Jeep is entering the South African Double Cab market with the convertible Gladiator


While the Jeep Gladiator has already been seen on American roads, it’s new to the South African market and at REEDS Bellville, we couldn’t be more excited to see it rolling into our showroom.

With this model the brand hopes to gain some momentum in the highly popular double cab bakkie segment in our country. The decision comes after stats show that last year, 1 in every 8 vehicles sold in SA was a double cab, a trend revealing we are really migrating to SUVs and light commercial vehicles as our daily drives.

South Africa gets a single trim level for the time being, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. It oozes Jeep’s core values of Freedom, Authenticity, Adventure, and Community in every millimetre. But is it enough to take a piece of the highly competitive bakkie segment in the South African market? Let’s find out!

Unique Wrangler with a Double Cab

When you look at the Gladiator from the front, it looks like the Wrangler but with a double cab. The Gladiator sports the distinctive Jeep 7-slat vertical grille and round headlights as well as the large, box arches and externally secured bonnet that we have seen on Jeeps since the 1940’s.

However, there is one specific feature that makes the Gladiator completely unique and separates it from all other double cab bakkies because this is a convertible. Yes, you are reading that right, convertible. Making the Jeep Gladiator the only convertible double cab in South Africa.

Gladiators come with both a soft top and a removable three-piece hard top, allowing for a variety of configurations and (quite literally) opening up a new dimension for off-road and adventure enthusiasts. There’s no need to settle for a Wrangler or a double cab, now you can have both.

We are big fans of the ability to remove the roof, the doors and drop the windscreen on the Jeep Gladiator and it will be interesting to see if other brands will follow. For now, it remains a unique selling point for this double cap Jeep model.

Plenty of Loading space

The load bin measures in at 1.5-metres long and offers a payload of 693 kg, allowing ample loading space for all sorts of (sports)equipment and leisure vehicles like, for example, dirt bikes.

Why do we say dirt bikes? Well, the Gladiator has the imprint of a dirt bike's tyre tread into the moulding of the bin indicating where you can place yours if you own one.

What’s under the hood?

Under the hood you will find the 3.6-litre V6 petrol Pentastar engine that develops 209 kW and 347 Nm torque. The power flows via an 8-speed automatic gearbox on to a 4x4 drivetrain with locking differentials front and rear while 2-inch aluminium body Fox shock absorbers will handle the rough stuff.

As a true off-road, trail rated car the Jeep Gladiator offers 43.4-degrees of approach angle, 26-degrees departure angle and 20.3-degrees of breakover making it perfectly capable of dealing with all sorts of obstacles.

This unique double cab bakkie definitely has the cool factor! Want to come and check it out? Visit us at our showroom or contact us to book a test drive!