeep Gladiator is brand new for the 2020 model year, so you can't buy a used one at this time.

We Did the Research for You: 10 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Jeep Gladiator Cost?

The all-new Jeep Gladiator starts around $33,500, making it easily the most expensive compact pickup truck. Even most full-size trucks have lower base prices than that. There are several higher trims, with the top-tier Gladiator Rubicon carrying a price tag around $43,500. That's still on the high end of the spectrum for the class, but a few rivals are also in the same ballpark.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jeep dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Jeep deals page.

Jeep Gladiator Versus the Competition

Unlike many of its competitors, the Gladiator doesn't have multiple cab styles or bed lengths. That said, it can still handle many typical truck duties.

Which Is Better: Jeep Gladiator or Toyota Tacoma?

Before the Gladiator's debut, the Toyota Tacoma ruled the roost as the best compact truck for off-roading. But the Gladiator should give the Tacoma a real run for its money in that regard. Another feather in the Jeep's cap is that it can tow more than the Toyota and has more passenger space. The Tacoma comes standard with a four-cylinder engine that's more fuel-efficient than the Gladiator's V6, and each truck has some advantages over the other. The Jeep offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (the Tacoma doesn't), but the Toyota has a much higher predicted reliability rating and comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning – features that are optional or unavailable in the Gladiator.

Both trucks have similar attributes, so choosing between them will come down to what you prioritize more: the Toyota’s longer list of safety features and higher predicted reliability rating or the Jeep’s more modern tech features and more off-road-worthy models.

Which Is Better: Jeep Gladiator or Jeep Wrangler?

In case we haven't already mentioned it enough, the Wrangler and Gladiator are very similar. They share the same powertrain, front end, and front half of the cabin. Both have removable tops and doors and fold-down windshields, and they have similar features lists. The Wrangler's shorter wheelbase gives it a slight advantage for off-roading, but both are incredibly capable. This comparison mostly comes down to whether you want the Gladiator's open-air bed or the Wrangler's enclosed cargo area.

Which Is Better: Jeep Gladiator or Honda Ridgeline?

There are some interesting parallels between the Honda Ridgeline and the Gladiator. Both trucks have been recently reintroduced to their company lineups, and both are only available with one cab style and bed length. They also challenge the notion of what a pickup truck can and should be, though each does so in different ways. The Jeep can tow much more than the Ridgeline, and it's a much better off-roader. Meanwhile, the Honda delivers an incredibly smooth ride and has arguably the most upscale cabin of any vehicle in the class. Both trucks rank near the top of the class. Both trucks are good options.

Compare the Gladiator, Tacoma, and Wrangler »

Gladiator Performance

Gladiator Engine: Not the Punchiest Powertrain

The Gladiator is powered by a 285-horsepower V6, the same engine found in the Wrangler. It's adequately powerful for most driving situations, including towing and hauling, but it lacks the energetic feel of some rival engines during acceleration. The standard manual transmission could use some improvement as well, and it's worth the upgrade to get the smooth-shifting automatic.

As of this writing, this V6 is the Gladiator's only engine option, but Jeep plans to introduce a turbocharged V6 EcoDiesel powertrain later in the model year.

Gladiator Gas Mileage: OK or Bad, Depending on How You Look at It

The Gladiator gets 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Those are among the worst ratings in the class for a truck's base engine. However, most rivals have four-cylinder base engines and come standard with two-wheel drive. When equipped with a V6 and four-wheel drive, competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma get fuel economy ratings that are similar to the Gladiator's.

Gladiator Ride and Handling: It Feels Like a Truck

The Gladiator breaks the typical truck mold in some ways, but it still drives like most other pickups when it comes to its ride and handling. This Jeep handles turns reasonably well, and it rides smoothly for the most part. Ride quality feels a little more even with some weight in the bed.

Read more about performance »

Gladiator Interior

How Many People Does the Gladiator Seat?

The Gladiator seats five, and it does so superbly. Up front, the driver has a commanding view of the road, and there's plenty of head- and legroom. The rear seats are similarly spacious, offering more legroom than almost every competitor. Most importantly, the seats are comfortable and supportive.

Gladiator and Child Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

Gladiator Interior Quality

If you feel like the Gladiator closely resembles the Jeep Wrangler inside, you're not imagining things. The front half of the Gladiator is basically cribbed directly from its SUV cousin. The Gladiator looks good inside, but being functional is a high priority for this truck, which is why drivers can find all of the controls they may need within easy reach. The cabin is also designed for durability, and it's water resistant, so you can hose it out after especially muddy adventures.

Gladiator Cargo Space

The Gladiator comes with a 5-foot bed, and unlike most trucks, it doesn't offer any additional bed lengths. Though the bed is smaller than most rivals', it's still plenty useful thanks to features like adjustable tie-downs, an in-bed power outlet, and a three-stage tailgate that you can lock into a halfway-down position. The Gladiator's bed rails also sit lower than in most other trucks, making them easy to reach over.

Gladiator Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard equipment includes a folding soft top with a sunroof feature and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, two USB ports, and Bluetooth.

Available features include two different hard tops, a forward-facing off-road camera, a 7- or 8.4-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, satellite radio, navigation (included with the 8.4-inch screen), a removable Bluetooth wireless speaker, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and additional USB ports.

The Gladiator may not come standard with power windows and locks, but at least every model has a version of the Uconnect infotainment system. The touch screen is responsive and easy to use, and it's complemented by physical controls. This Jeep offers upgraded versions of Uconnect that offer larger screens, smartphone connectivity tech, and navigation. The Gladiator also comes with features that other trucks don't, such as a portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker and a forward-facing camera to aid in off-road situations.

Speaking of things that no other truck can do, the Gladiator's fold-down windshield and removable top and doors let it morph into a convertible to help you enjoy summer days and adventurous off-roading.

Read more about interior »

Gladiator Reliability

Is the Jeep Gladiator Reliable?

The 2020 Gladiator earns a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Jeep Gladiator Warranty

Jeep covers the Gladiator with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Jeep Gladiator?

The cost of insuring a Jeep Gladiator will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Gladiator Safety

Gladiator Crash Test Results

As of this writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2020 Gladiator.

Gladiator Safety Features

The Gladiator comes standard with a rearview camera. Available active safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Jeep Gladiator Model Is Right for Me?

The debut Jeep Gladiator comes in four trims: Sport, Sport S, Overland, and Rubicon. There's also a special Gladiator Launch Edition model that will be offered for a short time after the truck's debut. All models come with a 285-horsepower V6, a six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive, and a folding soft top with a sunroof feature. You can upgrade to an eight-speed automatic transmission in any trim for $2,000.

Even the base trim is off-road ready and comes with a user-friendly infotainment system. Still, it's worth stepping up to the Gladiator Sport S. The S has mostly the same standard equipment, but it is available with a lot of comfort and convenience features you can't get in the base trim. Buyers who want the best possible adventuring experience should consider the Rubicon trim, which comes with a host of off-road features not available in the lower trims.

One thing all buyers should note is that this Jeep is highly customizable. On top of the various trims and option packages to choose from, there are several different door, top, and windshield combinations, letting you truly make this truck your own.

Jeep Gladiator Powertrain Options:

  • Base engine: 3.6-liter six-cylinder with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque; starts at $33,545
  • Drivetrain: Standard part-time four-wheel drive; available heavy-duty part-time four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed manual; available eight-speed automatic

Jeep Gladiator Performance Packages:

  • Trailer Tow package (prices start at $250): Class IV receiver hitch, heavy-duty engine cooling, trailer hitch zoom (available in Sport, Sport S, Overland, Rubicon)
  • Max Tow package (prices start at $995): Class IV receiver hitch, heavy-duty Dana 44 wide front and rear axles, heavy-duty engine cooling (available in Sport, Sport S, Rubicon)
  • Auxiliary Switch Group (prices start at $295): four programmable auxiliary switches (available in Sport, Sport S, Overland, Rubicon)
  • Cargo Management Group (prices start at $895): Truck bed 115-volt AC outlet, lockable rear under-seat storage bin (available in Sport S, Overland, Rubicon)
  • Premium LED Lighting (prices start at $995): LED daytime running lamps, LED front fog lamps, LED front turn signal and parking lamps, LED reflector headlamps, LED taillamps (Available in Overland, Rubicon)
Jeep Gladiator Sport

The Gladiator Sport carries a base price of $33,545. Standard features include a transfer case, skid plates, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker audio system, two USB ports, and Bluetooth.

Jeep Gladiator Sport S

The Gladiator Sport S starts at $36,745. In addition to the base trim's features, the Sport S comes with power windows and locks. The big difference is that the Sport S offers some features you can't get in the base trim. These come in a variety of option packages.

The 7-Inch Radio Group ($995) adds a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Cold Weather Group ($695) includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Jeep Active Safety Group ($995) comes with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. You can also add adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking with a package that costs $795.

Jeep Gladiator Overland

The Gladiator Overland starts at $40,395. In addition to the lower trims' features, the Overland comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and additional USB ports.

The Overland offers the Cold Weather, Jeep Active Safety, and adaptive cruise control packages. It also is available with the 8.4-Inch Radio and Premium Audio Group ($1,595), which adds an 8.4-inch touch screen, navigation, an Alpine audio system, and HD Radio.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

The Gladiator Rubicon starts at $43,545 and has off-road features that are not available in lower trims like front and rear locking differentials, a sway bar, rock rails, and a brush guard. It also comes with 33-inch tires and premium cloth upholstery. The Rubicon offers the same option packages as the Overland trim.

Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition

The Gladiator Launch Edition is a limited-production run of just 4,190 vehicles that commemorates its inaugural year. Retailing for $60,815, the Launch Edition comes with just about every feature you can get in a Gladiator, including 33-inch all-terrain tires, an 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system, navigation, leather upholstery, heated seats, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and more.

Which Gladiator Top Is Right for Me?

When it comes to roofs, the Gladiator gives you “top”-tions. This Jeep is the only pickup truck on the market designed to be driven with an open roof. Two tops are available – a soft top and a hardtop – and each has its benefits. With one you can quickly remove it so you can drive with the wind in your hair, and with the other you can enjoy maximum security thanks to its heavier roof.

The available tops are similar to the Gladiator's Wrangler sibling. The first option is the Sunrider soft top that can slide down once the rear window and rear quarter panels are removed.

The other option is the Freedom Top, which has two removable hardtop panels over the front seats. One person can quickly remove these panels, but you'll need a second person to help remove the full roof for the ultimate convertible drive.

There are a few things to consider before selecting a Gladiator top: how often do you want to drive without the roof on, how quiet of a ride do you want, and how much you prioritize security.

While models with the Sunrider top can quickly transform into a convertible, models with the Freedom Top provide more security and have quieter rides that are less susceptible to heavy wind noise.

Which Gladiator Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

When properly equipped, the Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds and haul up to 1,600 pounds. Those are good totals for the class. It does just fine for smaller towing jobs, but it can feel a little strained once the trailer weight climbs above 5,000 pounds. If you're going to regularly tow heavy loads, you may want to consider a full-size pickup truck.

Though the Gladiator's two-highest trims, the Overland and Rubicon, aren't slouches, they're not as capable when it comes to towing and hauling as the Sport or Sport S models. The two lower trims can achieve the maximum towing and hauling capacities. Overland models have a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds with a maximum hauling capacity of 1,140 pounds. Rubicon models have a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 pounds and a maximum hauling capacity of 1,190 pounds.

Which Gladiator Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

The Gladiator may not completely elbow the Tacoma off its current perch as the best off-road compact pickup, but it certainly has the chops to make the Toyota sweat. The Gladiator handles any terrain with ease. Its length leaves it a little short of matching the off-road wizardry of the shorter Wrangler, which has steeper approach and departure angles, but the Gladiator is still a truck Mad Max would happily take down Fury Road (and not just because of the name).

All four Gladiator models are very capable off-roading trucks, but if you're planning on doing a lot of driving on trails, you'll want to go with a Rubicon model. This trim comes standard with the Rock-Trac 4WD system with a 4:1 low-gear ratio transfer case that provides greater control by crawling at a lower speed. Rubicon trims also come with an electronic disconnecting front sway bar that adds about 30% more wheel articulation during challenging maneuvers, locking front and rear differentials, Dana 44 wide heavy-duty axles, a performance suspension featuring Fox shocks, and 33-inch tires that give the Gladiator over 11 inches of ground clearance.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jeep dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Jeep deals page.

See 2020 Jeep Gladiator specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator combines the go-anywhere capability of a Jeep with the workhorse attitude of a pickup truck. It also makes a fine daily driver thanks to its spacious cabin and intuitive features. In short, this truck should turn heads and pique the interest of a lot of pickup shoppers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Jeep's new Gladiator truck has been a long time coming. The Jeep Wrangler-based pickup had been rumored and teased ad nauseam before finally -- finally! -- debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year. Fortunately, after a lengthy test both on- and off-road in Northern California, I can tell you it was definitely worth the wait." -- CNET
  • "The 2020 Jeep Gladiator's extra length will surely filter out hardcore Jeep purists, but it retains more off-road capability than we expected while adding real pickup functionality. As for midsize-truck owners who always wanted a Jeep, they stand to gain more turnkey off-road performance plus a back seat that can carry actual adults. In the end, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator looks to be a runaway success when it finally lands at dealerships." -- Edmunds
  • "If there is one thing our brief time with the Gladiator has proven, it's that this truck is so much more than a Wrangler with a bed and quite possibly the new standard in the midsize pickup class. With so much function, so many features, and all of the capability you'd expect from a Jeep, it's hard to see where a Gladiator wouldn't be an attractive option for someone who needs a pickup and loves the trail." -- Truck Trend
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2020 Jeep Gladiator

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