Jeep Gladiator a three-star general

Jeep’s rugged Gladiator 4x4 ute hit with a poor three-star safety rating.

Jeep’s Gladiator ute, which launched into Australia’s booming dual cab ute segment earlier this year, has been dealt a body blow in the form of a three-star safety rating by industry watchdog ANCAP. 

With most new vehicles expected to be sold with a five-star rating these days, the poor ANCAP rating is a potential blow to the Gladiator’s sales prospects in a market where safety is increasingly front of mind for buyers. 

The Gladiator, which launched locally in June, was not actually crash tested by ANCAP but its rating is carried across from tests conducted last year on the Jeep Wrangler, upon which it is based.

A statement from ANCAP noted the five-seat dual cab Gladiator ute shares the same core structural underpinnings, engine configuration and restraint package as the previously tested Wrangler and as such provides similar structural crash performance to the Wrangler. 

The statement went on to say that the Gladiator offers levels of protection for adult occupants and vulnerable road users below that expected by consumers with scores of 60% and 49% in respective areas.

“The structural issues we saw with the originally tested Wrangler also apply to the Gladiator including A-pillar and cross-facia beam failure, footwell intrusion, high seatbelt loads and excessive pedal movement. These remain an increased risk for occupants,” said ANCAP Director – Communications & Advocacy Rhianne Robson. 

Jeep Gladiator has three-star ANCAP safety rating.

“Consumers have come to expect a high level of safety regardless of price point and market segment.

“Safety should remain a priority in all vehicle purchases and this is no different for a vehicle of this type – particularly at this price point.”

The Gladiator come in two trim levels and is priced from $75,490 (MRLP). At the end of September, 70 Jeep Gladiators had been sold, making it the brand’s third best seller for the month behind the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, with a total of 309 vehicles sold year-to- date. 

At the time of its local launch Jeep described the Gladiator as “seamlessly pairing brute off-road capabilities that 4x4 fanatics desire with refined on-road driving dynamics”.

ANCAP noted the Gladiator carries across the same collision avoidance equipment as the Wrangler – with the ability to detect and assist in avoiding a crash with another vehicle – which helped it to achieve a Safety Assist score of 51%. 

However, the safety organisation also noted the AEB system fitted to the Gladiator does not have the ability to detect or respond to potential crashes with pedestrians and cyclists, and that active lane support functionality is also not available.