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mid-size - truck
After more than a decade of waiting Jeep has finally decided to grace our showrooms with a new truck model. It may not have the charisma as some of the previous models, but it does suit our marketplace now. As this new model gives us what we really wanted. A Jeep and a truck all rolled into one package. And what was a better marriage than making the existing Wrangler into a pickup.
Now for Jeep they did have a few other options as Fiat has the Toro pickup and Jeep does have the Renegade. They could have given us a rebirth of the Comanche through the Renegade as showcased back at the Moab in 2016. Or they could have built a Cherokee truck off of the Fiat Toro platform, as this model was a pretty close look to that of the Cherokee in the first place. But instead they gave us something closer to the Gladiator concept from 2012.
As the market was looking for something along the lines of a true Jeep truck, Jeep instead gave us what we really wanted and built the Gladiator.
Up front the Gladiator makes great use of the standard bar grille from Jeep along with the full capable off road inspired bumper. But the high use of plastics again make this a front end not truly worthy of those long trips into the great wide open. Sure it may all blend together well, but running that bumper up against a tree wouldn't be all that great.
Out back is where you will find the biggest changes from the Wrangler model. Sure it may have something to do with the fact that the Gladiator has a box integrated into the existing storage compartment. And this is where Jeep has followed the truck lines very well. A properly utilized canvas cover and some high beam tail lights give this a truck some true definition. But they could have toned down some of the plastic use again and possibly made a proper box step. Where as most other manufactures are now making easier access steps for the box, Jeep could have used this new design language for the Gladiator.
Along the side its all Jeep, all the way. And we mean that as the running boards and protruding wheel wells give us that rugged go anywhere look. But unlike other areas of this model, not much is required here as the wheels are well suited and sized and the small and slightly efficient brake duct as some sport appeal. Again Jeep could have invested in some proper trim for the windows as they do not properly flow with the side design. A touch of some black gloss could have given them that pop that they require.
All around the new Jeep Gladiator is a beautifully crafted machine which makes good use of its colour and features. And really who couldn't ask for a true Jeep truck to go up against the likes of the Tacoma and Ranger. We couldn't think of a better way to do it. Now lets hope there a few SRT or Mopar counterparts about to invade our showrooms as well as we really would like some more competition in the aftermarket world.
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