The updated Jeep Gladiator has been unveiled at the 2024 Detroit motor show, and its looks will be familiar to anyone who has seen the facelifted Wrangler.
Jeep Australia has confirmed the updated ute is due here mid-to-late 2024.
As with the Wrangler, the revised Gladiator is distinguished by its new seven-slot grille design that’s shallower than before. The steel mast radio antenna has been replaced by a “trail-ready stealth” unit integrated into the front windscreen.
There are also seven new alloy wheel designs, as well as a pair of new off-road focussed trim levels for North America. Anvil joins the paint palette, which includes Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal, Silver Zynith, High Velocity, Hydro Blue, Sarge, Bright White, and black.
Inside the cabin passengers are greeted by a new dashboard with a softer, more luxurious feel, and incorporates contrast stitching. The dash has also been redesigned to accommodate a 12.3-inch touchscreen, up from the current car’s 8.4-inch display, which is standard throughout the range.
A pair of slim, rectangular vents lives underneath the screen, while circular vents remain in the outboard positions. While the the colour-coded section of the dashboard ahead of the front passenger is gone, there is now a spot for an AMPS accessories bracket at the top of the dash.
Running the latest Android-based uConnect 5 infotainment system, the new touchscreen has local backlight dimming for better contrast, over-the-air software updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, support for two simultaneous Bluetooth connections, and seven USB-A and USB-C ports throughout the cabin.
In the US standard safety features now include curtain airbags for both the front and second row seats, while most models are also fitted with autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with complete stop functionality.
As before the Gladiator is powered by the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, which continues to be rated at 213kW and 353Nm in North American trim. It’s connected to all four wheels via a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
While it has yet to receive a 4xe plug-in hybrid version like the related Wrangler, Jim Morrison, the head of the brand in North America, reiterated to American media that all Jeep models will be electrified by 2025.
Like the Wrangler on which it is based, the Gladiator is available in the US in a bewildering array of trim levels, including the Sport, Willys, Mojave and Rubicon.
The Rubicon has a Rock-Trac part-time transfer case, electronic front sway bar disconnect, front and rear axle lockers, red accents, Dana 44 solid front and rear axles, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Opt for the new Rubicon X grade, and you’ll also enjoy a full-time transfer case, steel bumpers, off-road camera system, 12-way electric front seat adjustment, built-in satellite navigation, Nappa leather seats, heated seats and steering wheel, colour-coded fender flares, headliner for the hardtop, and an integrated Bluetooth speaker.
Australia-bound versions of the Gladiator are currently available in either Night Hawk and Rubicon form. It’s unclear if Jeep will rejig the local lineup when the facelifted model lands Down Under.
It will be interesting to see if the facelift will boost sales in Australia, where just 1397 were sold in 2022, well behind the leaders in the 4×4 ute segment, the Toyota HiLux (47,329) and Ford Ranger (43,128).
The Gladiator has been more successful in the US where it was third in the mid-size pickup segment with 77,855 sold last year, putting it behind only the Toyota Tacoma (215,853) and Chevrolet Colorado (89,197), and just ahead of the Nissan Frontier (76,185).