Is it a Mahindra? - Readers respond to Jeep Gladiator's SA debut

Earlier in May, Wheels24 ran an article on three bakkies that will be making their debuts in South Africa.

While exact dates are not yet confirmed, these automakers will be looking to make an impact on the market with their respective bakkies. The tree bakkies in question are the all-new Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi Triton, and Jeep Gladiator.

Of the three, the D-Max and Triton are more familiar to South Africans, but the Gladiator not so much. Granted, Jeep produced the Gladiator a few decades ago but has brought the name back to life with the latest iteration.

WATCH: Three new bakkies that could unsettle the cart when they arrive in SA

Regarding engines, the D-Max will be powered by an uprated version of the 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine (140kW/450Nm), as well as a new turbocharged 1.9-litre diesel engine (110kW/350Nm). It’s unclear whether the 2.5-litre motor will continue, or not. Mitsubishi’s Triton will be powered by the familiar 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, with power outputs likely to remain unchanged at 133kW and 430Nm.

The Gladiator features two V6 engines. The 3.6-litre petrol unit develops 212kW/352Nm, while the turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel is good for 190kW and 600Nm.


Do you think any of these bakkies will make an impression on our market? Email us.


Readers have their say

Wheels24 readers were quick to respond to the article, giving their thoughts on how the South African buying public will receive the bakkies.

Bruce Truscott wrote: "The Jeep will be hugely popular and sell well. Hopefully, the pricing will be market-related. As for the Isuzu and Mitsubishi, their sales will remain constant."

Lincoln Webster said: "Of the three bakkies mentioned in your article, I think the new Isuzu will be a big hit; given that South Africans love its famed dependability and off-road prowess. The updated interior will go a long way in swaying some Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger fans into having a closer look at it. The new Triton will remain a slow seller, which is baffling because it's a fantastic vehicle, but I think the looks are too polarizing. Pity.

"As for the Gladiator, buyers are going to need deep pockets to purchase it, so will also sell slowly."

Isuzu D-Max

Isuzu D-Max. Image: Isuzu Media

Gavin Taylor is a Jeep owner but has his reservations about the Gladiator. He wrote: "I own a Jeep Compass, and before having this, we had a Mahindra Bolero for the farm. Unfortunately, the new Jeep Gladiator has a striking resemblance to the Bolero. South Africans are looking for a rough and tumble vehicle with a lot of bells and whistles at an affordable price. 

"I could be wrong, and perhaps the specs and creature comforts outweigh the Bolero look. As a big Jeep fan, I would, however, hate to pay for a Jeep only to have people glance at it and think it's a Mahindra."

Mike McCallum had an interesting story to tell. He noted how, in Heidelberg, Gauteng, in 1969, they used Jeep Gladiators in military training. These bakkies were fitted with six-cylinder engines and three-speed manual gearboxes. These gearboxes, McCallum says, were commonly used on the six-cylinder cars of that era.

jeep,gladiator,jeep gladiator
2020 Jeep Gladiator. Image: QuickPic

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