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Jeep introduces its all-new versatile, on- and off-road Gladiator Rubicon


The all-new Gladiator is Jeep’s most capable pickup – building on a rich heritage of tough, dependable 4×4’s with a combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep brand design, open-air freedom, clever functionality and versatility, advanced fuel-efficient powertrain, superior on- and off-road dynamics, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology features.

The Gladiator combines capability with composed on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety courtesy of the Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4×4 systems, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited-slip differential, segment-exclusive sway-bar disconnect and off-road tyres.

The Rubicon is the only derivative available locally, and is filled with every available feature to meet the demands of South African customers.

Since 1941, Jeep has delivered an open invitation to live life to the fullest. It provides owners with a sense of security that their vehicle is built to handle any journey with confidence. When you purchase a Jeep, you become part of a lifestyle, you belong to the Jeep Tribe. Jeep is a love, representing the ability to get away from civilisation, a chance to get enjoyably dirty, the ability to drop the top and experience the open air, to drop the windshield and feel the wind on your face. Click here to find out more about 80 years on into Jeep’s journey.

An authentic Jeep design

The Gladiator boasts a recognisable rugged, distinguished front-end design due to the Jeep design team keeping the legendary seven-slot grilled seen on its sibling, the Wrangler, but has a widened grille slots for additional air intake, assisting in its increased towing capacity, while the top of the keystone shaped grille is swept back, enhancing its aerodynamics. It features LED headlamps and fog lamps that adds to its modern look. It also had daytime running lights and indicators positioned on the front of the wheel flares.

At the rear, the Gladiator has square tails lamps with LED lighting, with a wide tailgate and unobstructed loading cargo. Cargo can be easily secured with a power-locking tailgate. Clever functionality and versatility were the focus while designing the Gladiator’s durable bed. Under-rail bed lighting, and strong integrated tie-downs, provide durability and versatility. The Trail Rail Cargo Management System provides additional storage options to organise and secure cargo.

The full-size spare tyre and mount is located under the bed, behind the rear axle and capable of holding up to a 35-inch tyre. The Gladiator’s load bed is lined with a special scratch-resistant layer and a roll-up rigid loading cover.

It has a four-bolt design above the windshield’s frame and allows for the windscreen to fold down easily and quickly. A header bar connects the A-pillars, keeping it in place even when the windscreen is folded down, and allows the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windscreen folded.

Lightweight, high-strength aluminium doors feature the Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge and comes with tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windscreen as standard equipment. Gladiator also features body-colour sport bars, which are welded to the body and feature integrated grab handles for front occupants.

The Sunrider soft top provides an easy open-air option, eliminating wind noise and allows for access to partial and full open top positions. The soft top features retainers that slide into a track for easy rear window removal. There is also a black three-piece hardtop which offers even more options for open-air driving. The two Freedom panels and quick-release latches enable a fast removal and installation of the hardtop. The hardtop features a manual rear-sliding window.

Dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations allow for endless configuration possibilities.

A feature and technology filled interior

Jeeps Gladiator interior combines styling, versatility, comfort and intuitive feature use.

The instrument panel has a soft-touch surface with ascent stitching with functional features including, climate and volume control knobs, media charging and connectivity ports, and Engine Stop Start (ESS) control.

The centre console houses gear shift selection, transfer case and parking brake. A push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround, is standard on the Gladiator and is easily located within the driver’s reach.

Leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Available comfort features include heated front seats and steering wheel. All-new rear seats feature high-quality premium materials giving the seats an athletic look that also delivers comfort and support. The rear seats, exclusive to Gladiator, feature segment-leading rear legroom and use a unique design that can be locked in place to provide secure storage behind the seat back. The rear seats can be folded flat to access cab-back storage and provide a load floor for larger items.

The rear seat cushions can fold up into “stadium” position to reveal a standard open storage bin, which utilises the space under the seat for stowing miscellaneous items. An optional lockable bin provides secure storage space when the top or doors are removed. The available lockable storage bin features two different size doors that correspond to the 60/40 split rear seat cushion. Removable dividers can provide up to five separate compartments and uses the same lock as the glove box and centre console.

A removable bolt bin fits in the under-seat storage space and makes it easy to secure bolts when the doors and top are removed, or the windshield is folded down. The bolt bin lid indicates the corresponding number of bolts and their location under the lid in Petroglyph style.

The driver and front passenger vinyl-wrapped door-trim panels are soft to the touch. Lift-Assist handles under each door armrest feature an integrated pull-cup design that makes door removal quick and easy. Convenience features include passive entry with Keyless Go.

The 7-inch LED display allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways, including current media being played, tyre pressure, tyre-fill alert or digital speed readout. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice and speed functions, allowing the driver to keep hands on the wheel at all times.

An 8.4-inch touchscreen houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the centre stack. The fourth-generation Uconnect system enhances the user interface and system performance with quicker startup times and improved screen resolution. Directly below the touchscreen are functional features, such as climate and volume control knobs and media connectivity ports.

Two USB ports and a USB-C port up front and two in reach of occupants in the back seat connect to the media centre. Optional audio upgrades include a subwoofer and portable wireless speaker located behind the rear seat. LED lights on quarter-trim panels illuminate the storage space and the docking station for the wireless speaker. A net on the left side of the cab wall provides additional storage when equipped with the subwoofer and wireless speaker.

Advanced fuel-efficient powertrains

The all-new Jeep Gladiator offers a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine that delivers 209kW with 347Nm of torque, featuring ESS as standard equipment. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.

The Jeep Gladiator benefits from the popular V6 engine’s low-range torque, which is needed when out on the trails or during demanding conditions, such as hauling cargo or towing a trailer.

Eight-speed transmission

The Jeep Gladiator’s engine is mated to a eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling the vehicle to optimise engine output while on the trails or enjoying smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds.

Gladiator’s eight-speed automatic transmission offers a responsive driving experience. Whether commuting during the week or rock crawling or hauling cargo on the weekend, customers will enjoy a smooth, linear power delivery and improved fuel efficiency.

A unique set of two overdrive ratios improve open road fuel economy and reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

Uniquely suited to the requirements of the Gladiator Rubicon model, the eight-speed automatic transmission delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio. The towing and 4×4 performance benefits from a 4.7:1 first gear ratio coupled with a 4.1:1 final drive.

View the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon in action below:

Selec-Speed Control is standard with the eight-speed automatic transmission and manages vehicle speed in “4LO” while traversing off-road terrain without requiring throttle or brake input, allowing the driver to focus on steering. Selec-Speed Control is activated using a button on the dashboard and can be adjusted from 1-8km/h simply by using the AutoStick shift control.

Most capable Jeep pickup ever without compromise

The all-new Jeep Gladiator delivers legendary off-road capability. The Rock-Trac 4×4 system features heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials.

Gladiator Rubicon models offer improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a segment-exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect. With the standard eight-speed automatic transmission, the Rubicon has an impressive crawl ratio of 77.2:1 making scaling any obstacle on the trail easy.

Rock-Trac also offers full-time torque management, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions.

Jeep Life” is a term used to encompass everything pertaining to a lifestyle enjoyed by those owning these vehicles. If you would like to learn more about the #JeepLife, click here.

Gladiator Rubicon receives a Trail Rated badge thanks to legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, which includes features such as:

  • Rock-Trac 4×4 system with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1 and Tru-Lok locking differentials standard on Rubicon models
  • Skid plates and front and rear tow hooks
  • Rear steel heavy-duty off-road rear bumper and available front steel winch-ready bumper with removable end caps
  • Approach angle of 43.6 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and ground clearance of 249 mm (to the rear Diff)
  • Up to 800 mm of water fording
  • Up to 2721 kg towing and 693kg 4×4 payload capacity

Rugged body-on-frame design is the foundation for legendary Jeep brand truck utility and durability

The Jeep Gladiator uses a variety of ways to optimise ride, handling and sound characteristics while bolstering fuel economy even while towing. With a body-on-frame design and featuring a superbly engineered five-link suspension system, Gladiator delivers on capability, with composed on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety.

Gladiator’s body-on-frame design uses advanced materials and engineering to be lightweight, yet stiff and durable, and features a lightweight, high-strength steel frame. The Gladiator’s frame is an additional 787mm longer while the wheelbase is 493mm longer. The longer wheelbase and the bed’s positioning centre behind the rear axle centreline enables for better weight distribution and a more comfortable and composed ride when carrying cargo. The prop shaft, brake, fuel lines and exhaust system were lengthened to accommodate the changes needed to make the proven body-on-frame design work with the most capable Jeep truck ever.

To protect critical vehicle components while on the trail, including the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan, Gladiator employs four skid plates and bars. Rubicon models benefit from the use of heavy gauge tubular steel rock rails to curtail potential body damage inflicted while out on the trail. Rubicon models also feature segment-exclusive rock rails for the bed corners.

The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminium closures, including the doors, door hinges, hood, fender flares, windscreen frame and tailgate, help curtail weight and boost fuel economy. Other ways the Jeep brand’s engineering team looked to manage weight included using hollow track and stabiliser bars, aluminium engine mounts and steering gear.

Gladiator uses the proven five-link coil suspension configuration with the front suspension using a lateral control arm and four longitudinal control arms. Full-width track bars made of forged steel control lateral movement of the axle with minimal angle change during suspension travel.

The rear five-link coil suspension design, exclusive to Gladiator, features two upper and two lower forged steel control arms for longitudinal control, and a track bar for lateral axle control. The control arms are located under the frame rails while the rear shocks are forward facing to provide consistent damping for ride comfort and load management.

The springs have been tuned for an optimum balance between on-road handling while providing a comfortable ride around town, with or without cargo in the bed, and legendary off-road capability. Ride comfort, body-roll control, handling, payload and towing capability is significantly enhanced with assistance from shock tuning, hard points and body mount strategy.

An approach angle of 43.6 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and a ground clearance of 249mm allows Gladiator to go anywhere. Gladiator also benefits from up to 800mm of water fording, up to 693 kg of payload and up to  2712 kg of towing capacity with the available Max Towing Package.

Advanced safety and security features

The Jeep Gladiator offers more than 80 available active and passive safety and security features. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, standard ParkView rear back-up camera with dynamic grid lines, Adaptive Cruise Control and electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation.

Fourth-generation Uconnect system delivers advanced technology

The Jeep Gladiator features Uconnect 8.4NAV, delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features drivers and passenger’s desire, including a full-colour LED instrument cluster.

The Uconnect system includes easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster startup times and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics.

Apple CarPlay

Seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the vehicle’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. IPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, and receive voice-guided navigation optimised for traffic conditions and more, while staying focused on the road.

Android Auto

System shares useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google technology. Featuring Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information and lane guidance, as well as on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music, the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel and ask Google search any question, Android Auto makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.

Rich heritage of tough, dependable Jeep brand trucks

The Gladiator is the latest iteration in a long line of Jeep brand trucks that began back in 1947 when Willys Overland introduced a one-ton truck with four-wheel drive based on the CJ-2A. With more than 40 years of rich heritage to draw from, Gladiator is the latest in a long line of Jeep trucks that includes:

  • Jeep Pickup: 1947-1965

A 118-inch wheelbase pickup that realised few product changes. It was Willys-Overland’s first attempt to diversify the Jeep brand from the CJ.

  • Jeep FC-150/170 Pickup: 1957-1965

These Forward-Control series Jeep vehicles were essentially work trucks – with an 81-inch wheelbase for the FC-150 and 103.5 inches for the FC-170. They received few changes during their lifecycle, though some 1959 and 1960 models featured full-floating front and rear axles, and some FC-170 models included dual rear wheels and a four-speed manual transmission.

  • Jeep Gladiator/J-Series Pickup: 1963-1987

Resembling the Wagoneer, Gladiator debuted in 1963 in either 120-inch (J-200) or 126-inch (J-300) form and featured a Dana 20 transfer case and Dana 44s front and rear. The Gladiator name was dropped in 1972.

  • Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler: 1981-1985

Introduced in 1981, the Scrambler was a Jeep similar to the CJ-7, but with a longer wheelbase. Known internationally as the CJ-8, it was available in either hard- or soft-top versions. Less than 30,000 Scramblers were built and are extremely popular among collectors today.

  • Jeep Comanche (MJ): 1986-1992

Based on the Cherokee platform and similarly equipped, the pickup received a six-foot bed in 1987. Later models offered Selec-Trac® or Command-Trac four-wheel drive.

Retail Price: R 1,259,900

Maintenance Plan: 3year/100 000 Km

Warranty Plan: 5year/100 000 Km

To find out more information on the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon including pricing, optional extras or to book a test drive for you and your family, please visit

Click here to visit Grand Central Motors website that is hosting the official Gladiator launch to the public on Saturday, July 9, 2022 from 8am – 1 pm