Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
If there's one thing we know about the Jeep Wrangler these days, it's that Jeep charges a fortune for its rigs — loaded Rubicon models easily top $60,000, a princely sum that makes many enthusiasts' hearts sag when they contemplate upgrading their current Wrangler to a newer model. So we expected that the brand-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, the mid-size pickup based on a modified Wrangler JL platform and featuring even more content and utility, would be pricey. And we were right. The 2020 Gladiator's pricing will command a $2,000 price premium over a comparable 2019 Wrangler four-door, with the base Sport model costing $35,040 including a whopping huge destination fee (more on that in a moment), while the slightly better equipped Sport S will ring in at $38,240.
The Gladiator comes in four flavors: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Pricing:
- Gladiator Sport: $35,040
- Gladiator Sport S: $38,240
- Gladiator Overland: $41,890
- Gladiator Rubicon: $45,040
There is no Sahara model for the Gladiator, the all-wheel-drive equipped on-road model with power soft-top meant to cater to convenience versus all-terrain conquest. Instead, we have the Overland trim level, complete with a more luxurious leather interior and trim, for $41,890. If you want the biggest, baddest Gladiator in all the land, you'll want the Rubicon, with its myriad off-road-capable systems, special tires and electronic equipment starting at $45,040.
These are some hefty prices, but like all Jeeps, you can add many options. We don't have specific option pricing just yet, but the total for a completely loaded Gladiator Rubicon is expected to be in the mid-$60,000 range. Yet the sheer abilities delivered by the Gladiator combined with its uniqueness (name me another mid-size convertible pickup truck with removable doors) and probable stellar resale value mean Jeep is likely to sell every one that it makes.
It's obvious Jeep isn't even glancing at the work truck market, instead going straight for lifestyle buyers with a starting price about $8,200 higher than a base Toyota Tacoma and more than $15,000 higher than the ancient Nissan Frontier. But comparing the Gladiator to somewhat comparable four-wheel-drive, V-6-powered (where applicable) competitor models, it fits right in the middle of the pack for starting price versus trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado Z71 4×4 crew cab, or Ford Ranger XLT FX4 4×4 (compare all four here). The base Gladiator may be priced similarly to crew-cab 4×4 models from other manufacturers, but competitor trucks have more standard equipment and amenities. However, the Jeep comes with a standard removable convertible soft-top, so picking between the Gladiator and competitor models based on a price and equipment comparison becomes difficult.
Nearly $1,500 to ship a vehicle from Toledo, Ohio, to a dealer is more than you'd pay if you contracted with a private shipper to deliver a vehicle just about anywhere in the country and is $500 more than Mercedes-Benz charges to deliver a new 2019 G550 from Graz, Austria. We've seen delivery charges going up with all automakers, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles seems to be really boosting its fees for this, a generally nonnegotiable sum added to the sticker price after all other calculations are complete.
If you can swallow the price (there are not likely to be discounts or rebates on the Gladiator anytime soon), the Gladiator is an amazing off-road adventure toy. The Jeep brand continues to enjoy its status as a purveyor of uniquely capable, expensive open-air adventure vehicles, and looks set to continue that path for a while yet — at least until the new 2021 Ford Bronco gets here to offer it what rumors continue to suggest will be some direct removable-door, convertible-roof competition.
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