What is it like to own a 2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon? Follow our long-term ‘ownership’ journey.
Welcome to our new long-term review format. We don’t actually buy these cars, but do try to replicate as much of the purchase experience as we can so that you get the full picture.
Going shopping (coming soon)
Stripped naked (coming soon)
We put the Gladiator Rubicon to work (coming soon)
We’ve added a 2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon dual-cab 4×4 utility to our garage for 12 weeks. We’re going to drive this car just like an everyday car, commuting to and from work, running around on the weekends, driving it one-up and with family and friends on board, on the road and off it, with nothing in the tray and loaded to the hilt.
Our goal is to discover what the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is like to live with as an only car. And we’re going to condense a six-month immersion into just 12 weeks.
Our coverage will kick off with a dealership handover that mirrors what real Gladiator buyers can expect. We’ll report on exactly what that entails and how it works.
Following that, we’ll get to work testing everything this new vehicle has to offer, and more. And we will report on it every step of the way down below.
|At a glance||2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon|
|Our spec (inc. options)||LifeStyle Adventure Group
|Price as tested (on road)||$88,579|
|Drivetrain||3.6-litre V6 petrol
|Power & torque||209kW @ 6400rpm
347Nm @ 4100rpm
|Dimensions (L / W / H / WB)||5591 / 1894 / 1909 / 3488mm|
|Fuel consumption (claimed combined)||12.4L/100km|
What do you want to know?
If you’d like to know something about this car, or want to see us doing something specific with it, then here’s your chance. Think of it as talkback TV, except via the web. We want to know what you want to know about our latest test car, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
HEY BAILEY, IGNORE THIS GALLERY AND INSTEAD STICK FRANK’S VIDEO IN THIS SPOT.
Get a great deal today
Interested in this car? Provide your details and we’ll connect you to a member of the Drive team.
Previous tests and reviews
August 24, 2022: Buying our Jeep, the dealership experience
When Drive collects a road test car for the typical seven-day road test, it involves going to a warehouse in a suburb near the airport, signing a piece of paper that says we will take care of the car and pay all speeding fines, and then walking around a carpark pressing the unlock button to see which one flashes back at us.
That’s not what you’d call a typical new vehicle purchase handover experience. In fact, we don’t know if there is such a thing because different brands – and even different dealerships within the same brand – take different approaches to uniting a brand-new car with its proud new owner.
This is what City Jeep in Melbourne does for new owners of the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. Many thanks to sales consultant James Alabach for pretending we were a real buyer and walking us through the purchase process.
Now, for us, the paperwork was minimal because we were not the new legal owners of this $88,000 dual-cab ute, but we still had to sign a couple of pages (as detailed above). For you, there will be a few more pages, but unlike us, you won’t have to give your Gladiator Rubicon back after a couple of months.
City Jeep also gave us a goodies bag of Jeep merchandise, which included his and hers stubby holders, hats, drink bottles, keep cups, a beanie, a frisbee, a torch and a Jeep lanyard – all so we can proudly rep the brand in public.
Then James took us to the garage to meet BSP115, our Sting Grey adventure machine. It was quite a sight seeing our macho-man all-terrain terror sitting in a car spot with a bright yellow bow on its bonnet, but it did make the whole experience feel a little bit special.
James then walked us around the vehicle and showed us how every opening opens and how every flap flaps. He removed a roof panel and put it back on, showed us how to adjust the front seats and the steering wheel, and also paged through the multimedia system, pointing out interesting features.
After James had paired our phone, we explored the off-road systems – transfer case, sway bars, locking diffs and the like. Then we moved to the back seat where he showed us the hidden bins under the seat base and the cool portable Bluetooth speaker.
All up, the handover took around 30 minutes, but can be shortened or lengthened to suit a buyer’s enthusiasm. Equally, City Jeep is happy to delay the walk-through a couple of weeks (probably to line up with your complimentary 1000km inspection) if you’d prefer to just get on the road and discover your new car yourself.
Lastly, James took us to the tray and showed us the easy-release tonneau cover system, the sliding tie-downs and the damped tailgate. He also showed us how to adjust the tailgate tethers to suit long lumbar loads.
Drive has tested the Gladiator before, but I did learn a few things because, with a car like the Jeep Gladiator that has an incredible array of features and versatility, there’s always something more to discover.
Some years earlier, an aftersales expert for a different car company told me that if a buyer doesn’t use a particular feature or system within the first 30 days of ownership, then they are unlikely to ever use it. Probably because they will not remember their car has whatever it is. He also told me that only one-third of a car’s systems are used regularly.
Such is the complexity of modern new cars these days that a thorough handover is essential. I’d even recommend a follow-up session one month down the track.
August 28, 2022: Loading up to move house
This week I’m kicking off the next instalment of a torture test I like to call ‘Moving House’. It’s something we humans do from time to time in order to a) test our mental resilience, b) add stress to already busy lives, and c) reduce our worldly possessions.
The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon ute’s timely arrival in our Long-term Garage meant it was called into action to help the Butler clan move house. It did four runs up and down the Princes Freeway from Newport to Geelong, carrying a very small portion of our lives to our temporary home while we await settlement day on the new digs.
The overwhelming majority of our stuff – 336 boxes, bags, crates and furniture items as counted by the removalists during loading – went into two huge containers and will sit in a holding yard for the 10 days that we are officially homeless.
The stuff that we moved ourselves included all the items a family of four needs for two weeks: kids’ cots, clothes, high chairs, toys, clothes, food from the pantry and fridge, clothes, first aid kits and alcohol. We also had to move all our plants and anything flammable – BBQ gas bottle, mower petrol can, cleaning fluids, paints, etc – because it would be very bad if they went into the shipping containers and somehow combusted.
The Gladiator’s tray is pretty high off the ground, so it’s not all that easy lifting things up and into. The rollback tonneau cover is a dream to use, however. It latches and unlatches with ease and rolls back to the cabin where velcro straps tie it down. The tray is suitably large and deep, and the spray-in liner has so far resisted my attempts to damage it, while also proving grippy enough to hold boxes in place and slippy enough to let me slide them around.
Getting up into and out of the tray is relatively easy. The rear bumper has bars that extend around the side to make a handy step, and those huge mud-terrain tyres are easy to stand on while throwing ropes and bungee cords across the cargo.
The tray itself has robust metal anchor points at the back and a tie-down rack on each side with two sliding anchors to provide decent tie-down versatility. The tailgate is nicely damped on opening and relatively light to close. Lights in the tray are handy during night-time loading.
So far, the engine has not shown any signs of weakness even with 300kg of home handyman tools in the tray – I need to move them myself to do some quick rectification work on our new home before the furniture can be installed.
Fuel consumption has dropped from a week one average in the high 13L/100km to 12.0L/100km thanks to those four 150km round trips. The Gladiator Rubicon has an 83L tank, but the most I’ve managed to squeeze into it is 75L, and this was when the trip computer told me I had 40km to empty.
August 29, 2022: Rain equals wet knees
It rained today. Which is how I discovered that the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon’s rain gutters stop a little short of the ideal length. Opening the front door to get in or out brings a small waterfall into the cabin roughly where the front seat occupant’s knee would be. Have a look at the video.
RAINY DAY VIDEO GOES HERE.
Coming Soon: Going shopping
The Gladiator measures 5.6m long, 1.9m wide and 1.9m tall, with a 13.6m turning circle, making it one of the largest cars on sale in Australia.
All that heft might be fine when adventuring in the great outdoors, but there will be instances where the Gladiator needs to serve as a daily driver.
What better way to test its city-car credentials (or limitations) than by attempting to navigate a crowded, underground shopping centre carpark?
We did just that – and even attempted to tackle a compact car space. How did it fare? Coming soon. Stay tuned.