Over the past six months, we’ve been living with a brand new 2020 Jeep Gladiator and building it up for our most ambitious project of the year. Along the way, we’ve transformed the truck into what we hope is a world-class off-roading rig. We’ve taken it on the road, we’ve taken it off-road, and in this video Tommy and Andre cover what we’ve learned along the way.
So what are the good parts of our “Gobi Glad” Jeep Gladiator? Of course, one part of ownership that’s undeniably great is the truck’s sheer off-road capability. Even in stock configuration, Tommy bashed his way through the Rubicon Trail. We’ve since lifted our truck and put it on larger 35-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. From the factory, the suspension is set up to make the ride comfortable both on and off-road, and that hasn’t changed much with the upgrades in place.
Then there’s the fact that the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, even in Rubicon trim, is pretty much customizable from end to end. The possibilities are nearly endless, and we showed what FCA itself is offering by fitting a host of items from the Jeep Performance Parts catalog to this truck. Things like snorkel, off-road lights, bumpers, rock sliders, and more — you can pretty much do what you what. Even just sticking with the base truck, the interior quality and infotainment system are definitely better parts of the new Gladiator.
What about the bad parts?
While the Jeep Gladiator’s off-road capability and customization options are pretty much second to none, there is a price to pay for that. Get a fully specced-out Rubicon, and your bank account will take a hit to the tune of about $55,000. That’s what we paid for ours, and that’s not even the top of the line. It’s by far the most expensive midsize truck, and its price may push the Gladiator out of reach for those who want a solid off-roader.
The standard halogen headlights (if you don’t get the LED Lighting Group) are poor as well. The off-road lights improve visibility when you’re on the trail, but the normal headlights? Forget it. The LED lights should be standard equipment, at least on the top end (most expensive) trim.
A few other bad points against the Gladiator include seat comfort, breakover capability and standard safety technology. As you’d expect, the Gladiator suffers from breakover issues because of its wheelbase. The driver’s seat doesn’t go far enough back for taller drivers. Although the Gladiator does have available safety equipment as part of options packages, it does not get staples like forward collision warning or lane keep assist. It also only has four standard airbags.
Overall, we’ve been happy with how the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has held up over the past several months. But when you take the good, bad and ugly into account, there are some points you want to consider if you’re in the market.
We also have a major off-road shakedown coming up soon, so stay tuned to TFLtruck for more updates!