Jeep Designed Its New Gladiator Pickup To Be The Most Capable Off Road Truck In Its Class – Here’s Why It’s Special

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Of course, the new Jeep pickup has crazy off-road capabilities. Here is a spotlight on what makes the Gladiator Rubicon so special. 

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Jeep’s new Gladiator midsize pickup truck is no ordinary grocery-getter. Unlike many of Jeep’s peers in the midsize pickup segment, Jeep isn’t offering any Gladiator trim with just two-wheel drive. Every Gladiator will power all four wheels. The Sport, S, and Overland come with Jeep’s Command-Trac part-time 4WD system. The Rubicon gets the 4:1 Rock-Trac Heavy-Duty Part-Time 4WD System. Jeep’s Gladiator has many segment-exclusive off-road features. For example, it is the only pickup truck in its class that can electronically de-couple the front sway bars to allow for insane articulation over rocks.  Here is a rundown of what makes the Gladiator so special for those who will venture off-road.

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Jeep Gladiator – Manual Transmission Standard On Every Trim

The Jeep Gladiator doesn’t just offer a stick shift on one base or one very expensive trim. Every trim gets the stick shift as standard equipment. If you want an automatic, Jeep has one available as an option.

Jeep Gladiator – Off-Road Forward-Facing Camera

During steep approaches, the Gladiator’s nose will be pointed directly at the sky. So how will Gladiator drivers know what the trail ahead looks like? Lesser trucks will deploy the passenger as a spotter. Jeep opted for technology. It installed a forward-facing TrailCam that allows the driver to see what’s ahead on the infotainment screen. It even has its own washer (see video).

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Jeep Gladiator – Rear Rock Rails

Go over a large rock with the rear wheels and then bring the cargo bed body down on top of that rock as you pass and you could do thousands of dollars in damage to a lesser pickup. Jeep installed rear cargo area rock rails to protect the cargo body from damage. Each side can support one-third of the vehicle’s weight.

If the rails should become bent or damaged, they come off with three easily accessible bolts.

Jeep Gladiator – Dana 44 Axles

The Gladiator has the Dana 44 axles that off-roaders want – on every trim. Our own Craig Fitzgerald (no stranger to axle swaps) says these are one of the top five reasons the Gladiator is special. You may not know Dana 44s from Dana Plato, but trust us, these matter and changing them out would cost you thousands if Jeep had opted for lesser axles.

Jeep Gladiator – Fox Dampers

Fox makes the shocks and dampers that most off-road enthusiasts want. Rather than install cheap shocks and let the new owner deal with the upgrade, Jeep went with the Fox shocks front and rear.

Jeep Gladiator – Full-Size Spare

On the trail, a flat means the day ends. Unless one has a full-sized spare like the Gladiator comes with.

Jeep Gladiator – Locking Front and Rear Differentials

Off-roaders call them lockers, and off-road enthusiasts will tell you that if your truck doesn’t have them front and rear you are just not serious. Jeep Gladitor’s locking differentials are just the flip of a switch away.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Jeep Gladiator – Open-Air Driving

Only Jeep offers a fully-open pickup truck. The made-in Massachusetts Haartz soft-top or optional Jeep hard-top is removable. The doors come off. The windshield drops down. If you want the sun on your face and the wind in your hair the Gladiator is the pickup for you.

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John Goreham

John Goreham

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