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Jeep Gladiator

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Tech specs

Price range: TBD.

Engine: 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine.

Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual/all-wheel.

Why it matters: Mid-sized trucks are growing rapidly in popularity because they are easier to navigate and park in cities than their full-sized siblings.

Fiat Chrysler’s 2020 Jeep Gladiator also promises the kind of rugged off-road capability associated with the Jeep brand. For adventure hounds, it is the ultimate weekend-warrior machine.

When you’re the last of the Detroit Three to re-enter the mid-sized truck market, you have to do something completely different to stand out.

The Gladiator – its first mid-sized truck since the 2011 Dakota – does so through the use of Wrangler-like features, such as removable doors and roof, and fold-down windshield to create an authentic open-air experience that no competitor offers.

The Gladiator shares power trains, drive trains and a cabin with the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. Yet it is 78 centimetres longer overall and has a 49-cm longer wheelbase to make room for the 1.5-metre-long cargo box – long enough to handle a dirt bike with the tailgate down.

Four-wheel drive is standard, and the Gladiator retains solid axles both front and rear. Four trim levels are offered: Sport, Sport S, the luxurious Overland and Rubicon. The latter trim line is top-of-the-line, and includes larger rock rails up front, Dana electronic locking differentials front and rear, a front anti-roll bar disconnect, transfer case with a 4:1 low range, 33-inch tires and a front-facing camera.

Fiat Chrysler says it will ford 76 centimetres of water. Towing capacity is rated at 3,469 kilograms and payload at 748 kilograms.

The truck makes it debut with a gasoline engine, and a turbo-diesel is promised for next year. The trucks will be in dealerships by spring.

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