Avatar photo

By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Facelift Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator arriving soon with new engine

New powerplant is expected to replace the long standing the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol, though for now, details remain a mystery.


The recipients of mid-life updates last year, Stellantis South Africa has confirmed that both the updated Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator will become available before year-end.

New engine conundrum

Currently the cheapest models in the Jeep range below the Grand Cherokee with pricing from R1 019 500 to R1 121 900 for the Wrangler and R1 344 900 for the Gladiator, the biggest change involves the eschewing of the long serving normally aspirated 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine in favour of a new unit.

The sole option for the Grand Cherokee, Stellantis confirmed to The Citizen that the engine in question will be rolled-out on both models, though it didn’t say much else apart from denouncing it featuring any form of electrification.

ALSO READ: Toughened-up revised Jeep Gladiator enters the arena

Unsurprisingly, this rules-out the 4xe that combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a total output of 280kW/637Nm.

Given the availability of the mild-hybrid 2.0-litre turbocharged Hurricane petrol and 6.4-litre Hemi V8 in the Wrangler but not the Gladiator, the sole other option comes in the guise of the 3.0-litre CRD turbodiesel V6 marketed under the EcoDiesel moniker in the US.

Jeep soon to introduce facelift Wrangler and Gladiator to South Africa
External changes to the Gladiator have also been subtle. Image: Jeep

Once used by Stellantis sister brand Ram in the 1500 bakkie, the VM Motori-made oil-burner officially departed from the Wrangler range two years ago and from the Gladiator line-up soon after with sales in Europe ceasing for good at the end of 2023.

Due to the fact that no other engine options exist in both models bar the Pentastar, and based on the official wording that “there will be a new engine derivative”, it seems plausible that the diesel could be the engine in question given South Africa’s less stringent emissions regulations than Europe or the US.

Jeep soon to introduce facelift Wrangler and Gladiator to South Africa
The venerable 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine will make way for a different unit in South Africa. Image: Jeep

As it stands though, no concreate information approving the EcoDiesel/CRD exists, suggesting a secondary probability in the roll-out of an engine unique to the Gladiator but already available in the Wrangler.

Producing 213kW/353Nm in the States, but 209kW/347Nm in South Africa, the Pentastar offers-up 13 kW more than the hybridised Hurricane, but 47 Nm less torque with its differences from the diesel involving a power gain of 22 kW and a torque deficit of 247 Nm.

What else to expect?

Besides the engine conundrum, the South African-spec Wrangler and Gladiator’s visual changes will mirror that of the US-model, with the same likely to apply to the interior.

Jeep soon to introduce facelift Wrangler and Gladiator to South Africa
Interior in both models now dominated by a dual 12.3-inch instrument cluster and infotainment system. Image: Jeep

As such, expect the availability of the 12.3-inch digital instrument and Uconnect 5 infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, upgraded materials, type-C USB ports, a forward facing camera and new air vents.

More soon

Describing the arrival of both models as in the “preparation stages” with more details likely to be revealed soon, expectations are that a significant price hike will also be implemented based on the eventual spec.

More information is therefore expected soon with the Wrangler confirmed to arrive first and the Gladiator soon after.

NOW READ: Black-nose updated Jeep Wrangler shows itself in New York

Read more on these topics

Jeep Motoring News Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.

For more news your way

Download our app and read this and other great stories on the move. Available for Android and iOS.