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Jeep Gladiator here in May, from $75,450 plus ORC

Australia allocated 100 Launch Edition versions of long-awaited Jeep Gladiator ute

4 Mar 2020

AUSTRALIAN order books are now open for the much-anticipated Jeep Gladiator ute that is confirmed to launch here May, with the Overland grade opening proceedings at $75,450 plus on-road costs and the heavy-duty Rubicon costing $1000 extra.


Perhaps coincidentally, pricing of the two-variant Gladiator line-up straddles that of the Ford Ranger Raptor, which comes in at $76,290 plus on-roads.


Australia, the first right-hand-drive market to get the Gladiator and expected to be the world’s second-largest overall after North America, has also been allocated 100 kitted-up Launch Editions that command a $10,000 premium over the Rubicon on which they are based.


It had been speculated that entry to the Gladiator range would start at less than $70,000 for the Overland based on relatively small price differences between the ute and five-door Wranglers of equivalent trim level in the United States market.


As it stands, the Australian-delivered Gladiator Overland costs $11,500 more than the five-door equivalent and the Rubicon versions are $11,000 apart.


Standard equipment on the Overland includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, body-colour fender flares, removable hard-top roof and 18-inch alloy wheels.


Aimed at keen off-roaders, the Rubicon comes with beefed-up ‘Rock-Trac’ four-wheel-drive system that has different gear ratios in the low-range transfer case and rear axle, front and rear differential locks, electronic front sway bar disconnect for extra axle articulation on tough terrain, chunky aluminium-bodied Fox shock absorbers and 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tyres on 17-inch alloys, a forward-facing off-road camera, and adjustable tyre pressure monitoring.


The Rubicon’s hard-top fender flares and removable hard-top roof are black and its upholstery is cloth, while a ‘Redical Red’ splash of colour is applied to the dashboard.


Both variants feature an 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia unit with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, a nine-speaker Alpine premium audio system, keyless entry with push-button start and LED exterior lighting.


Driver assistance and safety technologies include adaptive cruise control with stop function, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking.


A $3835 ‘lifestyle adventure’ option pack is available for both Overland and Rubicon variants, comprising a lockable storage compartment beneath the rear seats, a soft tonneau cover, spray-on bed liner, cargo tie-down kit, a portable Bluetooth speaker, four programmable accessory switches and a bigger 240-Amp alternator with 700-Amp battery to help power said accessories.


For the Rubicon, a ‘luxury’ package costing $2535 adds features found on the Overland including black leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and body-colour fender flares.


Also available on the Rubicon are black 17-inch wheels with polished lip ($975), a steel front bumper ($1650), body-colour hard-top ($1950) and a black ‘sunrider’ soft top ($3575).


Beyond this are more than 70 customisations available through the MOPAR accessory catalogue available from launch.


Premium paint on all variants is $1035, with the available palette mostly shared with the Wrangler save for the Gladiator-specific Gobi (taupe) and Gator (dark green), with the rest being Billet Silver Metallic, Bright White, Diamond Black, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Hydro Blue and Sting Grey.


The 100 Rubicon-based Launch Editions will come standard with both the ‘luxury’ and ‘lifestyle adventure’ packages as well as the steel front bumper and body-colour hard top plus a Launch Edition badge on the tailgate. It is available only in Bright White, Diamond Black or Firecracker Red.


All Gladiators are powered by a 209kW/347Nm naturally aspirated 3.6-litre petrol engine, distributing outputs through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the part-time four-wheel-drive system.


Those hoping for diesel variants could be waiting some time, with nothing yet confirmed for Australia.

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