Punk’n Rocker

Starting at $45,370 the Rubicon is the pinnacle of Trail Rated features for adventuring. The Punk’n Metallic paint is a $245 option. (Mark Maynard)

Mopar-upfitted 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon a showcase of $12,400 in accessories

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of a new vehicle is as vague as a stoplight in Boston — a suggestion, at best. For new vehicles, the MSRP is merely a starting point. There will be several trim-level choices with a spartan base model to stake a claim for price-point advertising. It’s a car few buyers actually want, except as a delivery beater.

Moving up through the trim levels doubles up on conveniences and technology features, but it is still just more of the same when seen in traffic.

A 2-inch lift kit lift, $1,495, so owners can add bigger tires and wheels. (Mark Maynard)

To spark some red mist for the buyer — while ratcheting up the cost — manufacturers have become masterful at providing a catalog of personalization accessories. If you can imagine it, it’s probably offered or will be.

Most new luxury cars or SUVs are bought with $10,000 in options or packages, and sometimes a package alone is $10,000, or more.

Fox 2.0 performance shocks; standard equipment with the Rubicon. (Mark Maynard)

From unique paint colors to better leather, bigger wheels, lower-profile tires, crests, badges, colored seat belts, more gratuitous performance, LED lighting and techno-marvelous infotainment systems to extended warranties, what the customer wants, the customer gets … for a price.

Jeep has long been a champion of choice with several versions of four-wheel drive systems, soft and hard tops, street tires or adventure treads, audio and style perks.

Katzkin leather interior seats, $1,750. (Mark Maynard)

And then there’s the Mopar catalog with more than 200 accessories.

Jeeps are basically a canvas and Jeep Performance Parts are the buyer’s paints for personalization. So far, there are 200 Mopar products available for the Gladiator. I’ve just tested a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the top-line off-roader, that had $12,400 in Jeep/Mopar performance parts.

Rearview camera and front-facing trail cam, $595. (Mark Maynard)

At $45,370 the Rubicon is the pinnacle of Trail Rated features, including the 4:1 Rock-Trac heavy duty four-wheel-drive system (with an Off-Road Plus mode), locking front and rear axles, disconnecting front stabilizer bar, steel rock rails and an appetite for adventuring.

For those serious about getting there and back in demanding off-road adventures, this is the rig to consider. But access doesn’t come cheaply.

Decked truck-bed storage system, $1,295. (Mark Maynard)
Tri-fold hard tonneau cover, $950, and spray-on bedlner, $495. (Mark Maynard)

With the Jeep Performance upgrades, by Chrysler FCA’s Mopar performance division, the tester had a sticker of $58,955, including the striking Punk’n Metallic paint ($245).

But there is a reprieve when buying new. The performance parts have the same basic, limited warranty as the vehicle — 3-years or 36,000-miles — and they can be rolled into the financing (with the cost of labor for parts installation).

Jeep-logo hood latches, $60. (Mark Maynard)

The Rubicon tester is a formidable pickup that included city features, such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function in traffic and full-speed collision warning. And this wide rig with a 44.8-foot turning circle benefited from the Jeep Active Safety Group, $895, that added ParkSense rear park-assist system, which alerts to the nearness of an object, and blind-spot and cross-path detection.

Set of two 7-inch LED off-road lights, 8,000 lumens each, $725. (Mark Maynard)
Set of two 5-inch LED off-road lights, 4,800 lumens each, $475. (Mark Maynard)

The 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment touch screen is an upright and visible display for the rearview camera, with guidance lines. But it’s even better for the front-facing trail cam, $595.

The tester also included $12,400 JPP accessories for:

• A 2-inch lift kit lift, $1,495. Created by Jeep engineers and Fox shocks so owners can add bigger tires and wheels.

• Military grade 7-inch off-road LED lights, $725 two-light set. The lights have an 8,000-lumens output, each. Mounting brackets, $65

Cat-back exhaust upgrade with dual tips, $1,250. (Mark Maynard)

• Military grade 5-inch LED, $475 two-light set. Add 4,800 lumens each. A-pillar mounting brackets, $145

• 2-inch grille/winch guard, $249

• Cold air intake, $445. Features the Jeep brand logo and draws in fresh air from hood cut-out to increase engine performance.

• Cat-back exhaust, $1,250. Adds a loud exhaust tone and dual chrome tips.

• Jeep logo valve stem caps, $60 for four.

Off-road slotted wheels, 17-by-8.5 inches; $1,140 for four. Add five 35-inch BFG tires for around $1,250. (Mark Maynard)
Logo valve stems, $19. (Mark Maynard)

• Jeep logo hood latches, $60 a pair

• Door sill guards, 4-piece set $75. Composite and stainless-steel door sill guards feature the Gladiator logo.

• Beadlock-capable five-spoke wheels, $1,140 for four. Aluminum 17-inch wheels have five-spoke “gear” or five-spoke “slot” designs.

Pedal kit, $105. All weather (slush) floor mats, $165. (Mark Maynard)

• Tires. Mopar/FCA dealers have a “TireWorks program” that gives access to different tire brands. The dealer can source whatever brand, model and size (up to 35 inches) the customer prefers depending on their intended use — whether on-road, off-road or a combination.

• Black satin grille, $325

• Heavy duty rock rails, $950. To help slide across objects with high-centering potential. The heavy-gauge steel rock rails are thicker and wider than stock in a non-slip powder-coat finish.

• Tri-fold tonneau system, $950.

• Bed storage system, $1,295. A heavy-duty pair of lockable, sliding drawers (200-pound capacity) to secure gear, supplies and tools.

Seatback Molle design storage bags, $145 set of three.

Katzkin leather seats, $1,750. Embroidered with Jeep grille logo in Tungsten stitching.

• Mopar grab handles, $39 each for first and second rows. hard-secured for increased grip.

Molle design storage bags, $145 set of three.

• Jeep logo all-weather (slush) floor mats, $165. Raised edges for added water and dirt retention.

• Metal ATX pedal covers, $105.

• Spray-on bedliner, $495.

Satin-black grille, $325. (Mark Maynard)

Check the site for Jeep Performance Parts.


And read my first review of the Gladiator, “the mudder of midsize pickups” (July 14, 2019) here.

markmaynard@cox.net

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