Since its official debut in the market last year, Jeep’s all-new Gladiator has consistently bagged awards from the industry, including the 2020 North American Truck of the Year accolade from the North American Car of the Year jury.
The award was not an easy win for the Gladiator considering the extremely tough competition among rivaling truck brands in the United States. But the model eked out a win over fellow finalists Ford Ranger and Ram Heavy Duty. The Gladiator’s win is the second time a Jeep model won the coveted award since the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 1999.
“The Jeep Gladiator is not only the world’s most capable midsize pickup. It’s now the North American Truck of the Year as well,” said Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America. “This honor is a testament to our customers who demand the very best and the Gladiator delivers with all of the 4×4 capability and versatility expected of a Jeep vehicle.”
The Gladiator, unveiled in December 2018, was the first Jeep pickup truck released by FCA since 1992. In March last year, the automaker produced a total of 4,190 Launch Edition Gladiators as a tribute to the 419 area code of the city of Toledo where 2020 models of the truck are currently being built.
According to Brandin Grimus, Jeep Gladiator brand manager, the company’s formula for the Gladiator was to create a true pickup truck that has all the characteristics of a Jeep.
“We like to say Gladiator is 100 percent truck, 100 percent Jeep,” Girmus said. “We took the best attributes of our Jeep products—like the off-road capability, open-air freedom, iconic design—and then we added real truck credentials. Gladiator can tow best in class 7,659 pounds, it can also haul a best in class 1700 pounds. That was really our formula from the beginning and winning this award says that we got it perfectly.”
The Jeep Gladiator was voted number one by the NACTOY jury composed of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada.