LA LIVE: 2020 Jeep Gladiator [Video]

The Jeep pickup is officially here.

Jeep fans have been waiting impatiently for years to see a new pickup rocking the seven-slot grille. That time has come. This is the 2019 Jeep Gladiator, a Wrangler-based, midsize pickup for those who want to combine the fun and funky Wrangler ownership experience with a serious helping of practicality.

So, what is it, exactly? At launch, the answer is pretty straightforward. The Gladiator is a midsize pickup fundamentally based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The fact that it shares its roots with the four-door version of Jeep's iconic off-roader has significant implications for its spec sheet. Let's dive in.

For starters, the Gladiator is debuting only as a crew cab. It offers the same seating configuration as the Wrangler Unlimited (2+3) and, obviously, just as many doors.

Width and wheel track are both shared with the Unlimited as well, but length is a different story. Both the wheelbase and body have been stretched nearly two feet (19" between the wheels and 20" from nose to tail).

This elongation pays serious dividends when it comes to capability. Not only is the 2020 Jeep Gladiator the Wrangler pickup many have been begging for, but it also has some reasonably impressive credentials. Payload capacity ranges from 1,105 to 1,600 pounds depending on configuration, and towing capacity likewise varies from 4,000 to a very respectable 7,650 pounds.

Yes, you're reading that correctly. This is a legitimate midsize pickup. Oh, and you can get it with a six-speed manual if that's your jam, but if you do so, you're limiting yourself in the capability department. FCA's eight-speed auto is the upgrade.

The only engine available at launch is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Jeep says a diesel is coming (the same to be offered in the Wrangler lineup) but as with all things oil-burning right now, we're in the believe-it-when-we-see-it camp.

So it's a pickup, but is it a Jeep? Sure, its length will compromise its off-road capabilities, but if that's your hang-up, you're looking for something different. The top comes off. The windshield folds down. The axles are beefy. The tires are knobby. What more could you really ask for?

Oh, pricing. Not yet. Look for that closer to the Gladiator's on-sale date (some time before the end of June, 2019). Stay tuned.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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