4-Wheel Fun

Jeeps and pickup trucks are both riding a huge wave of popularity, but Jeep is about to raise the bar even higher with the new Gladiator that combines elements of both.
Words by Bill Lindsey | November 29, 2019 | Luxury

Born to serve a nation at war that had to transport men and supplies through swamps and over mountains, Jeeps are now more routinely encountered in mall parking lots. When the Wrangler was offered with four doors, Jeeps evolved from weekend playtoys to daily drivers. However, the essentially non-existent cargo area forced many prospective Jeepers to instead choose a pickup truck capable of hauling bicycles, kayaks or a pallet of sod. Jeep resolved the cargo issue by adding a 5-foot bed to the Wrangler, creating the Jeep Gladiator. The new model combines the Ryan Reynolds-like charm of the Wrangler with the Vin Diesel practicality of a pickup truck. Powered by a 285-hp V6 connected to either an 8-speed automatic or a more manly 6-speed manual transmission, the Gladiator won’t embarrass you on I-95 on-ramps. A diesel version will arrive soon with a towing capacity of 7,000-pounds to further enhance the appeal of a model that is already setting sales records. If you’ve always wanted a Jeep but couldn’t justify a vehicle with less cargo capacity than a Fiat 500, grab your checkbook and head over to the nearest dealer;