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Jeep and Its Supplier Haartz Collaborate To Create the Only Open Air Midsize Truck -The Gladiator

Jeep's new Gladiator is the only open-air midsized pickup truck in America. Here is what makes it special.


Jeep's new Gladiator is a breath of fresh air in the hot midsized truck segment. Literally. It is the only truck with a removable soft-top, removable doors, and a windshield that drops down. Jeep calls it "open-air" driving and the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, and Nissan Frontier have nothing like this option.

soft topJeep Gladiator Sunrider Soft Top
The Gladiator's soft-top is standard. Jeep names its premium top the "Sunrider soft top." It provides a segment-exclusive easy open-air option. There are both fully-open and partially-open top positions. The soft top features special retainers that slide into a track for easy rear window removal.

Jeep worked with Acton Massachusetts top manufacturer, Haartz Corporation. Haartz' Twillfast or PVC is the top material. This material list is ideally-suited to Jeep owners. Both feature an easy to clean design that is just as tough as the Gladiator is.

gladiatorJeep Gladiator - Optional Tonneau
To match the look and durability of the OEM top, Jeep's Gladiator also features an available tonneau cover. The cover is also made using the same Haartz materials so it is a perfect match to the soft top.

Jeep Gladiator - Removable Doors
To add to the "convertible" experience that the removable soft-top offers, the Gladiator's doors are also removable. Gladiator's lightweight, high-strength aluminum doors have the right Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge to eliminate guessing which size bit is needed to remove the doors. Jeep supplies a tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors as standard equipment.

gladiator windshieldJeep Gladiator - Drop-Down Windshield
You may want to have some goggles or at least sunglasses ready, but Jeep also offers a fold-down windshield in its Gladiator pickup. Like with the doors, the tools you need are standard equipment. A simple four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame allows for the windshield to fold quickly and easily. A protective header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down. This also allows the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windshield folded, something that older Wranglers did not have.

One might argue that there are a select few midsized pickups available that can rival the Gladiator's off-road capabilities. However, none of them offers the open air experience that Jeep does.


Raymond (not verified)    May 9, 2019 - 10:18AM

Hardly anyone going to like it in the Jeep community. It has 4 door so it not a jeep they will say. Personally, it's just ugly in the picture to me. I need so see it in person to really decide

John Goreham    May 9, 2019 - 10:31AM

In reply to by Raymond (not verified)

At the meeting I attended the Jeep owners in our group were wild about it. I have to admit, I didn't get the style until I saw it in person. Now I get it. It looks tougher than all the others in the segment. Very distinct. I suspect it will sell very well. I could not get Jeep's folks to give me the production line capacity. 4-door Wranglers sell very well, no?

Justin (not verified)    May 9, 2019 - 10:19AM

I was warming up to the Jeep Gladiator, but nah not anymore. It's not much more capable than a basic midsize truck. And it costs a LOT more.

John Goreham    May 9, 2019 - 11:00AM

In reply to by Justin (not verified)

Having just tested the new Ranger recently, the difference in capability seemed huge to me. Front and rear locking diffs. Disconnectable front sway bar. Dana 44 axles on every trim. Manual transmission on every trim. All of these are way beyond what is found on a basic midsize truck, which is defined by the top-selling Tacoma. I won't argue price, but if it is like the Wrangler, it will have a very high retained value. Perhaps even as good as Tacoma's.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    May 9, 2019 - 12:05PM

It is nice that this Wrangler pickup finally got built. It is a sales hit despite it's higher price because it is a good example of a fun, open air, offroad capable, truck. Unfortunately I think that in the long term it's greater appeal will be limited by it's shortcomings. There is no bigger sized bed available and no 2WD or economical versions of the Gladiator. In China, FCA unveiled the Jeep Commander plug-in hybrid, which offers an impressive 43 miles of electric-only propulsion, with gas backup like the Pacifica. Rivian/Ford has shown that there is a growing demand for an EV, offroad, pickup. So FCA (who just paid out $77 Million dollars in fines for not being able to meet the 2016 fuel economy standards) should be already testing prototypes of a PHEV Gladiator that would combine open-air off-roading with EV capability.