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Here’s How Jeep Tested the 2020 Gladiator Pickup Truck

Forget the F-150 Raptor and Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss. The go-to pickup for off-roading is the Jeep Gladiator, preferably in Rubicon flavor. But in addition to its lifestyle-oriented character, how does the Gladiator stack up as a truck?
2020 Jeep Gladiator 75 photos
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Jeep released a video on that, going through the torture-testing procedures from the development period. The pre-release testing footage comes from the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona. Within a 50-mile radius of the site, the automaker put the Gladiator through its paces on elevations raging from 500 to 6,500 feet.

Driving up on a grade with a 7,650-pound trailer in tow is no biggie for Jeep’s new pickup, and neither is fording through up to 30 inches of water. The Gladiator also offers best-in-class payload (1,600 pounds) without compromising the ride comfort. To this end, the rear suspension is a five-link coil spring design inspired by the Ram 1500.

Equipped with the largest brakes in the segment and an 84:1 crawl ratio, the Gladiator can also tackle rocky trails thanks to 11.1 inches of ground clearance. When the going gets extremely off-road, the lockable Dana 44 axles can be engaged at the touch of a buttom.

Similar to Ford’s promise of Built Ford Tough, the Gladiator appears to be a dependable partner both on and off the road. On the downside, Jeep’s workhorse is more expensive than the equivalent trim level of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited.

It’s estimated the Gladiator would be $4,000 costlier, translating to a starting price in the ballpark of $35,500. For the Rubicon, expect to pony up an additional $10,000, and that doesn’t account for the folding soft top. Two hardtop options are also available, either in the bodywork’s color or finished in black.

“There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pickup truck buyers everywhere,” explains Tim Kuniskis, head of Jeep in North America. “Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility, and functionality resulting in the most capable mid-size truck ever.”

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