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Jeep Gladiator touches down as South Africa’s most expensive bakkie

Published Jun 21, 2022


Johannesburg - The long-awaited Jeep Gladiator has arrived and it also has the distinction of being the most expensive bakkie in South Africa.

Only one variant is available locally, with Stellantis having opted for the top-spec Jeep Gladiator Rubicon model, which is priced at R1 259 900. Until now Mzansi’s priciest double cabs were the Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 TDI Extreme (R1 076 400) and Ford Ranger Raptor SE (R999 150).

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Although it is based on the Jeep Wrangler, the Gladiator is a cool 787mm longer than its 4-door SUV sibling, with 493mm of that going into the wheelbase. The bakkie retains the Wrangler's impressive adaptability, including its fold-down windscreen and removable soft-top and hard-top roof options.

Although the Jeep Gladiator is available with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine in some markets, the only option locally is the familiar 3.6-litre normally aspirated Pentastar V6, which produces 209kW and 347Nm.

The engine pairs up with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a highly capable Rock-Trac four-wheel drive system, which features heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles and Tru-Lok locking differentials. The Rubicon also boasts a segment-exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect.

Jeep promises a water fording ability of up to 800mm, while approach, breakover and departure angles are listed at 43.6, 20.3 and 26.0 degrees respectively.

Furthermore the vehicle boasts a braked towing capacity of up to 2721kg, as well as a 693kg 4x4 payload capacity.

Cabin electronics include the fourth-generation Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system with CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well as pinch-and-zoom functionality.

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Watch this space for more information, as well as our driving impressions from the launch, later this week.

IOL Motoring