There’s a whole flock of Night Eagles at Jeep, with the Gladiator ditching its base Sport S in favour of a Night Eagle trim.

    The updated Gladiator range is at dealers now.

    Jeep has also announced improved payload capacities across the range, with the Night Eagle and Rubicon now boasting payloads of 693kg – up 166kg on the outgoing model.

    Gross combined mass and gross vehicle mass are 5601kg and 2880kg for the Night Eagle, respectively, and 5656kg and 2935kg for the Rubicon.

    The range reshuffle makes the outgoing Sport S, introduced in February 2021, a particularly short-lived model.

    It also means the base price of the Gladiator has risen by $3000 to $68,450 before on-road costs.

    There’s been a commensurate increase in standard equipment, however, with the Night Eagle upgrading to the same 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system as the top-spec Rubicon.

    That means the Night Eagle also picks up satellite navigation while retaining wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

    Other additions to the spec sheet over the Sport S include remote start, a 240 amp alternator, and a 4.10 rear axle ratio.

    The latter addition means the Night Eagle uses more fuel than the Sport S, with a combined fuel economy figure of 12.4L/100km. That’s identical to the Rubicon, and 1.2L/100km thirstier than the Sport S.

    Cosmetic tweaks include black interior and exterior accents, body-colour fender flares, a gloss black grille and 17-inch black-finish alloy wheels.

    The Gladiator Overland has been dropped, while the Rubicon has picked up additional features.

    The outgoing Rubicon did without the cheaper Overland’s standard leather upholstery and heated front seats and steering wheel, with Jeep instead putting those features in an optional Rubicon Luxury Package.

    Those features are now standard on the Rubicon, while the price has increased by $500 over the outgoing Rubicon.

    Instead of offering an optional luxury package, there’s a Rubicon Premium Package that offers the only features from the old package that haven’t been made standard: a body-colour hard top and fender flares.

    A $2950 Lifestyle Adventure Package adds four AUX switches, a 700 amp maintenance battery, lockable storage under the rear seats, a spray-in bedliner, roll-up tonneau cover and a wireless Bluetooth speaker.

    Rubicon models with this package also include a 240 amp alternator.

    For $2000, you can add 17-inch black alloys and a steel front bumper to the Rubicon, while premium paint is $795 across the two-model range.

    The colour palette now includes the lurid Gecko, an electric lime green that’ll be produced in limited numbers from September to November 2021.

    The introduction of a Night Eagle to the Gladiator range aligns the brand’s ute with much of its SUV range.

    The Compass and Grand Cherokee ranges also open with a Night Eagle trim, though the Wrangler’s Night Eagle variant slots in above the Sport S.

    Jeep has sold 467 Gladiators so far in 2021, which means the distinctive, Wrangler-based ute is being outsold by larger, more powerful American pickup trucks.

    GMSV has sold 587 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickups, while Jeep’s corporate cousin Ram has sold 1306 examples of its 1500.

    MORE: Jeep Gladiator news and reviews

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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