Even though we’ve all pretty much seen the Jeep Gladiator, it’s still exciting to finally see the officially unveiled pickup truck. And it does indeed look like a simple Wrangler pickup. It has fully removable soft and hard tops, doors and a folding windshield. The doors are the same as the Wrangler Unlimited’s. It has round headlights, chunky fender flares and nearly the same interior. But it’s more than that, blending much of the beloved SUV with some unique features for the pickup truck.
For starters, the Gladiator features a new frame not shared with Wrangler that’s a whopping 31 inches longer than the one under the Wrangler Unlimited. The wheelbase of the Gladiator is also 19.4 inches longer than a Wrangler Unlimited. The Gladiator continues to use solid front and rear axles, both of which are Dana 44s in two available track widths, but the rear five-link coil suspension is a unique design developed for better ride quality.
The front half can lift open, too. The hard top available is still split into three sections, two T-top-style panels up front and a large back half. Most of the truck’s design is similar to the Wrangler, but the grille has been redesigned with larger openings for better cooling when hauling heavy loads. Inside, the rear seats now feature locking storage underneath.
The Gladiator will go on sale in the second quarter of 2019. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we expect base prices will be higher than equivalent Wranglers. More details including fuel economy will likely come in the next few months leading up to the on-sale date.