Jeep has returned to the Australian ute market, with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
It launches in Australia with only high-specification models selected from the North American range: Overland ($75,450 plus on-road costs) and Rubicon ($76,450 plus on-road costs).
Jeep Australia will also release a Gladiator First Edition, which is effectively an Overland and Rubicon rolled together with all of the option boxes ticked, and is $86,450 plus on-road costs.
All Gladiators will have one driveline option: a 3.6-litre petrol V6 that makes 209kW and 347Nm, running through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
Claimed fuel economy varies according to specification: Fuel use for the Gladiator Overland is 11.2L/100km on the combined cycle, while Rubicon and First Edition are 12.4L/100km according to the rating label.
The Jeep Gladiator is huge, measuring in at 5591mm long – 246mm and 145mm longer than the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger respectively, for example – and 1894mm wide, making it one of the bigger 4X4 utes available.
The wheelbase is particularly big: 3488mm, yielding a 13.6 metre turning circle. Most utes have a turning circle of 12.4 to 12.7 metres, the Mitsubishi Triton is best in class with 11.8 metres.
While not available at launch, Jeep has also confirmed that another model will join the range by the end of 2020, which will lower the entry point by around $10,000. The specification is called ‘Sport S’, with a price tag of approximately $65,000 plus on-road costs.
Exact specifications of Australian delivered Sport S is yet to be confirmed. But if the North American specs are anything to go by, it’ll have the ‘Sunrider’ soft-top, smaller infotainment system, manually-adjusted seats with cloth trimming, 17-inch alloy wheel and less fancy suspension.
In the USA, Sport S Gladiators can be specced with a 3,500kg ‘max tow package’, adding an additional 800 kilograms of braked towing capacity. Such an option for the Australian market remains unconfirmed.
Both the Overland and Rubicon Gladiators have a braked towing capacity of 2712kg, and because of different specifications, Rubicon grade has a higher payload capacity. Neither are big: with a 2215kg kerb weight and 2835kg kerb weight, Rubicon gets a 620kg payload.
The Overland, on the other hand, has numbers of 2104kg and 2631kg, giving a 527kg payload capacity.
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Before Sport S arrives, standard specification is relatively high across the Gladiator range in Australia.
Rubicon, Overland and First edition all get the following: LED headlights, DRLs, fog lights and stop lights, along with an 8.4-inch UConnect infotainment system with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, digital radio and native navigation.
That’s backed up by a 7.0-inch TFT multifunction display in the instrument binnacle, keyless entry with remote start and push-button start, and a 9-speaker Alpine premium audio system.
Along with a lower payload, Overland tailors itself more to the occasional off-roader. Lacking the more hardcore mechanicals, Overland otherwise focusses on an interior standard with McKinley leather trimming, heated front seats and steering wheel, body-coloured flares and roof, and highway-terrain tyres wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels.
Echoing the Wrangler, Gladiator Rubicon gets a 4:1 case, 4.1:1 diff gears, which gives a 77:1 crawl ratio.
Throw in front and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting front swaybar and 32-inch BF Goodrich KM2 Mud Terrain tyres on 17-inch alloys, and you’ve got more off-road hardware than anything this side of a Wrangler Rubicon.
There’s also up-specced Fox-branded shocks with a 2.0-inch diameter and aluminium housing.
Gladiator First Edition effectively bundles up all the best bits of Overland and Rubicon, giving you body-colour exterior, premium interior and improved off-road mechanicals in one package. Plus, it gets the full treatment with options.
There is one main options package to choose for Overland and Rubicon, which is bundled into First Edition spec. It’s called The Lifestyle Adventure Group', and includes a ‘Trail Rail’ tie-down system in the tub, along with a roll-up Tonneau Cover and spray-in bed liner.
There’s also lockable storage bins under the rear seats, and a wireless Bluetooth speaker that stores and charges behind the rear seats.
The options continue, with four auxiliary accessory switches installed into the dashboard, along with an uprated (700-amp) battery and (240-amp) alternator. With all of that bundled in together, ticking the Lifestyle Adventure Group box brings a $3850 cost.
Rubicon spec can be upgraded with a Luxury Package for $2535, which gives leather trim, heated seats and steering wheel, and body-coloured fenders. Other options include 17-inch Black Wheels with Polished Lip ($975); Rubicon Steel Front Bumper ($1650); Body-Colour Three-Piece Hard Top ($1950); Premium Black Sunrider Soft Top ($3575) and
Premium Paint: ($1035).
Available Jeep Gladiator colours include: Bright White, Billet Silver Metallic, Firecracker Red, Sting Grey, Hydro Blue, Granite Crystal Metallic, Gobi and Gator.