New Jeep Gladiator Pickup Truck Is Finally Here - TheStreet

A few weeks ago, photos leaked of the newest vehicle being added the Jeep lineup, the Gladiator.

A cross between the much-loved Jeep Wrangler and a midsize pickup truck, the Jeep Gladiator looks to bring the best of both worlds to its customers. That is, the fun and ruggedness of a Wrangler and the practicality and usefulness of a pickup truck.

This time, instead of an accidental leak, we have the full scoop from Jeep (a Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report brand) after the automaker introduced the vehicle at the LA Auto Show.

The new Jeep Gladiator has a 7,650-lb towing capacity and comes in a four-door crew cab. Jeep had to lengthen the Wrangler frame by more than 19 inches in order for the Gladiator to accompany its five-foot bed.

It's towing capacity bests Ford's (F) - Get Report new 2019 Ranger by 150 pounds, making it a segment leader among midsize pickups. However, the Gladiator's payload capacity of 1,600 pounds falls right below the Ranger and just above the Chevy Colorado, a General Motors (GM) - Get Report brand. It's also above the Toyota (TM) - Get Report Tacoma and the Nissan (NSANY) Frontier in both categories.

The truck will come standard with a 285 horsepower V6 engine and six-speed manual transmission, although customers can upgrade to an 8-speed automatic, much like other Wrangler options. In 2020, Jeep says a diesel engine will be available for Gladiator. 

High-end models are called Rubicons, named for their ability to conquer the well-known Rubicon Trail right out of the factory. These trims come packed with in-car luxuries and heavy-duty off-road capabilities. Of course, the Jeep Gladiator will come in the Rubicon trim, along with the Sport, Sport S and the Overland models as well. 

Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator will still be able to conquer the Rubicon Trail, even though it's the longest vehicle in Jeep's lineup at 281 inches (roughly 23.5 feet). Also like the Wrangler, Gladiator can shed its roof and doors, showcasing its "fun" side over its towing and hauling capabilities.

More potential for fun?

The Gladiator will have a fold-out windshield, removable wireless speaker and can drive through 30 inches of water. Other features includes a front camera for seeing up-close objects when driving, four-wheel drive (of course) and adaptive cruise control, among others.

We don't yet have a price from Jeep, but the automaker says it should be available in early 2019.

The push toward SUVs, crossovers and trucks continues, as Ford's Lincoln just announced the new Aviator and after GM's restructuring cut its exposure to passenger cars.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.