EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR THE GLADIATOR

MATT RAUDONIKIS

THE 2020 Jeep Gladiator is one of the most anticipated vehicles to hit the market in recent times and will be one of the most exciting when it goes sale in the USA in 2019 and in Australia in 2020. You only have to look at the excitement around the JL Wrangler from the aftermarket industry and at events like the SEMA Show to get a handle on how popular this vehicle will be.

Jeepís JK Wrangler has been the SEMA Show favourite for almost a decade, and there was a JL on every other booth at the show in 2018. You can bet the farm there will be more Gladiators on booths at the 2019 show than you could ever imagine.

The fact the Gladiator is based on the Wrangler and the Wrangler is the best aftermarket-supported 4x4 vehicle ever means that the tens-ofthousands of products that are made for the JL wagon will transfer over to the pick-up. And, being a pickup, thereíll be a whole new range of accessories for the tray area as well.

By its size, the Gladiator falls into what the Americans call the mid-size pickup market, along with vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado. Pundits here will group it in with the popular onetonners like the Ranger, Hilux and Colorado. However, comparing the Gladiator to any of these vehicles is akin to matching a Jeep Wrangler to a Toyota Fortuner or Ford Everest. Anyone considering one of the former vehicles will not be in the market for the Jeep.

Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator is a more off-road-focused vehicle, with live axles front and rear and compromises many buyers wouldnít be prepared to put up with. Itís a vehicle for a different buyer than the popular utes, even though there will always be those who want one purely on style. Any new vehicle with more off-road ability will be a welcome addition, and we canít wait to get behind the wheel of one.

Matt