If you’ve spent any time with Jeep’s Gladiator, as we have, you can’t help but like it, a lot. In fact, we’ve only recently returned from a 2,000km or so round trip with a Gladiator Rubicon, an experience we’ll be sharing with you in Episode Two of our about to drop, Youtube series, which is a show you don’t want to miss!
Now the full-fat Gladiator Rubicon is pricey ($76,450) but very well equipped and, thanks to it’s front and rear lockers and sway bar disconnects, it is without question the most capable dual-cab ute you’ll buy off any showroom floor in Australia right now. But if you don’t need the level of off-road ability the Rubicon has built-in, or all of the hi-spec luxury gear that both the Rubicon and the mid-spec Overland ($75,450) offer, then Jeep’s new entry-level Sport S Gladiator, with pricing starting at $65,450, could be right up your alley.
That $10k+ saving over the higher-spec models doesn’t really leave you wanting and arguably, provides you with a good base vehicle if you’re planning a build. Standard equipment for the Sport S includes dual-zone climate control, a black three-piece hard-top, black wheel arch flares, 17-inch alloy wheels (that’s a big plus in DW’s book), along with auto LED headlights, daytime running lights, fog-lights and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility.
The Sport S also features a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and push-button start, an Alpine sound system and a full suite of active safety systems including, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Jeep even claims that you can ‘wash out’ the Sport S’s interior, so it’d be safe to assume that the floor coverings are vinyl.
Powering the Sport S is the now standard across the range 3.6-litre 209kW/347Nm V6 Pentastar petrol engine and 8-speed ZF gearbox combination, with the Sport S using Jeep’s Selec-Trac Active On-Demand 4×4 system, heavy-duty Dana front and rear axles, underbody skid plates, heavy-duty rock rails and a 47.8:1 crawl ratio (the Rubicon boasts a 77:1 crawl ratio).
There are two option packages available to Sport S buyers, the $2450 Comfort and Technology Group, which adds the larger 8.4-inch touchscreen with sat-nav and smartphone mirroring, deep tint sunscreen windows, remote start, security alarm and an internal headliner for the roof.
Another $2950 gets you the Lifestyle Adventure Group which adds a spray-in tub liner, roll-up tonneau cover, trail rail system, a wireless Bluetooth speaker, a 240-amp alternator, a 700-amp battery and four programmable auxiliary switches.
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport S goes on sale in Australia in late February 2021.