-The body composition of the Wrangler plus the loader, the off-roader personality stronger than the truck
The Jeep Gladiator is back after 30 years. The characteristics of the SUV-based pickup truck are the same as they used to be, but the underlying car has completely changed from Wagoneer to Wrangler. As such, expectations for off-road performance have grown more than before, and the identity of the product has become more pronounced. So the answer to “Is the Gladiator a truck or an off-roader” was decided like a preconceived idea before getting into the car. As a result, the Gladiator did not deviate from expectations.
▲ Putting a small loader on the Wrangler
The exterior of the Gladiator is the shape of the trunk of the Wrangler 5 door cut off and the loading box on top. The length was increased to 5,600 mm, which is 715 mm longer than the Wrangler in order to increase the loading space. On the front, round headlamps, 7-slot grille, LED daytime running lights plugged into the fenders, and bumpers extending in the shape of wings are the same as the Wrangler Rubicon.
The sides match the Wrangler when viewed by dividing the body in half. However, the rear part has a completely different feeling with the loading box behind the C-pillar. In particular, the proportion of the wheelbase (3,490 mm) is increased by 480 mm compared to the Wrangler to distribute the weight of the loader.
The rear part is a well-mixed shape of the Wrangler and the pickup truck. Wrangler’s spare tire, which was always attached to the trunk door, was moved under the loader. A sliding glass that can be opened and closed is provided in the center of the rear glass.
The interior looks like a Wrangler Rubicon. The window switch of the center fascia, which considers the circular air vent, the 8.4-inch monitor, and the detachable door, is still there. A rubber mat was also prepared for smooth indoor cleaning after off-road driving. The rear seats emphasized space utilization. The backrest can be folded down or the buttrest can be folded up, so you can carry large items indoors. A storage box was placed under the seat, and a removable and rechargeable Bluetooth speaker was also inserted.
The roof is removable, according to Wrangler tradition. The ceiling of the driver’s seat and passenger seat can be easily removed by lever operation. The all-in-one tower, including the rear seat ceiling and the rear glass, can be removed by unscrewing a few bolts and removing the heating wires. It will be able to transform into a convertible pickup truck that cannot be found in other brands.
The loading box that can carry up to 200 kg is 1,531 mm long, 1,442 mm wide, and 445 mm high. The interior was covered with spray-in bed liners to prevent panel damage when loading cargo. On the right side, there are items useful for camping, such as a cargo lamp and a 230V terminal. The loading box comes standard with a canvas roll cover that goes well with the car.
▲ Driving performance tailored to off-road still remains
The engine was equipped with a V6 3.6L gasoline with a maximum of 284 horsepower and a maximum of 36.0 kg·m. This engine exhibited the unique quiet, smooth and strong performance of a naturally aspirated large displacement engine. The highest output is not much different from the Wrangler’s 2.0ℓ turbo (272 horsepower) released in Korea, but the feeling of raising the speed is not awkward and relaxed. The 8-speed automatic transmission shared with the 2.0ℓ engine is slower than expected, but it is not annoying. Fuel efficiency is low as engine displacement is large. The certified fuel efficiency is 6.5㎞/ℓ (city 5.9㎞/ℓ, high speed 7.3㎞/ℓ). The actual average efficiency was 6.9㎞/ℓ.
The Gladiator’s lower body has been optimized for off-road use. The suspension adopts Fox shock absorber. It is a setting with loading in mind as well as driving. The tire was fitted with BF Goodrich’s mud-terrain T/A for off-road use. Due to its crude texture, it is difficult to expect a ride on the road. Rather, it feels like getting in a truck. But when you go off-road, the story changes. The vehicle body condition is lower than that of the Wrangler at 40.7 degrees of entry, 18.4 degrees of ramp, and 25.0 degrees of departure, but the basic machine is so solid that there is not much to be a problem. The possible depth of crossing is 760mm, so you can cross most streams.
In addition to the transfer case that can change the driving method, the Gladiator includes an electronic front sway bar separation device that cuts off struts on both front wheels to correct posture, and drive and chassis control functions such as true-lock differential and off-road plus mode. During the test drive, I crossed stone fields, waterways, and mud baths, but the possibilities of the Gladiator are endless. It seemed to awaken the driver’s willingness to challenge, as if to try somehow in a place other than the road.
▲ New possibilities of Wrangler
Gladiator is another wrangler that expanded Wrangler’s territory. Rather than a truck, it strongly shows the characteristics of an off-roader that can boldly run out of the road. The car name, meaning’gladiator’, feels tremendous, but when you get into the car, you show off your confidence that you will be able to run through the bush without hesitation. Although the loading space is less useful than other pickup trucks, it is sufficient to be used as an open trunk.
The price is 69.9 million won.
Reporter Koo Ki-seong email@example.com
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