Now that the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has been released to the masses, it's time to figure out a couple of important factors: how much will it cost, when will it go on sale, and how bad will dealers rip off loyalists with sky-high markups—aka "dealer market adjustments?"
In order to find out, I made some phone calls to several Ohio Jeep dealerships and interrogated multiple salespeople. Of course, Jeep won't officially announce the price or release date of the Gladiator yet, so maybe an overly friendly salesperson would. In the end, I didn't learn what I wanted to, but I did find out a few things nonetheless.
How Much Will it Cost?
The first contact with a salesman wasn't promising. "I was wondering if I could pick your brain about the Gladiator," I said after introducing myself. "That's the new Jeep pickup, right?" he responded. At this point, I began to work on an exit strategy for the conversation. Meanwhile, the salesman continued: "They've given us nothing," sounding equal parts exasperated and defeated. "That's been in the works for about three years, believe it or not. We know what you know, we've been looking at all the spy photos and reading all the articles."
To get an idea of Gladiator pricing, I configured a Wrangler loaded to the hilt. The price tag on a Rubicon with all the bells and whistles? Over $57,000. Considering the Gladiator is that and then some, it'd be safe to say a fully loaded Gladiator Rubicon will probably hit $60,000.
When Will it Launch?
I called a larger dealer next. The salesman there had a little more information, but nothing about the price. "We're still in the dark, but we're thinking [it will go on sale] April 2019. I wish we had them now, I've been taking calls on this thing for about two years!"
While the April date is just hearsay, there might be some truth to it. Jeep launched the all-new JL Wrangler at last year's LA Auto Show in November and it went on sale five months later in April 2018. Chances are the Gladiator will follow suit.
Feeling encouraged, I moved on to "market adjustments." The salesman was pretty straight with me, which I appreciated. "It really depends on how many they give us, but I expect there won't be one [a markup]," he said. "I could see it if we were the only game in town."
"Chrysler/Jeep has a mind of their own. They haven't told us about equipment, options...nothing. I get my information from Allpar, magazines, websites..."
Will people pay $65,000-$70,000 just to be the first with a Jeep pickup truck? Don't underestimate the fanatics. It's a Jeep thing, after all.
While I don't know more about the Gladiator than what's already been published, it's evident that Jeep has a 100-percent-original hit on its hands, and it will basically print money.