It looks like the 2024 Jeep Gladiator is going to bow with a similar set of upgrades seen on the ’24 Wrangler. Amazingly, our spy shooter captured this Gladiator pickup truck in a Kroger parking lot with nary a piece of exterior clothing in sight. The interior is more prudish, covering itself up with black vinyl garb, but that is pretty much all the evidence we need to confirm a Wrangler-esque upgrade on the inside, as well.
Starting at the front, Jeep’s iconic seven-slat grille gets an update to keep the Gladiator looking modern. It appears very similar, if not identical, to the grille of the refreshed Wrangler. Unfortunately, we can’t see what’s behind that grille. It does not appear that this non-camo’d preproduction Gladiator boasts a 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain, so we’re left wondering if that will ever show up. Same story for the 392 V8 engine. And for the Wrangler’s optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four. We’d expect Jeep to continue offering its tried-and-true 3.6-liter V6 engine, but we’d love to see the Wrangler’s other powertrain options make their way to the truck. And we don’t expect the EcoDiesel to return for 2024, but we’ll have to wait for confirmation.
We’re also left wondering if any versions of the refreshed Gladiator — the truck spied here looks to be an upper-spec High Altitude model — will adopt the full float rear axle that some 2024 Wranglers will get. Such a design would make sense for the pickup truck, as it’s a more durable unit that offers many benefits, including a potentially higher tow rating, more wheel and tire options and greater flexibility for trailside repairs.
Inside, as we said earlier, camouflage is covering basically everything. We see an automatic transmission (leaving us to hope the Gladiator follows the Wrangler and keeps the manual option) and the expected transfer case lever with four-high and four-low gearing. The Wrangler got a new dash design with 12.3-inch widescreen infotainment setup running the latest version of Jeep’s Uconnect 5 with standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and we expect that to come to the Gladiator.
All in all, this looks to be a nice refresh of a popular midsize pickup truck — the only one that offers a Wrangler-style wind-in-the-hair experience. Considering how close this prototype appears to production, we don’t expect to have to wait too much longer for the official reveal. Here’s hoping there are some more surprises (underhood, mostly) to look forward to.