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The Gladiator transforms the Wrangler into a pickup truck, using a longer wheelbase and adding a 5-foot bed. The only engine is a 3.6-liter V6 mated to either a smooth eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.
With the automatic, the Gladiator packs some oomph and returns 18 mpg overall. Unlike other compact pickups, it uses coil springs in the rear suspension, which makes the ride relatively civilized. Handling, however, is rather clumsy. The truck comes with a soft top or an optional removable hardtop. Either way, wind noise on the highway is loud. The off-road-focused Rubicon has suspension and tires that are optimized for rock climbing. The damped tailgate is a nice touch. Several advanced safety features are available, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot warning.
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