It seems like the four-wheel-drive world has been waiting for a Jeep pickup ever since the XJ Cherokee– based MJ Comanche ceased production in 1992. Over the ensuing decades, visions of what a modern Willys pickup, J-truck, or even Scrambler could be danced through our collective heads. Jeep came close a few times but never pulled the trigger, only teasing us with what-could-be concepts, like the show-stopping 2005 Jeep Gladiator, the nostalgic 2010 Jeep NuKizer 715, the half-hearted 2011 JK-8 Independence, the awe-inspiring 2011 Mighty FC, the vintage 2011 J-12, and the attention-getting 2016 Red Rock Responder.
A JK-based Jeep pickup from the factory came close to happening in the later years of the platform, but Jeep decided to move the development so that the JL and JT could be engineered concurrently, and we had to learn patience. Meanwhile, companies such as Bruiser Conversions and American Expedition Vehicles were busy filling the silence with Wrangler-based pickups for those who couldn’t wait. We even have it on good authority that one of the very last AEV Brutes was purchased by a company with the letters “FCA” in its initials. We suppose it’s not hard to imagine why, since AEV had clearly gotten the formula so right of what a Jeep pickup could be with its second-gen JK-based Brute.
Enter the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. So, has