• Aug 21, 2006
Though Jeep's lineup will grow to include eight models by year's end, a small pickup based on the Gladiator concept will not be one of them. Introduced at the 2005 Detroit auto show, the Gladiator concept was based on a unique platform though would have likely shared underpinnings with the new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited if produced. The Chrysler Group's COO Eric Ridenour told Ward's Auto, however, "It wasn't profitable".
Ward's points out that while some Jeep enthusiasts might be disappointed their favorite brand won't be fielding its first pickup since the Comanche was cancelled back in 1992, the decision not to produce the Gladiator shows analysts that Chrysler is practicing some restraint amidst its current product blitz.

The small pickup segment has been virtually abandoned by automakers as models like the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have grown large enough over the years to be considered midsize trucks and adopt five- and six-cylinder powertrains. The small pickup segment is still dominated by the Ford Ranger, a vehicle that hasn't been significantly redesigned in over a decade. Is Jeep passing up on a golden opportunity or has the small pickup segment permanently run out of gas?

[Source: Ward's Auto]


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  • 62 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      THOSE IDIOTS.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Small pick up sales are down? The ranger is ancient, who wants that? Apparently more than want any other brand. How hard can it be to compete with something Ford abbandoned? Could it be something to do with the fact that every small pick up is a knock off of that brand's full size? Who want's to come home from the dealer with a five year debt to own a cheap immatation of their neighbour's truck?

      Instead of making a small pick up that feels like a poser version of the real truck why not build a small pick up that feels like a different product? Such as the Gladiator.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just looking back in history at all the different Jeeps. The different auto-makers that have owned the Jeep name made mistakes occasionally, but I believe the biggest mistake ever made was Chrysler!!! Even our moddern Wrangler wasn't even truly designed by Chrysler. Has anyone seen a picture of the cj-10 made by AMC in the early 80s. Sure they redisigned the Cherokee and it was a hit for 20 years, but thats the only true success story for Chrysler. They've made good concepts, but made disasterous decisions.

      * Lets look at their current line-up....Wrangler-yes, 4-Door Wrangler-yes, Grand Cherokee-??, Liberty-No, Commander-??, Compass-What is this?
      * Now lets look at what it should be....(Wrangler, 4-Door Wrangler, !!GLADIATOR!!: These should be the basis of Jeep, all interchangable parts, Etc.), (Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Commander: Their basic SUV line-up), (The Rescue and a Pick-up version of the Rescue: can anyone say Super Jeeps). That would be 8 good looking Jeep Vehicles. And personally if they were planning on making a smaller road vehicle it should be a Jeepster(taking cues from the Wrangler, but not looking exactly like it. A Jeepster doesn't have to be 4-wheel drive, but at least All-wheel drive, and just rugged enough to take on a dirt. How about pitting it against the rally cars in europe. If Chrysler did this....Then JEEP would be JEEP!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have waited years for an auto manufactor to put a desel engine in a small truck. I thought Chrysler had finally done it. Now it is back to square one. What is the big deal? Why not make a fuel effecient truck. Ford makes a desel Ranger for the armed forces. It is an awesome truck but you can't buy at your local dealer. Chrysler lost an execlent opertunity to be a trend setter.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They built the ugly, slow Caliber but a business case couldn't be made for this very stylish, yet functional vehicle? All of the competition in this segment is boring in comparison.

      The Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Dodge Durango have no class, no style, and no history. The Jeep Gladiator could have been the MINI Cooper of midsize trucks. The styling is classic, the layout is functional, and if they could make it affordable it's hard to believe you couldn't sell those.

      I definitely would have considered buying one if it could be priced around 25k but still have the style of the concept.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well I've been putting off my next vehicle purchase until I could try the Gladiator. For me it was a toss up between the Gladiator and the Hummer 3 Truck. Now neither of them is going to happen. I just wanted a rugged, distinct, off-road truck that I could take on my hunting trips, camping trips and any number of other outdoor activities. Now I'm going to have to go buy a Toyota... Of course the new FJ, even though it's not a truck, it's pretty sweet. But that Gladiator would have looked good all muddy in my drive way.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think they were right to cancel it. It will have the busy ride and horrible gas mileage that the wrangler has but without the convertible top. Also it will be more expensive than the ranger and less capable than the others except off-road. Will anybody that actually needs a truck buy it?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Gladiator was not necessarily going to be a compact pickup, as the concept was based on a Ram chassis. This vehicle would not have shared enough components with any existing vehicles to make its low production numbers economically viable.

      I'm sure there will be many people that are angered or outraged that Jeep has decided not to produce this vehicle, at least for now, but how many of them would have actually purchased one?

      If you really want a Jeep pickup you'd either already have an AEV Brute or you'd wait for someone to modify a new 4-door Wrangler Unlimited into one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Posted at 3:41AM on Aug 22nd 2006 by NMT
      "However I read the Gladiator is about a thousand pounds lighter than a Ram and powered by a 2.8-liter six, as opposed to the Ram's 4.7-liter or 5.7-liter "Hemi" V-8."
      Your confused. The VM 2.8L crd is just a 4cyl. You can see one in the liberty or read http://www.swiftindavis.com/sblog/?itemid=361
      Beside, this is the last year for the VM 2.8L crd for north american sales. It will not meet the new NOX emission requirements. Sure we can filter out the black. But the color less, odor less, NOX emissions are hard to deal with. But I've read that crd is the future because they can pulse the fuel intake during different times of piston travel and the last pulse is suppose to suppress NOX emissions.
      If I had a choice of the VM 2.8Lcrd 160hp 295lb-ft and MB 3.0Lcrd. I think I'd choose the cleaner and smoother MB 3.0L V-6 218hp 376lb-ft for the gladiator and wrangler. Over seas market will continue to use the VM 2.8L crd in the wrangler, cherokee/liberty, voyager / town & country.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Too bad.I really liked it.Such a great elaboration on strong Jeep themes .Would have made a great lifestyle niche market vehicle.I'm with poster # 5 I just don't get it either.Seems like the're dilluting the ruggedness of the brand with generic please-everyone type cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Forget posting comments here only, be sure to go to jeep.com and ask Dr. Z and make sure Jeep knows how you feel about this.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Its a shame they wont be building this PU. I would have bought one no questions asked.
      The only reason the small PU market is dead is because as you said there is nothing but a ranger that hasnt had a significant updated in decades.
      Its also not about the small pu market. Its about brand loyalty. If Jeep built this Jeep folks as well as DC customers would. As nice as it is you could steal the rangers folks even.
      Jeep hasnt built a PU in years and their customers are wanting one.
      Having the Hemi as an option in it would be perfect. I could trailer my modded LJ Rubi to the trails!
      What a shame.
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