2020 Jeep Gladiator Mopar Review: Open to the world

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mopar Review: Open to the world

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is one of those trucks that gets a lot of attention. It stands out thanks to its size, shape, and form. But what really draws attention is that this is a Jeep truck. After decades of being absent in the market, Jeep finally came back with a pickup, but with the help of Mopar, the Gladiator is getting some unique treatments that make it even more badass. We had a chance to drive the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mopar during FCA’s What’s New event on the off-road trail inside its proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and we had fun driving the open-air truck with bigger tires and more ground clearance.

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Our Gladiator came equipped with about a dozen or so Mopar parts that ranged from lift kits to styling parts. The model we drove had a 2-inch lift over the Rubicon model, which allows for more ground clearance—something helpful when you’re off-roading in a midsize truck that has a wheelbase of 137.3 inches. The 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, which give the truck a bit more traction on the mud or sand, also contribute to the added capability.

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Jeep Gladiator

Research the Jeep Gladiator on MSN Autos

Speaking of mud, thanks to the recent rains in the Detroit area, the proving ground’s trail was quite muddy, which made the Gladiator even more fun. In one part of the trail, the mud was so deep and thick that it was hard getting through—even when we had four low engaged and both lockers on. But after backing up and gaining momentum, the Gladiator Mopar was able to get through and get itself dirty.

Our Gladiator was also equipped with tube doors, sill plates, rock rails (which are thicker than the stock rails found in the Rubicon model), and a mesh sun cover, which prevented some tree branches from hitting our heads. Mopar is currently developing side mirrors for the Gladiator, as they currently don’t offer them—weird because they do offer them on the Wrangler. This means that if you live in a state where side mirrors are required, you won’t be able to drive the Mopar Gladiator with the tube doors on open roads.

a large red truck driving down a dirt road: Mopar Jeep Gladiator Firecracker Red 1© Motor Trend Staff Mopar Jeep Gladiator Firecracker Red 1

Just like all Gladiators, our version was powered by the 3.6-liters V-6 engine that produces 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It would be really nice if we could drive a more “Moparized” version and swap the engine for the 1,000-hp V-8 Hellephant that was announced at last year’s SEMA Show. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find that there are some shops already doing that, and this Instagram celeb might be the very first person to put the 1,000-hp engine in his matte purple Gladiator.

As far as how the Gladiator Mopar drives, it’s a bit hard to tell from the 20-minute loop that we got on the trail, but we did notice that the ground clearance helped in some of the most difficult parts of trail. One thing I noticed is that it was really hard to see out of this Gladiator; with the windshield down, the thickness of the glass and its frame block the view a little more—and visibility is already not great.

But all in all, the 2020 Gladiator Mopar offers a wonderful open-air experience. Whether you’re driving it in the desert or on a shaded trail, this truck has the go-anywhere capability, and with the available Mopar parts, it just ups the ante.

Research the Jeep Gladiator on MSN Autos


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