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Detailed Notes And Images On New Jeep Gladiator

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gladiator dirt bikes.jpg

John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
5-8-2019

Last night, the GM-Trucks.com team were introduced to the new Jeep Gladiator at a media event in Massachusetts.  We thought that the GM-Trucks.com membership might be interested in hearing and seeing a few things that we found notewothy. 

 

jeep gladiator event.jpg

 

To begin, the meeting was standing room only. All of these media events are popular, but this one was a packed house. Media from the six New England states were in attendance along with writers from Car and Driver, Autoweek, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and CarTalk. In addition to the content managers from every major online shopping site (CarGurus, iSeeCars, BestRide etc) there were also radio and TV media in attendance, including the host of Chasing Classic Cars. Josh and I could not remember a more well-attended meeting. FCA sent Jim Morrison, VP of FCA and head of Ram North America, along with a posse of four product managers to dive deep on the Gladiator. Jeep isn't adding the Gladiator to the Wrangler line, this is a full-whammy new product line for Jeep and FCA.

 

jeep rear suspension gladiator.jpg

 

The most important thing we took from the meeting is that the Gladiator, although made in the same Toledo production facility as Wrangler, is not a Wrangler with a bed. Sure, it shares its styling, that is the whole point. However, there are major differences. Look closely and you will see that the grill is different. Jeep opened up the airflow slots to enable better cooling. More importantly, the suspension is not shared with the Wrangler, though the capabilities end up similar. Jeep's designers pointed to the similarities to the Ram 1500 that the Gladiator has. The Gladiator is more of a Ram 1500 in terms of suspension than it is a Wrangler (Their words). 

 

gladiator lockers.jpg

 

Jeep is making a six-speed manual transmission the standard offering. Every trim has the six-speed manual.  The automatic is optional.  

 

gladiator fox shocks.jpg

 

Every Gladiator will come with Fox shocks standard, and electronically disconnecting front sway bars allow for greater articulation than other trucks in this class. 

 

gladiator locker switch.jpg

 

As every Colorado ZR2 owner likes to point out, your truck is rubbish unless it has front and rear lockers. Yup, Gladiator checks that important box. 

 

Jeep's Gladiator doesn't just have rock rails to protect its cabin body area, it also has rock rails that protect the cargo bed area. Each side of the cargo bed can support 1/3 of the full weight of the truck when hung up on a rock. 

 

gladiator spare tire.jpg

 

Every Gladiator also has a full-size spare up under the cargo area.

 

The bed of the Gladiator is not full-size like in the Ram 1500 obviously. So Jeep designed a 45-degree opening for the tailgate that allows the Gladiator to haul sheet stock home from the home improvement palace.  

soft top gladiator image rear.jpg

 

Jeep will offer the new Gladiator standard with an open-air soft-top built in Acton Mass. by Haartz Corporation (Same supplier to Chevy's Camaro, Porsche 911 Targa, and BMW Z4, among others). The specially-designed soft-top was designed for Jeep to be easy to clean but also rugged and long-lasting. The optional tonneau cover is made from the same material on the same line to give the Jeep a perfectly matching set.  The two-piece hard-top is optional. All Gladiators have removable doors and a drop-down windscreen. 

 

 

The drivetrains of the Gladiator mirror the Wrangler's. Coming later this year is an all-new  3-liter turbo diesel engine option. Jeep is claiming that its long list of standard and optional off-road equipment makes its Gladiator the most capable off-road truck in America. We find it hard to argue that claim. 

 

The new Gladiator is in its second month of sales.  

 

gladiator open air.jpg

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I'm sorry, but this Gladiator is as ugly as a Chrysler PT cruiser or Pontiac Aztek!

I am sure it may be a great off-roader though :thumbs:

FCA needs to start modernizing the look of the Jeep. 

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16 hours ago, Sierra Dan said:

I'm sorry, but this Gladiator is as ugly as a Chrysler PT cruiser or Pontiac Aztek!

I am sure it may be a great off-roader though :thumbs:

FCA needs to start modernizing the look of the Jeep. 

The Jeep look works for Jeep very well, why would they ruin it by "modernizing" it?

What exactly do you think they have to gain?  You're not going to buy one even if they do follow your advice.

 

It's not really for me I think, but this truck is a hell of a package.  Finally got our Dakota convertible successor!

 

-Daver

 

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It is a Niche market vehicle for sure. Much like the Hummer H2 truck that was a flop.

Yes Jeep works for Jeep but I think they could have styled the rear end/bed a bit better.

Just my .02 cents.

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Very interesting vehicle. It looks like a mini H2. It sure does look like there is a lot of real estate hanging off behind that rear axle though. Even with that much clearance, I could see that being the limiting factor in these Jeep's off road abilities.  

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I had a chance to ride in one and see a few at the Jeep Beach event in Daytona a few weeks back. My wife has a Jeep jk and I am her mechanic. They are a lot of fun and I like the way they are put together with the modular design. Just like I feel a stock Jeep with standard tires  looks strange the Gladiator is an ugly duckling in stock form but will really shine when modified.  Here is one that Jeep has modified on display along with a few in oem form that I did not photograph. They definitely need a decent lift and 35” or larger tires.  I’m very curious about the diesel option and will check it out when it comes out but it will take a lot for me to give up my Chevy or her 2 door Jeep. 

EC3EA0CC-7749-4642-AF7E-95A0D7BA7C48.jpeg

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Thank you for the article.

 

It always amazes me how serious people take their brand loyalty.  If Chevy built the Wranglers, people would applaud them and the new Gladiator.  But since it is another brand, it gets pooped on. Maybe rightfully so here on a chevy truck site.  But I dont think so. 

 

I for one have owned multiple jeeps (srt8 cherokee with cam and vortech supercharger), multiple chevy trucks (have my lowered 2016 standard cab short bed and a 1970 C10 with big block on bags with short bed as I write this), ram 2500 lifted with cummins, and many others.  All had pros and cons. 

 

As a Jeep fan, I love the new gladiator concept.  I do think it would have looked better with a slightly shorter bed.  More inline with the H2T that someone mentioned above.  But I know they had to make it usable so people could haul something.   I do agree with the above comment that once lifted with larger tires, they are going to turn heads.

 

I have already gone out and priced a new rubicon with basically all options.  But I want to wait for more details on the diesel.  Almost 450 lbs torque in a Jeep will be amazing.

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