When the JL Jeep Wrangler went on sale in early 2018, Jeep made a couple of price corrections — both in the upward direction — as it realized just how hot a property it had. First came a $750 increase across-the-board, $500 in the price and $250 in the destination and handling charge. Four months later, Jeep boosted the two-door Wrangler price by $450, the four-door by $500, and destination another $50. That's a $1,250 or $1,300 premium for anyone who didn't get their orders handled at the starting gun.
Now it's the Gladiator's turn for some financial tinkering, CarsDirect reporting that price of the popular pickup in Rubicon trim will go up this month by $330. The news comes from "a recent dealer order guide." Right now, the beefiest Gladiator starts at $43,545 and tacks on a handling charge of $1,495, for a total of $45,040. CarsDirect didn't say when, but the price is imminently scheduled to hit $45,370 after destination. When the increase takes effect, a Gladiator with the six-speed manual will be $2,080 more than a Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with the 3.6-liter V6 and manual gearbox. At $47,370 when optioned with the eight-speed automatic, the Gladiator will cost $1,580 more than a likewise equipped Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, and $390 less than a 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro with a six-speed automatic.
What's this mean for buyers? Nothing but 'bring more money.' In Q3, Jeep sold 245,474 vehicles, outdoing sister brand Ram by 66,274 units. The Gladiator contributed 16,132 units to that number. According to Cox Automotive's Market Insights, Jeep "set a new Q3 high" for brand-wide average transaction price at $37,812. The Gladiator, however, still leaves dealer lots for an average transaction price above $50,000. Six months ago, we wondered if the pickup could keep up its option-happy orders after Cox noted a $56,403 average transaction price during the truck's first month on sale, when the sample size was small, and the $62,310 Launch Edition and wild markups skewed the curve. There's that question answered. For now, the Gladiator won't be stopped, so anyone who wants to save themselves a car payment should see a dealer immediately.