[CAR REVIEW] Jeep Gladiator finally hits SA: 'It's unbelievable!'

'It's the only bakkie that's actually a convertible.' Sara-Jayne King interviews motoring journalist Melinda Ferguson.

- The Jeep Gladiator is a "monster" off-road bakkie

- It's the largest bakkie ever brought into South Africa, says motoring journalist Melinda Ferguson

- The Gladiator costs over R1.2 million, which makes it the most expensive bakkie in the country at the moment

Jeep Gladiator @ jetcityimage/123rf.com

The Jeep Gladiator has finally arrived in South Africa after a four-year wait.

It's the biggest and most expensive bakkie in the country at the moment.

The Gladiator's 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine brings 209kW of power and maximum torque of 347Nm says Jeep.

"This Jeep Gladiator is possibly my new dream car," comments Sara-Jayne King in conversation with Melinda Ferguson.

"It's unbelievable!" exclaims the motoring journalist.

It's the largest bakkie to be brought to South Africa. It's the only bakkie that's actually a convertible... You can take the roof off in these three panels... You'd have to have a bit of help I think...

Melinda Ferguson, Motoring journalist

There is also a soft-top version of the Gladiator available. The monster bakkie is 5.5 metres long.

For the design, the US car maker revisited its iconic military "Willys Jeep" created in the 1940s, says Ferguson.

In about 1953 they went on the commercial market and became hugely popular... Those little eyes and the fender that the new Gladiator has, are directly inspired by that old, old Jeep.

Melinda Ferguson, Motoring journalist

The Gladiator's load bay features motor cycle ruts so you can actually park your scrambler bike on it adds Ferguson.

"It's a very outdoor type of market... bikers... surfers..."

When it gets to the off-road capabilities it becomes very clear that if you don't want to take it off-road, you don't bother buying it. It's just the most unbelievable off-road bakkie that I've ever been in.

Melinda Ferguson, Motoring journalist

It's based on their top-spec Rubicon, for the Jeep fans out there and there are many... Jeep has got the same kind of mania in terms of fans as Landrover does.

Melinda Ferguson, Motoring journalist

The Jeep Gladiator sells for R1 259 900.

Scroll to the top of the article for the audio of the review

More in Multimedia