Color me spoiled. I got to drive the Jeep truck and I’m in love.
Here’s a truck we’ve been anticipating since its unveiling… the return of the Jeep truck. Did you know Jeep stopped making trucks in 1992? That means it’s been 17 years since a new truck bore the Jeep emblem. When I had the chance to drive 2020 Jeep Gladiator I felt like I’d won the lottery! And yes, this is the 2020 Jeep truck everyone is talking about.
See, I’m a huge fan of the Jeep Wranglers, and I love pickup trucks. Off-roading makes me happy, but I also have a family to chauffeur around town to sports events, play dates, and grocery stores. So, 4-doors is a must, as is plenty of cargo space and the ability to drive off-pavement now and then. That’s a tall order for a family car. When I saw the Gladiator, which starts at about $33,000 and tops out at about $57,000, I thought I might have found the perfect blend of things I love about the Jeep but need in a pickup truck.
So, what did I think after a week of driving the Jeep Gladiator?
An Honest 2020 Jeep Gladiator Review: What I Loved, and Didn’t Love.
Let’s start with the “didn’t love” list, cause it’s super short and superficial.
Leather interior. Now if I’m going to throw the top back, and take the doors off, chances are the truck is going to get wet inside. Maybe some of y’all can keep a towel handy and dry things the moment they get wet, but that’s not me. I’m usually having way too much fun to be bothered. So, while it felt nice to sit on once the AC cooled down the black leather seats, I would opt for a cloth interior.
Road noise. I get that this is a Jeep and the soft top wasn’t helping, but I quickly decided I couldn’t handle the noise for everyday driving, even if I was having the time of my life for a week. I’d have to go for the hardtop if the Gladiator was going to be my daily driver.
See, I told you. Totally superficial.
Now for all the things I loved…
- It’s a Jeep with a pickup truck bed for crying out loud. I don’t know how anyone could resist this best-of-both-worlds combination. I’ve wanted a truck for years and I found the truck bed so useful on a daily basis. We drove this truck the week of Independence Day, which meant multiple parades and fireworks shows in multiple towns. Lawn chairs, blankets, coolers, and backpacks galore. And they all fit in the bed of the truck. And when we got to the shows, the kids could set their chairs up in the bed and have a great view without being down in the bug-infested grass. I also made use of the bed when I picked up 8 fruit trees, 14 blueberry bushes and 2 grapevines at the local nursery’s sale.
- Interior space. The Gladiator doesn’t look very big, but even my 6′ 2″ husband and brothers were comfortable riding in the front and back seats. At one point I took my 6′ 5″ cousin, his two boys and my two boys exploring down a county road near our house… top thrown back, kids squealing with joy, and everyone with plenty of room.
- It’s so so easy to put the soft-top back. Like, two little clips easy. Right up near the sun visors are two latches. Flip them down, have a person stand on the step-rail on either side and just fold the top back. That’s it. In 20 seconds you have a convertible truck.
- It can tow. While we didn’t need to tow any trailers this week, I loved knowing the Gladiator can tow up to 7,600 pounds and you can put up to 1,600 pounds in the bed, earning this midsize truck kudos both payload and towing.
What People Said During My Week with the 2020 Jeep Truck
“That is a super cool truck!” was one of the most common compliments we heard, but we also got a lot of curious onlookers who weren’t at all shy about walking or driving around it, sizing it up and taking pictures. I overheard a lot of conversations about “that new Jeep-truck” and smiled as people pointed and waved at traffic lights.
I think my favorite tho was when a police officer stopped me at an intersection after a fireworks show, came and walked around the truck with his flashlight, then tapped on my window just to say, “Ma’am, someone’s been messing with your Jeep! It has a truck bed on it!”
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We put the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland to work today! Found fruit bushes and trees 50% off and bought an orchard. The Gladiator was perfect for hauling them all home. #jeep #2020gladiator #jeeplife #jeepnation #jeeps #jeepgladiator #gladiator #jeeplove #gladiatoroverland #jeepsofinstagram #itsajeepthing #OIIIIIIIO #gardening #orchard #trees
So, Is the Gladiator Jeep Truck the Perfect Combination?
After a week with the Gladiator, it made us think twice. If you’d asked me which I’d pick if offered both a Jeep Wrangler and a pickup truck, it would have been a hard decision. Would we give up the covered cargo area of a Jeep Wrangler to have a pickup truck bed and towing capabilities? Would we give up the larger back seat of a full-size pickup truck for the off-road fun and capability of a Jeep? In all, it’s a nice compromise, or best of both worlds: All the capability of Jeep and a pickup truck bed make you think that maybe you can have both.
Disclosure: The Gladiator was loaned to me by FCA for the purpose of this 2020 Jeep Gladiator Review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.