Jeep Gladiator: A new kind of bakkie

Over the past year, Jeep has released a new range of vehicles, including the new Gladiator model. The Jeep Gladiator may look like a Wrangler from the front but from any other angle it’s what South Africans would call “a bakkie”. The Gladiator features the classic removable body panels, which would be a first for any load bin carrier in South Africa. That is if the Jeep Gladiator comes to South Africa.

Read on to find out more about this beast:

Jeep has only announced petrol engines available for the Jeep Gladiator, however, they’re expected to release a diesel-powered V6 at a later stage. The first engine available will be 3.6-litre V6 petrol that produces 285hp and 352Nm. 0-100kph can be achieved in 7.4 seconds and the vehicle has a maximum towing capacity of 1.8 tonnes. However, the stronger 3.0 V6 diesel engine will crank out 260hp and 442Nm, this means the towing capacity is increased to 2.5 tones. All Jeep gladiators are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission, however, there is an 8-speed automatic version available as well.

Even though the Jeep Gladiator is technically a “pick up”, Jeep hasn’t backed down on any of its 4x4 capabilities. The Gladiator features the same 4-wheel-drive system that is fitted to the current Wrangler. There is an option between Command-Trac and Rock-Trac versions, which both feature a limited-slip differential, which helps prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces. The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, Sport and Overland are badged with the legendary trail-rated symbol.

Starting with a 5-inch infotainment display as standard, the Gladiator has an upgraded screen which displays a clearer resolution. All Gladiator models have lightweight aluminium doors that can be easily removed and placed back into position without too much effort (this is perfect for enjoying the sun on holidays and road trips). Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features; however, Jeep’s latest models also feature SiriusXM radio and Travel Link information for passengers. Jeep has even gone as far as to add Google technology, which means the new Wrangler and Gladiator models have Google maps, Google Music and Google search.

Some of the Jeep’s optional extras include an upgraded audio system, which features a subwoofer and portable Bluetooth speaker. Some other optional extras are front-facing 4x4 cameras which are only available on Rubicon models. Theirs is also a maximum ‘towing package’ which has an upgraded suspension unit that increases the towing capacity to 3.4 tones. Jeep has also given customers the option of smaller optional extras such as; blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control, electronic stabilization control, rear-view camera and rear cross-path detection.

So far, the Jeep Gladiator looks like it could have a big impact on the load bin carrier market. Jeep claims it will be the most capable “truck” ever. And if it arrives in South Africa, we’re sure it will bring some competition for our premium “bakkie” segment. There is no confirmed price for the Gladiator in SA as it’s not guaranteed the Gladiator will come to SA. However, we have reason to believe that Jeep may see a good market for the Gladiator, due to the popularity of pickups in South Africa.

Check out the Reviews section of the MotorHappy blog to find out more about other cars currently available in SA. 

Please note the imagery supplied in this blog was taken off

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