Jeep has been teasing the reintroduction of the old Jeep Gladiator pickup for a while. Now it’s finally here.
When we last saw it on the road, it was called the Jeep Scrambler, but it appears Jeep decided to go back to the Gladiator name. Scrambler sounds more Jeep-like, but Gladiator sounds more formidable.
Like the trusty old Wrangler it’s built on, the Gladiator will come in multiple trims – whose names are already familiar to Jeep fans; Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon. They are all also completely customizable, so you can build a Jeep to the exact specifications you’re looking for – including transmission and engine.
Under the hood will be a 3.6-liter V6, which at full blast will be capable of 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. You’re going to need all that to pull all the weight this thing is capable of pulling. The two transmissions you get to choose between are the standard 6-speed manual and an 8-speed automatic. There’s also word of a 3.0-liter diesel V6 showing up sometime in the next year or two. The base Sport model will allow you to pull a 1,600-pound payload and 7,650-pound tow rating. That’s a LOT – even more than the Tacoma and on par with the Ford Ranger, which really gives you some perspective as to what this vehicle is meant for; the Gladiator is a real pickup. Wranglers could tow, but they couldn’t THAT much.
The interior? It’s pretty much the same old Wrangler. Same new Wrangler, actually; Jeep interiors have been getting more and more luxurious and even a bit more complicated as time goes on. Gorgeous leather interiors are standard, as is the 5-inch touchscreen, though you can upgrade to a 7-inch or 8.4-inch if you like off roading in luxury. You can also choose between the same multi-panel soft top or hardtop roofs, just like on the Wrangler (we love the matching color hardtops they introduced a few years back. Big improvement.
And as for off road performance? This thing rocks. It’s a Wrangler, after all. There’s really no better vehicle for rock-crawling or spinning through mud. On the Sport and Overland models, you’ll find Command Trac, and the Rubicon will have Rock-Trac with locking differentials and a disconnecting sway bar.
That’s not all the Gladiator has to offer, but it is enough to get us more than interested. If you want one, the base Sport model will start at $35,040.