Jeep Gladiator: Mind for Business, Bod for Fun

In the movie Working Girl, Melanie Griffin says she has a mind for business and a bod for sin. I thought of this as I tooled around in the cherry red 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland.

fallswheelsandeats
High Falls, NY

The pickup truck certainly has the internal workings of a serious vehicle, no matter if your business is hauling trees of picking up the kids from soccer. Comfortable leather seats, (heated for winter) great audio system, safety features like blind spot and cross  path detection and adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning.

But it’s the fun part of the Gladiator that stands out. The bed can be used to transport bicycles, Jet Skis, a kayak. If you want to tow a bigger boat, or a a tiny car, the Jeep’s got you: it can tow up to 4,000 pounds! And if you took it camping you could fit all your gear.

Off roading? For sure

roadwheelsandeats
The road that swallowed up a smaller car

We drove the Gladiator is our friend’s rental house in the Catskills. On the winding country roads, the Jeep was fine. It was a champ when we went on our first hike, to Vernooy Kill Falls. The last part of the drive was on a rutted, unpaved road and the car in front of us couldn’t handle the terrain. The passengers had to jump out and push the car through the ditches. The 18 inch wheels on the Jeep cruised through the mud and craters.

doorwheelsandeats
Truth in advertising: the trail-rated Jeep Gladiator performed as expected

Parking in the City

This spring and summer, parking in the city has never been easier. Even friends who typically garage their cars are just leaving their cars in front of their houses (while still paying for the garage spot). But at 218 inches, more than a foot longer than a Cadillac Escalade, the Jeep Gladiator is not an easy street park. Nor is it an easy garage park. My garage charges double for a vehicle this size. Luckily, we were using the Jeep to leave the city.

hikewheelsandeaats
The eponymous falls at Vernooy Kill Falls

This is truck for your ski house, lake house – or a big suburban house with a wide driveway. You might have to Marie Kondo your garage to make sure it fits.

Social Distancing

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At a distance in the Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator is 5 feet wide, so you can practically social distance within the vehicle. We drove with windows open and masks on, and our friends in the back seat.

Taking your Top Off

Had I not forgotten my sunglasses, we could have had an open air drive. The clips on the roof open and the top slides all the way back. And if it hadn’t been the middle of a heat wave, we could have used the pickup bed to tailgate.

dogwheelsandeats
We laid in some supplies from a local brewery before heading upstate and our dog was quick to jump up in the bed.

In fact, tooling around the the Jeep made our friends feel so at home that they started searching Zillow for a permanent vacation home. And since we were able to fill the Gladiator with treats from home, we proved our worth as future guests.

Note: Fiat Chrysler loaned me the Jeep. Opinions are my own.

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