Jeep just jumped into the pickup truck game to take on Ford, Chevy, and Toyota with the ‘most capable midsize truck ever’

The 2019 Jeep Gladiator. Jeep
  • The 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck just made its world debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show.
  • The Gladiator draws heavily upon new JL Series Jeep Wrangler.
  • The midsize Gladiator will be a rival for the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon.
  • It’s powered by a 285-horsepower, 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • A 260-horsepower diesel engine will also be available.
  • The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will reach US showrooms in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Official pricing is not yet available.

Jeep is back in the pickup game. Fiat Chrysler’s venerable SUV brand has reentered the pickup truck market after a 27-year absence with the new Jeep Gladiator.

Unveiled on Wednesday at the 2018 LA Auto Show, the 2019 Gladiator will be the first pickup truck in Jeep’s lineup since the XJ Cherokee-based MJ Comanche was killed off in 1992.

Jeep’s midsize Gladiator will be a direct rival for the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger when it reaches US showrooms in the second quarter of 2019.

Jeep Gladiator 2020

And Jeep isn’t pulling punches. The brand has already dubbed the Gladiator “the most capable midsize truck ever.”

“Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility, and functionality resulting in the most capable midsize truck ever,” Tim Kuniskis, head of the Jeep Brand in North America, said in a statement.

Read more: Honda just unveiled a new all-American SUV to take on Ford, Nissan, and Chevy.

The Gladiator’s styling draws heavily from the new JL Series Wrangler. However, the Gladiator is two and a half feet longer than the four-door Wrangler. Like the Wrangler, the roof and doors are removable.

All Gladiators will come standard with FCA’s trusty 285-horsepower, 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine and six-speed manual transmission. An eight-speed automatic is available as an option. A 260-horsepower, 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 will follow in 2020.

Jeep Gladiator

The Gladiator will come available with Jeep’s Command-Trac and Rock-Trac four-wheel-drive systems. Dana 44 axles, front and rear axle lockers, a limited slip differential, electronic sway-bar disconnect, and 33-inch, off-road tires. It will also have a 43.6-degree approach angle, 20.3-degree breakover angle, a 26-degree departure angle, and 11.1 inches of ground clearance. In other words, this thing will be able to take care of business off-road.

According to Jeep, the Gladiator will be able to drive through 30 inches of water and tow up to 7,650 pounds.

Jeep Gladiator 2020

Even though it’s a rough and tumble off-roader, the Gladiator still features a fair amount of modern tech, such as an 8.4-inch touchscreen running FCA’s fourth-generation Uconnect infotainment system. There is also a forward-facing camera mounted behind the middle slot of the front grille that allows the driver to see obstructions ahead while off-roading.

Jeep has not announced official pricing for the Toledo, Ohio-built Gladiator.