The Jeep Wrangler in the driving report
Dhe name is perhaps not badly chosen: in ancient times, gladiators were well-trained fighters who killed each other for questionable popular entertainment. who jeep Gladiator is supposed to fight, we don’t know, maybe mud holes? This pick-up has the best prerequisites for this, it is based on the Wrangler and looks the same from the front. But behind the driver’s cab, which accommodates the two people sitting in front comfortably and also large people on the rear seat with enough space, there is a load area of 153 × 144 centimeters, which is typical for this class, and fortunately the wheel arches do not protrude deep into the load compartment.
The wheelbase is half a meter longer than the four-door, and the length increases to a staggering 5.54 metres, giving it the turning circle of a truck. The approach angle isn’t bad at all, despite the long nose that mars the Gladiator in favor of pedestrian protection. At the back, however, it touches down slightly because of the long overhang.
The Gladiator has that in common with every other pick-up. The other properties make it the currently most off-road flatbed truck: protected underbody, plenty of ground clearance, 76 centimeters fording depth, long suspension travel, reduction gear, limited-slip differential at the rear and endless power. The four-wheel drive is permanent, but the front axle can be switched off. The only engine available is a three-liter, six-cylinder diesel with 264 hp and 600 Nm of torque that sounds a bit strained but bearish. Instruments that display the angle of inclination, among other things, and cameras that clean themselves of dirt support the driver during off-road gymnastics exercises. Instead of a hill descent assistant, the speed can be fixed from 1 to 8 km/h with the shift lever of the automatic transmission.
The driver’s cab can be dismantled in individual parts, leaving only the thick roll bar behind. The left foot lacks a support to rest on. Seating position and seats are impeccable, the large wheel for adjusting the lumbar support proves that not everything needs to be adjusted by heavy electric motors.
Although it is an off-road vehicle, of course it also has to be on the road. Although there are all the usual assistance systems, this is clearly not its core competence. Thanks to the long wheelbase, the directional stability isn’t quite as bad as that of the Wrangler, and those who try the four-wheel drive gain some stability again. Such a large car weighing 2.3 tons is not economical, but with great effort we once managed to consume almost nine liters per hundred kilometers on the country road. Twelve are more realistic in everyday life. On the autobahn, fuel consumption rises steeply beyond 100 km/h due to the high air resistance, and a hurricane is raging around your ears.
The quickly reached top speed of 177 km/h is not often tried. The Gladiator can be driven at low speeds, in manual mode the eighth gear of the automatic can be used from 70 km/h. It shifts softly, but has a bit of slip and is reluctant to be persuaded to shift up on the descents, so you’d rather switch to manual mode to do so. The prices for the Overland variant start at 70,500 euros, with a few friendly extras our copy scratched the 90,000. The 80th Anniversary version, which has leather seats, among other things, costs another 3,000 euros more. That’s tough.