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The 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is a lot of fun! I had the fun job of testing the Jeep Gladiator, top spec Rubicon dual cab ute with my family, let’s find out how it gets on as a BabyDrive…

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Firstly, let’s start with the great news; the Jeep Gladiator is one of the last remaining dual-cab utes with three top tether anchorages AND they are metal ones attached to the body of the vehicle. Wooo Hooo!!

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon top tether child seat anchorages in the second row

The rear seatbacks are split 60:40 and they drop forward to reveal the top tether anchorages situated behind them.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon legroom with rear-facing child seats installed in the second row

Connecting the top tether strap to the anchorages is difficult, like in all utes. Once you have got them attached, tightening all the tether straps is nearly impossible as there is such a small space to work in.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon with three child seats installed in the second row

There are ISOFIX points in the two outer rear seats, they are within plastic guides and nice and easy to connect to.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon ISOFIX child seat anchorages in the second row

You can fit three Infasecure child seats in the back of the Jeep Gladiator which is excellent news! I tried the Attain More, Aspire More and the Achieve More. The three seats fit nicely beside each other and headroom is good.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon with three child seats installed in the second row

Legroom is surprisingly tight in the Jeep Gladiator. With rear-facing child seats installed in the back we found around 170cm passengers can sit in front of them. Or a 186cm passenger or driver in front of a forward-facing child seat. For such a large vehicle the interior space is quite surprisingly small and it’s something we really had to take into account during our week using it with a family.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon legroom with rear-facing child seats installed in the second row

The rear footwells were used for everything from compact strollers, scooters, the weekly shop, school bags etc. Being summer, the tray was out of bounds because it was just too hot!

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon space for dogs

We only needed to carry two children in the back most of the time, so luckily we had the middle seat to pile high with our groceries.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon space between two child seats installed in the second row

I did like the hooks in the back of the front seat backs, they are handy for keeping bags and things in place. Storage inside the Jeep Gladiator is good. There are net map pockets on the back of both front seats near with the hooks. They will hold but not conceal an iPad. There are two cup/bottle holders in the rear central footwell. They will hold a reusable or disposable coffee cup or a water bottle fits in them nicely.

There are another two cup holders in a fold-down armrest in the central seat back that will hold a reusable or disposable coffee cup or water bottle.

The rear door bins are simply nets that will hold an iPad and have storage wells in the little door handles too.

In the front, the door bins are also nets but a bit bigger.

There are two coffee cup holders in the central console that will hold a reusable or disposable coffee cup with a slot between them to hold a phone.

The glovebox and central console box are both quite small in the Jeep Gladiator. There is no glasses case in the ceiling but the central console box does have a shelf in the top of it where you can store them.

There are aircon vents in the back of the central console box for rear passengers to stay nice and cool and the rear window controls are situated underneath them.

The tray of the Jeep Gladiator is a very good size and you can fit any size family dog or three in the tray.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon space for dogs

When empty it will hold 27 shopping bags, which is comparable to the Mitsubishi Triton that holds 28 and the Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger which both hold 30 shopping bags.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon space for shopping

You can fit any size double or single pram or stroller in the tray of the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon but whatever I put in there got so hot in the summer sun.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon space for twin side by side stroller pram and shopping

There is plenty of room in the tray for swags, tents and camping gear and the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is a very capable off-road vehicle, which is great for all your family camping trips. It's a very fun and quirky ute to drive. It is full of cool features like the portable Bluetooth stereo behind the back seats (however it's pretty inaccessible when you have child seats installed!)

The roof is removable which wasn't great for most days we had the Gladiator because it was just way too hot but we got one overcast day so we made the most of enjoying it with the kids!

For those who need to keep their firearms close, there is a gun case underneath the rear seats…

…and a handy shooting window in the back windscreen! Or in my family's household, it was open for my toddler to look out of while rear-facing and bellow out when she saw a bird, the moon or anything else in the sky!!

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon space between two child seats installed in the second row

Visibility is exceptionally good in the Jeep Gladiator, you sit so high up that I could see over neighbours' fences I'd never seen before!

The media system is easy to use and navigate in the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon using the buttons along the bottom of the screen.

You can control the heated seats and steering wheel through the media screen…

…and turn the reversing camera on at any point which is very helpful.

It has built-in sat-nav…

…as well as Apple CarPlay making it easier to access podcasts, maps and messaging apps on your phone while driving.

Some air-con controls are done through the media screen too and I found this quite easy to use while driving.

The reversing camera image fills the whole media screen which is good and it has good clear images. You can turn the parking sensors off with a button in the central dash.

Overall the 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is a very COOL family ute! The off-road possibilities and adventures make it very tempting! Taking the roof off makes it a lot of fun and the three top tether anchorages in the back make it practical for families needing to fit three Infasecure child seats across the back although if they are rear-facing legroom is very tight in the front.

2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon with three child seats installed in the second row

Now for the BAD news: The 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon has a three star ANCAP safety rating. It protects children better than adults with an 80% child occupancy rating and just 60% for adults. It comes with dual frontal, and combination side airbags (which protect both the chest and head of front seat occupants). Head-protecting side airbags are not offered for rear seating positions. 

 

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Tace Clifford
About Tace Clifford
Tace Clifford founded BabyDrive in 2017 after discovering a huge information gap in mainstream car reviews that left new parents and expanding families in the dark when it came to one of the biggest purchasing decisions of their lives.

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