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2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Drive Tested

The most anticipated Jeep of recent years is also one of the most authentic, of which they deserve with all the letters their name and surname. A Wrangler in its versatile facet and almost no sacrifice in its capabilities.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 2020

From the Comanche that based on the Cherokee XJ, we did not see a Jeep that came from the assembly line as a pick-up. Not long ago, on the Wrangler JK, the same FCA sold through its Mopar division the JK-8, but that was a preparation that did not come from the factory as such, even if it was guaranteed. In short, it was not a development of zeros as the Gladiator is, a name that, by the way, revives after 31 years.

Yes, Gladiator can be summed up as a Wrangler pick-up. Still, it is much more than a transformation by involving profound technical modifications that result in virtually an unpublished platform. Because yes, the rigid double-axis scheme with front differential locks is maintained and rear and integral traction connectable with gearbox, in addition to the same engine and box of other six-cylinder Wrangler. Still, about an Unlimited four-door, a Gladiator is 75 larger, its wheelbase 48 larger, and that remains more or less equal is the height and width, which is identical. Comparing the Rubicon variants, the Gladiator tries with led light compensate for the fact that its rear overhang is 26 centimeters more extensive with .9 centimeters more clearance, which affects the angle of exit that is in 26º and not in 37, as in a Wrangler. The ventral angle also reduced due to elongation, with 20.3º instead of 22.6. The attack does not suffer so much, with 43.4º in Gladiator Rubicon and not 43.9.

And since it is the Rubicon that we have tested, it is worth quoting factory extras such as the detachable front stabilizer bar to increase the suspension travel. The Dana 44 axles attached to 33-inch diameter wheels on 17-inch wheels, the capacity of wading rivers up to 76 centimeters deep, tow hooks front and rear, and additional protections for the crankcase, all together with high-performance Fox shock absorbers.

Now, beyond its capabilities, we also talk about a pick-up, and it cannot ignore that it loads 720 kilograms and up to 3.47 tons. And the bat was thought in detail, with a dampened opening aluminum gate, although the box itself made of steel, a completely protected surface, a 115V socket, rails to organize the load and even car led lights on both sides within the same. It is not the typical one that illuminates from above, of which they are useless when the cover used.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Overall dimensions and dimensions Gladiator Rubicon vs. Wrangler Rubicon:

Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon:

Length x width x height x wheelbase: 478x187x186x300 cm

Overhangs: 74/103 cm

Front / ventral / rear angles: 43.9º / 22.6º / 37º

Clearance: 27.4 cm

Gladiator Rubicon:

Length x width x height x wheelbase: 553x187x188x348 cm

Overhangs: 75/129 cm

Front / ventral / rear angles: 43.4º / 20.3º / 26º

Clearance: 28.3 cm

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 2020

Inside identity

A posture of vertical and dominant handling, the almost straight crystals, and very easy to dirty on the sides and the minimum isolation of the noise thanks to the low aerodynamics are no surprises in the cabin of the Gladiator.

Nor is the successful combination of modernity with retro details unusual because of four removable doors but with fluffy plastic, similar skin on the board, and a touch screen that even controls a front camera that can wash, it drops a lot of mud. We pass easily removable roof panels, a windshield that can fold with a set of keys included. With a chest with manual unlocking from the outside, and a traction system manageable from the traditional lever to connect the front axle in 4H and the reducer (4L ), while the differentials and the stabilizer resort to very easy to understand buttons and knobs for those who have previous off-road experience.

It is the same charisma of a Wrangler, but with more space for those who travel back and with the possibility of taking more than what can accompany us on a trip for leisure purposes, be it tables, tents, bicycles or whatever It can happen to someone as long as it fits.

But if we return to the sophistication with this traditional concept coexists, we will find some led lights that provide an excellent field of vision at night. Active cruise control that, curiously, can also function as a normal one without stopping by itself to the vehicle to detect an obstacle and even a steering wheel that already adjusts in-depth, as in the Wrangler JL. Just don’t expect such friendly seats if we stay there for several hours; there is an occasional sacrifice in refinement, but that’s fine, that’s what a Grand Cherokee is for if you want more luxury.

As a nod to the ingenious, under the rear bench, there are drawers with key, a place does not waste.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Usual character

If we are aware of what a Gladiator is, there are really few reproaches and yes more than a surprise, because we have to start from that, beyond its still modern V6 Pentastar together with the always excellent eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, everything the rest responds to a construction style of an authentic SUV that no longer survives in the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, nor in the Land Rover Defender, nor in the Toyota Land Cruiser or in the most common pick-ups.

We were talking behind two rigid axes. Still, it is also a director of recirculating spheres that refuses to migrate to the already typical pinion and rack.

Guiding the Gladiator is accurate to its standards because turning the steering wheel is a very easy task because there is more assistance. The answer is not the fastest, there is a slight but tolerable game, and the occasional correction required in highway, the good driver, ends up getting used to and even learns to keep up with the rest of the Mexican traffic. A little extra concentration is enough, nothing stressful, and that the performance is very decent for this mole of 2.3 tons in a vacuum. With 12.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h, 9.5 in the overflow of 80 to 120 km / h and braking from 43.8 meters from 100 to 0 km / h, a very respectable data for so much mass and for very specific off-road tires whose priority is not the grip on the pavement. In addition, emergency detention was stable and safe,

The good energy of its 3.6 of 285 hp and 260 lb-ft is complemented by the excellent start of the first gear with a very short ratio of 4.7: 1 and that we are not talking about connecting the Rubicon’s 4 to 1 gearbox. If you add the obedient response of the transmission, we have a great argument in favor. Still, the best thing by far is the suspension: the ride quality is better than any medium pick-up we know and that the latter has a double triangle forward. If at all, he struggles comfortably with a. Still, an Amarok can not face what a Gladiator, who, despite his unexpectedly high comfort, swallows unevenness, ditches, and even jumps as if nothing happened, no strange noises, no crunches, no disconcerting vibrations, the structure also does not suffer. When demanding to the maximum the routes of the tires, there are no flexions that prevent to open or close boxes or doors.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Only the extra length will make it easier to hit the middle or back if we face very extreme inclinations, but is that a limitation in a more playful pick-up? Likewise, the low and the defense prepared for any eventual scraping, and the only thing we noticed delicate during our test was some plastic wheel arches that detached easily. Still, we also put back in place with some pressure on the staples that They hold them.

We then left with a vehicle that, for 1,119,000 pesos for the Rubicon as of July 2019, looks like nothing. There is nothing with its character, tools for use outside asphalt, good performance, versatility, and equipment. Abductor? More expensive, more expensive, and more use in fast tracks. The Gladiator fills a space that nobody could satisfy and achieves it with all the experience of the most iconic Jeep of all.

Those who were left in doubt and cared about such information in a toy, the average consumption was 8 kilometers per liter, including our stretch of highway.

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