The Gladiator is available in two model grades – Overland and Rubicon – that share the same 207kW / 347Nm 3.6-litre ‘Pentastar’ V6 petrol engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. While both grades are ‘Trail Rated’, the four-wheel drive systems and level of off-road equipment varies between the two.
Both 4x4 systems are the part-time type, with the Overland running Jeep’s Selec-Trac with a 3.73 rear axle ratio, while the Rubicon gets the Rock-Trac system with a 4.10 rear axle ratio, 4:1 transfer case and 77.2:1 crawl ratio.
Reflecting Wrangler grading, the Gladiator Rubicon gets the hardcore off-road gear, including wide-track axles and Tru-Lok locking front and rear diffs, a front sway bay disconnect function and FOX 2.0-inch shock absorbers.
The Rubicon also runs 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road 255/75 tyres (compared to the 18-inch alloys and road-biased rubber on the Overland), features a forward-facing Trail Cam camera and the ‘Off Road+’ button that automatically adjusts throttle control, gear shifting, traction control and Selec-Speed control to suit different conditions. This one-touch system has been specifically calibrated for higher speed performance in sand when 4HI is selected and improved low speed, rock-crawling ability in 4LO.
Approach/departure/breakover angles are listed as 40.7, 25.1 and 18.4 degrees, respectively, with ground clearance of 283mm and wading depth of 763mm.
External cosmetic differences include body-coloured wheelarches and roof panels on the Overland that are black on the Rubicon. Grille trim is in bright metal on the Overland, body-coloured for the Rubicon. The Rubicon gets a ventilated bonnet, while both grades run a full LED lighting package.
Inside, the Overland features McKinley leather seats front and rear, with heating for the front seats and steering wheel, while the Rubicon has non-heated cloth seats, but leather and heating can be added with the optional Rubicon Luxury Package.
Both grades feature FCA’s Uconnect 8.4-inch centre console touchscreen with navigation, a 9-speaker Alpine Premium audio system, 7.0-inch TFT instrument display, multiple USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, push button starting and remote keyless entry.
Safety kit is common to both grades and includes ESC with electronic roll mitigation, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Path Detection, Forward Collision Warning Plus. ParkView reversing camera and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop function.
Being more of a “lifestyle” vehicle than a working ute, the Gladiator’s 620kg payload and 2721kg towing capacity seems poor against the 750kg/3500kg standard for most Australian-market dual cabs. An optional extra on Gladiators in the US is a Max Tow Package that increases towing capacity to 3470kg, but this is not currently available in Australia.
As previously reported, Gladiator pricing starts at a sizeable $75,450 for the Overland and $76,450 for the Rubicon (+ ORCs). There’s also a ‘Launch Edition’, limited to 100 units, that combines elements of both grades and costs $86,450 + ORCs.
A cheaper, entry-level Gladiator Sport S will be added to the range later this year, priced from around $65,000.
For further details and to arrange a test drive, contact your Jeep dealer.