Test drive with the Jeep Gladiator: A colossus that seems to have fallen out of time – and that's exactly why it earns sympathy points.
From CHF 66,500: the Jeep Gladiator.
Familiar and yet somehow unfamiliar: When I received the Jeep Gladiator for the test drive, I felt almost nostalgic: One push of the start button and with a slight growl and shaking, the 3-liter V6 diesel jumps under the massive hood of the off-road pickups.
A pure combustion engine without any form of electrical support. You rarely drive something like this as a car tester these days!
For the 2.5-ton colossus, however, this still seems to be the only adequate form of drive – because with an electric drive, air resistance is the main factor in achieving a good range. And even those who are not very familiar with physics should immediately recognize that the gladiator has a lot to counter the wind. But that's exactly the concept of the "Gladiator" after all – it defies pretty much everything. On the one hand, of course, all the usual conventions, even if he makes every effort to keep the fuel consumption within limits. Around 8 l/100 km are possible on routes where the masses keep moving, i.e. over country and on the motorway, in the city the consumption display quickly reaches two digits. But the cabin not only offers the typical rustic and indestructible Jeep flair, but also plenty of space in the back seat. In addition, there is the large loading area, which is the main argument for the American giant, at least from a practical point of view.
The fact that the gladiator wants to defy everything does not only refer to conventions and the trend towards smaller, more economical cars, but also to obstacles that might appear on the route. With outstanding ground clearance, a solid ladder frame as a substructure and differential locks as well as off-road reduction, the Gladiator can hardly be stopped off-road, despite the immense wheelbase of 3.49 meters! Of course, the Gladiator is no longer up to date in many respects, with a length of 5.56 meters it is too unwieldy for everyday use and also more conspicuous than almost any other car. But that could make it a future classic.
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