Upgraded 2024 Jeep Gladiator: Still The Coolest Pickup

It’s all just icing on the cake, because even before the raft of updates for 2024, the Jeep Gladiator was the coolest pickup truck on the market. And, after getting behind the wheel of the new model, we can confirm that yes, it’s still the coolest pickup truck on the market — except now, it’s slightly better. Here’s what you need to know about the 2024 Jeep Gladiator.

It’s a Convertible

Yes, the Gladiator pickup is the only convertible pickup truck on the market, and for that simple fact alone, we love it. Actually, the Gladiator is better than a convertible, because you can pull the doors off completely and fold down the windshield. (If you thought a drop-top puts the wind in your hair, just wait until you try this; it’s like a four-wheeled motorcycle.) If you like the great outdoors, this is the truck for you. We’ll admit: at first blush, the Gladiator struck us as a bit of a pointless genre mashup; after trying it, though, we found that it just works — kind of like French fries and honey, or peanut butter and pickles.

Jeep gladiator

What’s New in the 2024 Gladiator?

There’s a lot of new tweaks for 2024 that add up to a significantly upgraded experience. Starting from the outside, with stuff only a true Jeep fanboy would notice, there’s a redesigned — and very classic-looking — seven-slot grille. The old flagpole-style antenna is now neatly integrated into the windshield frame where it can’t get snagged on anything. And, there are seven new wheel designs are on offer.

More useful however, is the new 12.3-inch central touchscreen. That screen is said to offer better visibility in bright sunlight — useful for when you’ve got the roof down and doors off. The touchscreen is running a fifth-generation Uconnect 5 system, which now features “Jeep Adventure Guides” with route maps from Trails Offroad. Owners can upgrade to get access to Trail Offroad’s full catalog of over 3,000 trail guides, but we’d suggest starting out with the 62 standard “Jeep Badge of Honour trails.” These include the Rubicon Trail in California, Hell’s Revenge in Utah, and Jericho Mountain in New Hampshire. Traversing those paths should keep you busy for quite some time.

2024 Jeep Gladiator

Uconnect 5 runs on an Android backend, which enables over-the-air (OTA) updates. Jeep says it plans on adding new features and services to the system via OTA upgrades as well. The screen is mounted in a cleaner, redesigned dashboard that feels more premium than before.

Across the lineup, there’s more equipment fitted as standard, including more safety gear. All models now have first-row and second-row side curtain airbags, forward collision warning, and advanced cruise control.

Two New Models

The Mojave X and Rubicon X are new Gladiator models that add to the already dizzying array of trim levels and options on offer.

2024 Jeep Gladiator

The Mojave X is Jeep’s desert-blasting, dune-jumping machine. (Or, at least, as close as you can get to it from the factory.) Underpinning it are new 6.3 cm (2.5-in.) FOX internal bypass shocks with hydraulic jounce bumpers. As the company explains, “front and rear external shock reservoirs keep shock fluid cool, preventing shock fade during long runs through the hot desert at high speed. Military-grade suspension fluid maintains performance at extreme temperatures and is the same fluid used in off-road racing shocks.”

The “Desert Rated” Mojave model is, perhaps, less useful in Canada than the new Gladiator Rubicon X. The latter is meant for gnarly, rocky terrain with Jeep’s Rock-Trac 4×4 system, featuring beefy third-generation Dana 44 axles and Tru-Lok front-and-rear-locking differentials. Good news for purists: a six-speed manual gearbox is still on the options list as well. Both the Rubicon and Mojave X models feature extended steel rock rails that protect the pickup bed.

2024 Jeep Gladiator

What’s It Like?

Like we said, the new upgrades are welcome additions that’ll improve the day-to-day ownership experience, but they’re really just icing on the cake. Climbing up into the Jeep’s cabin still has the ability to make even the most office-bound city-dweller feel a little more rugged. The Gladiator’s whole vibe is so adventurous that it’s almost infectious. It’s Gore-Tex on wheels, gorpcore you can drive.

The catch? Canadian prices for the 2024 models haven’t been announced yet, but we’d bet there’ll be a minor price hike given all the added equipment. Still, if you want a convertible pickup that gets you closer to nature than anything else, the choice is obvious; there’s nothing like the Jeep Gladiator.