MANILA, Philippines — At first glance, the Jeep Gladiator is nothing but intimidating. It looks business-like and purposeful—like a huge red Swiss army knife. As an athlete myself, I felt like I was being introduced to an elite Olympian. This Gladiator is tough and indestructible—a veritable tank.
The first Jeep Gladiator was launched in the US in 1987. It was the first four-wheel-drive full-sized pickup truck that was offered in America with an automatic transmission. The Gladiator’s origin was the basis of the first post-war US Army trucks designed to be civilian vehicles and was adapted from military use.
The Gladiator nameplate had a rebirth in 2018 based on the Jeep Wrangler with a modern design that stays true to the original and at the same time loaded with advanced technology than ever before.
The Gladiator Rubicon exudes adventure with a vented hood, high-clearance fender flares for standard 33-inch tires, a steel off-road rear bumper, and rock rails under both the cab and bed. And how many sport utility vehicles can have their doors and roof removed for the ultimate nature-bonding experience?
The Jeep Gladiator even has Accessories Sets you can choose from that let you customize and personalize your ride to maximize its uniqueness. It starts with the Jeep Gladiator P162,000 Basic Set, which includes a running board, 7-inch LED round headlamp, and 4-inch LED foglamps with DRLs. Or you may opt for the P174,100 Jeep Gladiator Accessories Advanced Set, comprising a steel front bumper, removal rack kit, front rear grab handles, 7-inch LED round headlamps, and 4-inch foglamps.
Inside the spacious and highly functional cabin, you’ll revel in refined materials and best-in-class rear seat legroom. The Gladiator’s seats are designed to offer comfort and support while you’re out seeking adventure.
With a rugged-looking yet advanced driver interface, rugged materials, refined details and thoughtful storage compartments that will surprise you, this cabin is designed for total comfort and convenience. Need discreet storage? Simply lift up the rear seat to reveal an underseat compartment. The standard locking rear seatback folds down for more secure space illuminated with LED lights
The available Keyless Enter ’n Go passive entry system automatically unlocks the door upon grabbing the handle, provided the key fob is within five feet of your truck.
Surprisingly easy to drive
My first thought behind the wheel is how to drive this very lengthy pickup around Metro Manila. Considering the barebones heritage of the pioneering Jeeps, I was surprised with the number of buttons and switches in the cabin—a testament to the advanced technology that the Gladiator bristles with.
It’s these advanced technologies—like the truck’s Blind Spot Monitoring system and the ParkSense Rear Park Assist system—that make driving and parking this humongous beast surprisingly easy.
The ParkView Rear Back Up Camera works with Jeep’s Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen to help guide you when backing up and turns on when the Gladiator is shifted to reverse. The ParkView Rear Back Up system is equipped with one of the most high-definition cameras I’ve ever seen, with dynamic gridlines showing the direction so I can maneuver into tight spaces more accurately.
There is also a feature called Rear Cross Path Detection that monitors vehicles and objects moving perpendicular to the rear of the vehicle when you shift into reverse—especially helpful when backing out of parking spots. The system provides feedback to the driver via audible chimes and visual icons. The comfort that these driver-assist features provide is satisfying, especially for a large truck in Metro Manila.
Other much-appreciated features include Voice Command, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility. The generously sized touchscreen proved very responsive and the interface was delightfully intuitive and user-friendly. Bluetooth connectivity means you can easily make calls or stream music or podcasts wirelessly from your compatible smartphone or media device.
As mentioned, driving the Gladiator was a breeze. Despite its prodigious length and tall ride height, its handling and steering inputs were almost as responsive as a sedan. Riding comfort—the bane of most pickups—was yet another delightful surprise. You never get those painful spinal compressions when the Gladiator hits a bump or pothole. Braking was impressively strong and easy to modulate.
Built like a true gladiator
The Gladiator Rubicon comes armored for battle. It’s equipped with steel rock rails to safeguard the sill of the cab from when the vehicle is traversing punishing terrain. There are high-strength steel skid plates to protect essential components like the fuel tank and transfer case from damage. Rubicon models get up to 11.1-inches of ground clearance so you can drive over obstacles or even river crossings with confidence.
This trail-rated Jeep features a high air intake and special water sealing to help get you through creeks, streams and depths of up to 30 inches. Gladiator is manufactured to help protect you during unexpected situations. With an advanced high-strength steel chassis, it’s engineered to help direct energy away from the cabin in the event of a crash.
The Gladiator is powered by 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 pumping out a hearty 285hp and 352Nm of torque, giving it enough grunt for the trails, hauling and towing cargo. It boasts an available best-in-class 7,650-pound towing capacity, a best-in-class 4x4 1,700-pound payload—and multiple ways to help keep it all secure. Balancing all that muscle is its Engine Stop-Start technology to maximize fuel efficiency in traffic.
Hardcore off-roading performance
The Gladiator Rubicon offers two impressive ways to maximize your drive. The standard front and rear Tru-Lok Electronic Locking Differentials offer incredible power delivery to the wheels to help maintain momentum on tough terrain with maximum traction. New for 2021, the rear axle can now be locked in 4HI Mode for use at higher speeds or on the dunes.
And with Off-Road+, you can adjust throttle, transmission shift points and traction control for peak performance on higher speed passes on sand dunes or low-speed rock crawling—all with a push of a button. High-performance FOX aluminum-bodied 2-inch-diameter shocks transform the performance of Gladiator by using race-proven damping control to provide a comfortable on-road ride and predictable off-road handling in even the toughest conditions.
The Rock-Trac transfer case with 4:1 low range delivers up to an 84:1 crawl ratio, with massive torque to the wheels of Gladiator Rubicon. It’s tailor-made for traversing steep inclines or crawling over trail obstacles, giving you even more control on tough terrain. Engaging the segment-exclusive sway bar disconnect results in a 30% increase in front wheel articulation
The heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear solid axles on the Gladiator have extra-thick tubes and forgings for exceptional strength, rigidity and durability. Off-road necessities like heavy-duty forged front and rear tow hooks are perfect for helping less-capable trucks get out of trouble.
Mother Nature can throw a lot at you, and the Gladiator has the credentials to handle it.
The Gladiator Rubicon makes light work of boulder-strewn trails thanks to front and rear locking differentials. Great for safety, security and efficiency, the Tire Pressure Monitoring Display will warn you if tire pressure is too high or too low. Another cool feature is Remote Vehicle Start, which allows you to start and warm up your engine before you get in the vehicle.
All things considered, the Gladiator brings with it everything that the iconic Jeep Wrangler has, and adds to that the incomparable versatility and style of a true pickup truck. It’s truly in a class of its own—on the road or on the trail.
For more information about the Jeep Gladiator, visit www.jeep.com.ph/en or contact:
- Jeep Alabang
301 Westgate Center, Commerce Avenue, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
(+632) 8461 6281 / (+632) 8334 1487
- Jeep Cebu
Cebu Veterans Drive, Nivel Hills, Cebu City
(+6332) 260 3333 / +63977 825 5337
- Jeep Clark
Clark Auto Zone, M.A. Roxas Highway, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
(+6345) 499 5562 / +63998 590 2658 / +63999 223 0295
- Jeep Greenhills
1008 EDSA Greenhills, San Juan City, Metro Manila
(+632) 8784 5002
- Jeep Pampanga
Laus Group Corporate Center JASA San Jose City of San Fernando, Pampanga
+63999 223 0295