It’s exciting enough to see the release of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. The last Jeep cargo-bed model was the Comanche in the early ’90s. But the new Gladiator is a pickup truck based on the iconic Wrangler with a four-door cab, a five-foot bed, and serious off-roading chops.
If that’s not enough capability and flexibility for you, there’s also the available three-piece Freedom top for the Jeep Gladiator. The unpainted removable hardtop roof can be configured in multiple ways so you and your passengers can have fun in the sun or have it made in the shade.
The Freedom top
According to the team at MotorTrend, the Freedom top can be yours unpainted for $1,295. If you want it painted to match the body, it’s going to cost extra.
How does it work? There are three pieces with two panels over the front seats and one over the back seats. With some easy-to-manage latches and Jeep supplied tools and screws, you can configure the Freedom top in several different ways.
Taking the roof off completely for the road warrior experience couldn’t be easier. Car and Driver suggests removing the two smaller front panels first by unlatching them from the roll bar. Then, by removing the six screws securing it to the body, you can remove the larger back panel.
The tools that Jeep supplies for this purpose with every hardtop-equipped Gladiator and Wrangler can be found in the center console. There are instructions with them. Once the roof is free from its constraints, have a friend help you remove the bigger section. One person can remove the smaller panels easily.
The MotorTrend team came up with seven configurations that they named. What they illustrated was the complete flexibility the Freedom top offers Jeep Gladiator owners.
The panel over the driver’s seat can be removed if the driver wants to get some sun. Likewise, the front passenger seat can have the panel over it removed which the MT team affectionately called the “ejector seat.”
At the end of the day, any of the three individual panels can be removed or left on. Whatever outdoor exposure meets your needs while you’re out in the 2020 Jeep Gladiator? You can do that.
Is the Freedom top for you? If the top-off experience is what you want, and you afford the extra cost, it’s a good option. Do you have someone to help you remove the larger rear panel?
If a quiet ride and security are bigger priorities for you, the Freedom top might not be the best choice for you.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator
The greatly anticipated Gladiator is the first Jeep pickup truck in almost three decades, and it has a lot to offer Jeep and truck fans alike. If you’re into off-roading, you’ll love the new Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator was built for rough terrain with its rugged suspension, standard four-wheel drive, and bigger off-roading tires. Its tough construction and removable body panels make it versatile, stylish, and one of a kind.
A lot like a Jeep Wrangler with a truck bed, the Gladiator can do a lot of things other trucks can’t. The windshield folds down and you can remove the top and the doors. It can match some of the leaders of its class in towing capacity. The cabin is sharp-looking and practical with comfy seats for adults of all sizes and an infotainment system that is easy to navigate.
There are a few weak points including a less-than-stellar predicted reliability rating. The cons don’t even come close to outweighing the pros because overall, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is an excellent truck.