2020 Jeep Gladiator: A Different Type Of Jeep
There was no place to run, no place to hide during my week with the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator. I had people walk up and ask me how I liked it at the grocery store, the cleaners, and a number of folks even gave me a thumbs up at traffic lights. You would have thought I was driving an exotic sports car or something.
Well, actually … the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overall 4×4 I test drove for a week this July was far better than any sports car. In addition to it being uniquely styled, it is designed to go anywhere and do anything (tows up to 7,650 pounds). This was one of those weeks I truly would have loved to have the opportunity to head down to Barnhill Mountain to get it super-dirty through the mud pits and test the durability of the paint job as I passed through tight heavily wooded ravines and trails at the best off-roading area I have found in Texas. Alas, there simply was not enough time to take the drive.
Nonetheless, the kids loved the Gladiator, possibly even more than Kristin and I. Within minutes of our first drive, our 10 year old daughter asked if she could have one for her sweet 16. She’s a truck girl with Jeep fever and the Gladiator gives her the perfect combination. While some people have commented the five foot bed is too short, McKenzie and her dog found it a perfect spot.
Drives like a….
Even though Kristin had another vehicle that week, we drove the Jeep everywhere. We wanted to take off the dogs, go topless and fold down the windshield but triple digit temps and a sizzling sun discouraged us to leave the air conditioning. Although built for off-road adventures, it was quite comfortable on our on-road travels throughout Dallas and Ellis Counties. Road speeds of 60, 70 and 80 miles per hour felt smooth and comfortable, although admittedly not as smooth as a ride in Jeep’s sibling luxury models of the Grand Cherokee (most comfortable seats of any SUV I have driven).
Ground clearance of the Overland 4×4 is high, which might cause some shorter individuals a bit of angst as they climb in, but if they are even a tad athletic they will have no complaints. Our children, only in the 4 foot tall altitude, had no problems whatsoever and enjoyed every minute with this off-roading marvel.
My test model sported a 3.6 liter engine with an 8-speed automatic which provides 19 mpg overall. The EPA estimates we would get 17 mpg during our slow traffic endeavors and 22 mpg on the highway. I did not actually measure my driving results, although I can say I only used a half tank of fuel even though I drove it every chance I got all week.
The base MSRP of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4 lists at $40,395. My test model added an Active Safety Group, Adaptive Cruise Control, a Cargo Management System, a number of special transmission extras, a Trac-Lock anti-spin differential, spray in bedliner and a special body color package. The total, including a hefty destination charge ($1,495) came to $57, 230.