Move over Toyota Tacoma, there’s a new king of midsize pickup trucks – it’s the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. While the Tacoma enjoys several updates for the 2020 model year such as refreshed styling, Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities, and an available height-adjustable driver’s seat – well, the Gladiator offers all of this and more. It’s the fulfillment of the Jeep brand’s long-rumored pickup truck and it’s here to stand out. Follow along as we break down what makes the Jeep Gladiator the better buy – even before it hits dealerships this Summer (2019).
While Toyota opted to add an available height-adjustable driver’s seat for the latest model year, they were short-sighted as this feature highlights one of the Tacoma’s shortcomings – lack of adequate headroom. The backseat also poses the same problem and offers a smaller rear bench which makes for uncomfortable seating positions that just can’t hold a candle to the Gladiator. Regardless, the Jeep Gladiator has a removable roof and if we have to get down to the technicalities, well… that makes for unlimited headroom.
Crew-cab trucks offer plenty of room for passengers to travel in comfort, but when traveling without passengers the cabin is good for transporting cargo that’s too nice for the truck bed. While both brands take different approaches when it comes to backseat versatility, it’s the configurability of Jeep that has an advantage. The Gladiator offers seat cushions that flip up to reveal storage boxes on the floor while its backrest can fold flat as well. The Tacoma offers in-floor storage as well, but its cushions are forced to flip forward instead.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has dedicated a large portion of its most recent redesign efforts to the interiors of their fleet. FCA’s focus on interior quality shines in the all-new Ram 1500, a feat the automaker replicated in the impressive Gladiator as well. While the Tacoma offers a tacky plastic-heavy design (even on high-end trims), the Gladiator distributes its features generously across all trims including soft-touch door panels, low-gloss materials, dashboard stitching, and other subtle details. Gone are the days of when Jeep interiors were mocked for their rudimentary design – now it’s all about design that feels both premium and rugged, marking a new era for Jeep.
Entry and Exit
Both the Tacoma and the Gladiator offer off-road-focused trim levels that require big steps to get into their cabs. The Gladiator Overland trim offers running boards, but they’re so close to the actual door sills that they really don’t make a dent in reducing the step-in height, however, they also won’t be torn off if the pickup ventures off-road. What the Gladiator does offer that the Tacoma does not is a driver-side grab handle on the windshield pillar – it makes climbing into the Gladiator that much easier.
The Gladiator is four for four in these categories, and with good reason. Jeep took its time to develop and design the Gladiator after a 26-year absence from the pickup segment and it shows. Follow Miami Lakes Jeep on social media to stay up to date with the latest Gladiator news and to be the first to know when it rolls across our dealer lot.