Trucks & SUVs

Why Is the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon so Expensive?

For those considering the beefy Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, you may notice a price hike you didn’t see coming for 2020 models. Here’s what we know about the Rubicon’s additional features and the increase in the purchase price.

According to Jeep’s recent order guide

A few sources cite the recent price change for the 2020 Gladiator Rubicon, effective this month. Prior to this adjustment, you could buy the Rubi trim for $45,040.

The new MSRP, after fees, is $45,370, meaning consumers are asked to pay an additional $330. So, why the hike and what, if anything, comes with it?

What do you get with the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon’s increase?

The price increase, from what we can tell, will only apply to the Rubicon trim. The change comes without any significant upgrades in terms of standard equipment either.

Jeep also excludes the Gladiator Rubicon from potential loyalty and employee discounts. According to Cars Direct, the automaker hasn’t responded for comment to this inquiry. So we may not learn why Jeep elected to tack on the extra $300.

What the Rubicon trim level brings

Enthusiasts seeking the heartiest version of Gladiator should opt for the Rubicon trim level. Under the hood, you’ll have a 3.6L Pentastar V6 base engine, offering 285 hp.

Also available is the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 option. You can have a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon can tow a maximum of 4,500 pounds and has a payload rate of 1,200 pounds.

The add-on options lists are huge. Choose leather seats, both hard and soft tops, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen to enhance the Gladiator’s interior experience. Those extras may cost you, though. Your price tag can jump to over $60,000 by adding the bells and whistles.

So, is the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon trim worth the price?

Truck enthusiasts are excited about Jeep’s addition to the truck market. Reviews discuss Gladiator’s capabilities off-road as top-notch. A $330 difference in the base price may not affect buying decisions, even if there aren’t any direct benefits of the hike.

People looking to purchase the Gladiator with the Rubi trim may be more excited about the off-road extras (including the Dana 44 axles and Fox shocks) anyway. Some reviewers suggest you almost need the higher ground clearance of the Rubicon to avoid belly-dragging over rugged terrain. Its 33-inch tires are practically a prerequisite for maximum agility off-road.

The 2020 Gladiator Rubicon will be within the range of its competitors, like Tacoma TRD Pro, and priced a little higher than Chevy Colorado ZR2 and GMC Canyon Denali. But, most suggest that Jeep fans won’t mind. While all of these trucks are worthy adversaries on pavement and off-road, there can be only one Jeep, right?

Off-road enthusiasts won’t pinch pennies

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon seen at the New York International Auto Show
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon seen at the New York International Auto Show | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Based on 2019 buying data, Jeep lovers paid an average of $56,000 for the Gladiator. The accessories sales dominated, and by August, the Gladiator boasted $200 more spent in accessories than Wrangler.

The extra $300 for the Rubicon trim is a drop in the bucket compared to current spending trends. And we don’t anticipate enthusiasts will be concerned with pinching pennies.

How you plan to use your Gladiator will ultimately determine if the Rubicon trim level is worth the bump in base price. Chances are, however, true Jeep off-roaders won’t hesitate to take on the extra few hundred. What truly makes Rubicon a beast is its available options and accessories.