Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Test & Review

Entering the Australian market in May 2020, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon made Australia the first country to have a right-hand drive variant.

Jeep drivers know what they want in a 4×4 and the company keep up their end by delivering a strong hardcore off-road vehicle that is capable of many things others simply cannot do. But if you are a first time Jeep buyer, it can be a little scary to know what you are in for.

The Jeep Gladiator delivers legendary off-road capability courtesy of two advanced 4×4 systems. The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon model features the Rock-Trac Active On-Demand 4×4 system, with heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials.

The Rubicon variant also offers improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a segment- exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect and boasts an impressive crawl ratio of 77.2:1, making scaling any obstacle on the trail easy.

The Rock-Trac Active On-Demand system offer full-time torque management enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions. Tru-Lok front and rear locking differentials on the Rubicon model provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

The Rubicon model has Off-Road+ Button, allowing drivers to clearly communicate to the truck the terrain the Jeep will be operating on, allowing it to automatically adjust operating parameters of key systems (Throttle, Selec-Speed Control, Traction Control, Transmission Shift Mode) to be tailored for optimal performance on that terrain. Unlike the rotary controlled Selec-Terrain that has been offered in other Jeep products, Off-Road+ is a single button with two distinct missions.

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

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is a really a truck as it is long, wide and what it cannot move out of its way, it can go over. The Gladiator’s body-on-frame design uses advanced materials and engineering to be nimble, yet stiff and durable, and features an all-new lightweight, high-strength steel frame.

The Jeep Gladiator boasts a rugged, distinguished design aesthetic that is immediately recognisable due to its traditional Jeep design cues.

The seven-slot grille dons the front of the truck which is wider than other models to increase airflow. Enhancing the aerodynamics, the top of the keystone- shaped grille gently slopes back in the Jeep Gladiator design.

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon comes with LED headlamps and fog lamps that project crisp white lighting, enhancing the truck’s modern look. The Jeep Gladiator also features daytime running lights with forward turn signals positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares.

At the rear, traditional square tail lamps also feature LED lighting as standard, giving way to a wide tailgate opening for unobstructed loading of cargo into the bed.

Unique to Jeep, a four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame allows for the windshield to fold down quickly and easily. The header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down, allowing the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windshield folded.

The Jeep Gladiator’s lightweight, high strength aluminium doors feature the Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge to eliminate guessing which size bit is needed to remove the doors. An easy-to-use tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windshield is provided as standard equipment to ensure door removal is effortless with the Jeep Gladiator.

The three-piece hard top roof can be easily removed in the Jeep Gladiator, providing a segment-exclusive open-air option. The two Freedom Panels and quick-release latches enable a fast removal and installation of the hardtop, all of which feature a manual rear-sliding window. The Jeep Gladiator comes with dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations allowing for endless configuration and personalisation possibilities.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

The Gladiator offers the 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar engine across the range. The engine delivers 209kW of horsepower and 347Nm of torque, engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading. The 8-speed ZF-Automatic transmission is standard across the range, enabling the vehicle to optimise engine output while on the trails or enjoy smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds.

The interior combines authentic Jeep styling, versatility, comfort and intuitive features, high-quality materials found throughout the cabin.

The heritage-inspired centre stack features a clean, sculpted form that complements the horizontal dashboard design. A hand-wrapped instrument panel features a soft-touch surface “Redicial Red” paint on the dashboard’s mid- bolster. Functional features, including climate and volume control knobs, media charging and connectivity ports, and Engine Stop Start (ESS) control are all sculpted for quick recognition and are easily within reach of the front-seat occupants.

The leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support with comfort features including optional heated front seats and steering wheel. The all-new rear seats also feature high-quality premium materials giving the seats an athletic look that also delivers comfort and support.

With the rear seats folded flat, LED lights on the quarter trim panels illuminate the storage space behind the seats, with storage nets included on the cab-back wall provide even more secure stowage.

The instrument cluster features a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display. The 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.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

An 8.4-inch touchscreen houses Jeep’s fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the centre stack. It has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard across the range. Conveniently 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 so you can stay connected and fully charged no matter the adventure.

Further enhancing the technology offer, a forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen and has an integrated washing system.

On the road the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon does everything needed. It has enough power for the size and the transmission is smooth and seems to be clever enough to know which gear to be in at what time.

Due to the size, standard off-road suspension and tyres, the Rubicon does tend to feel a little like a boat when driving on the highway. It is a little soft and moves around a bit. This is something that the more it is driven the less it will be felt.

On the other hand, the Rubicon off-road is a beast. It did not matter what was thrown at it the Jeep did not slow down. Soft sand was a breeze and when on the hard sand and water crossings it was like it was driving on the road. With all the different controls and options there was something to suit every situation.

Jeep models are definitely not purchased to be good on fuel. While highway driving the best number we got was 12-litres per 100km. We wont event talk about off-roading as that is simply crazy. But the fuel use is not what is import here, the fun factor is and you cannot put a price on fun. Well, I guess you can because Jeep have done it.

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is priced from $82,701 drive-away.

This post was written by Car and Bike News

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