The moment arrived.
After months of hype and a grand arrival, I finally got my chance to go behind the wheel of the Jeep® Gladiator.
My first couple of test drives with the Ram 1500 and Chrysler Pacifica were wonderful experiences as each ride displayed what’s made the two award-winning vehicles so notable among their segments.
But as fun as those rides were, the build-up and anticipation did not compare with the Gladiator. I mean, to drive the first version of a resurrected Jeep brand truck was a special opportunity. What do we have to say now that we had the chance to take it for a spin?
Well, one thing we can say is it did not disappoint.
THAT’S RIGHT, I’M IN A TRUCK!
Throughout our drive of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4, I needed to remind myself that I was indeed carrying a truck bed behind me. Behind the wheel, the midsize truck was balanced and seemed to have a lightweight-type feel to it on the road.
Similar to when I drove the Ram 1500, I never felt like the vehicle took up too much of the road and it drove comfortably, just like I was in a traditional Jeep brand vehicle. And don’t let the lightweight feel fool you. The Gladiator still holds a best-in-class available 7,650 pound towing capacity1 and best-in-class available 1,600 pound payload1.
MADE FOR OUTDOORS … OR YOUR MORNING COMMUTE
Though I didn’t have the privilege, or driving ability to be honest, to go off-road, the Gladiator showed plenty evidence why it’s the only Trail Rated® pickup truck ever2.
Holding standard heavy-duty Dana® 44 front and rear solid axles, the truck seemed ready to take on any terrain3. On a couple of instances where I had to go over the occasional speed bump or pothole, the Gladiator glided over the hazards near-seamlessly.
For those who need a vehicle for the outdoors, or drive on roads in great need of repaving, the Gladiator feels ready-made for some of the toughest environments.
A moment that stood out to me came when we took the pickup truck onto the highway. Heading up the ramp, I stepped on the accelerator to merge into the lane.
Now, with my regular car, this would cause the engine to power up as if it’s working its way to the speed I want. As I accelerate, my engine sounds louder and louder until it finally settles into gear.
With the Jeep Gladiator, when I push the pedal to speed up, the Pentastar® V6 engine made what felt to be about the same amount of noise as when I was backing out of the parking spot. It was like going up simple inclines on the highway felt like a warm-up jog compared to the rugged outdoors it’s built to withstand.
Needless to say, I was bummed when the test drive came to end.
To check out incentives, offers and lease deals on the Jeep Gladiator or other FCA US LLC vehicles, visit our Chrysler Capital Offers page.
1Based on the FCA US LLC Midsize 4×4 Crew Cab Segment. When properly equipped. See dealer for details.
2Based on the FCA US LLC Midsize 4×4 Crew Cab Segment, available front and rear locking differentials, cab and bed rock rails, a disconnecting sway bar, two front and two rear two hooks, a 4:1 transfer case, 33-inch off-road tires, skid plates and an off-road camera.
3Always drive within your ability and experience level and consistent with conditions.