Four-wheel-drive fanatics now have another option to choose from with the arrival of the new Jeep Gladiator into Australia this month.
Priced from $75,450, the Jeep Gladiator is available in Overland and Rubicon variants, as well as an exclusive Launch Edition model that is limited to just 100 units.
Based on an elongated version of the closely-related Wrangler’s chassis, the Gladiator’s 3,500mm wheelbase adds 493mm between the front and rear axles over a five-door Wrangler, while its frame is 787mm longer overall.
The Gladiator’s key differentiator – its rear tray – measures in at a very usable 1,500mm in length, and can be optionally fitted with lighting, power outlets, a spray-in bed liner, a tonneau cover, and various cargo management solutions, all of which are listed among over 200 other Jeep Performance Parts available from Mopar.
With a rated payload of 725kg, the Gladiator is certainly aimed more at recreational buyers than tradies, though its braked towing figure of up to 3,470kg is still mighty impressive.
Powering the big beast initially is the familiar 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine used in a myriad of Jeep models. It produces 213kW and 353Nm, and comes backed by either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
However, an auto-only 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 with 194kW but a beefier 599Nm torque figure is expected to join the range further down the track.
Being a Jeep, all Gladiators come with dual-range four-wheel drive as standard, although two different systems are utilised. Overland models receive the Command-Trac 4×4 system with Dana 44 axles, a 2.72:1 low-range ratio paired to a 3.73 final drive ratio, and an optional limited-slip rear differential.
Meanwhile, Rubicon models are fitted with the Rock-Trac 4×4 system, which boasts a low-range ratio of 4:1, giving it crawl ratios of 84.2:1 for the manual and 77.2:1 for the automatic. Additionally, an electrically-disconnecting sway bar, locking front and rear diffs, different suspension with improved travel and articulation, and a heavy-duty rear bumper come as standard, while a winch-ready front bumper with removable end caps can be had as an optional extra.
All variants boast a 43.6 degree approach angle, 20.3 degree breakover angle, and 26 degree departure angle, along with 282mm ground clearance and a water-wading rating of 760mm.
Sharing key design elements with the Wrangler, the Gladiator also comes with a fold-down windscreen and easily removable doors, along with a variety of hard- and soft-top roof options.
On the inside, all models feature an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Meanwhile, safety tech across the board includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and roll mitigation.
Available for a limited time, the Gladiator Launch Edition comes fitted with a range of goodies including body-colour fender flares and hard top, roll-up tonneau cover, black leather trim seats, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a Cargo Management Group with Trail Rail System.