Jeep Gladiator 2020 Review


January 22, 2020

Jeep Gladiator 2020 Review

There’s a lot of hype about the Gladiator, Jeep’s first ute in a long time, and there’s a lot riding on its anticipated success. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia is hoping the Gladiator can take on Australia’s segment leaders, such as the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, or at least rise to the top of the brand’s sales charts, but let’s see how that pans out.

We won’t have to wait too long as Jeep’s five-seat dual-cab “convertible pick-up truck” (Jeep’s description, not mine), is expected to be launched in Australia in the second quarter of 2020. There’s no word on how many pre-orders have been taken yet.

Australian journalists drove US-spec Gladiators at a special preview drive event staged in New Zealand in December 2019.

A Gladiator line-up has not yet been confirmed for Australia but it will likely include entry-level Sport S, mid-range Overland and the top-spec Rubicon.

No details on official pricing were available when we drove the Gladiator but I reckon you can expect to pay from $70,000 for the top-spec Rubicon.

The big news is: Jeep reckons Australia will only get the petrol Gladiator. There will be no diesel. Jeep officials have shrugged off any suggestions by journalists that not offering an oil-burning variant was a serious misstep for the diesel-loving Australian market. Is their decision simply peculiar and perhaps temporary? Let’s wait and see.

Standard Wrangler Rubicon features are all here including off-roading gear such as Falken all terrain tyres (but likely BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tyres for Australia), a rock-stomping 77.2:1 crawl ratio, front and rear locking differentials and a swaybar disconnect system.

Other features include cloth seats, 8.4-inch touch-screen multimedia system with sat nav and the cluey ‘off-road pages’ mode, as well as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED lights, 230V inverter, and 17-inch alloys.

Driver-assist aids include AEB, blind-spot monitoring, full-speed forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, tyre-pressure-monitoring, hill-start assist, hill descent control and more.

The Rubicon also gets a forward-facing off-road camera to help find your way when taking on low-speed 4WDing.

So, is the Gladiator actually any good? Read on.