How big is the 2022 Jeep Gladiator and is it difficult to park?

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is almost six meters long, so taking it to a tight, cramped underground parking seems like a cruel and unusual form of torture. And yet, here we are…





Hello and welcome to a scene from my nightmares.

I walked into the office on a Friday morning to be greeted by my boss, Glenn, who flashed me a friendly but slightly unsettling smile.



“Morning Suz – how would you like to try parking 2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon – an almost six meter long patio – in a small, cramped, underground car park?”

Let me be clear – I am not a terrible parker. It’s just not something that comes very naturally to me. Spatial awareness is not my forte, so I sweat and park something bigger than my Subaru Outback.



Also, I’m a perfectionist, so I put enormous pressure on myself to get it right in one fell swoop.

As a result, the concept of parking a very large, very conspicuous patio in a very public place fills me with a rising sense of dread.

What does it say about things that scare you? Just do it? Actually, I think it’s just the Nike slogan, but it still works.



So, Drive’Photographer Ted and I set off for a nearby outlet center in the CBD, which was doing a roaring trade on a Friday afternoon (lots of people ‘working from home’ I think) and which, unfortunately for me, was packed with cars.

The gladiator immediately did more than a few sideways glances. It’s a pretty cool car, to be fair – but it’s also huge, measuring approx 5.6 m long, 1.9 m wide and 1.9 m long, with a turning circle of 13.6 m.

That makes it one of the longest cars sold in Australia. And while all that power can be great when you’re out adventuring in the great outdoors, there will be times when the Gladiator needs to be an indoor car.

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With a look 2022 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
Award $79,250 plus on-road costs
Our specifications (incl. options) LifeStyle Adventure Group
Trail-Redo Package
Price as tested $88,579 including on-road costs
Driveline 3.6-litre V6 petrol
Eight-speed automatic
Part time 4×4
Power & torque 209 kW at 6400 rpm
347 Nm at 4100 rpm
Dimensions (L/W/H/WB) 5591 / 1894 / 1909 / 3488 mm
mass (tare) 2242 kg
Fuel consumption (claimed combined) 12.4L/100km

Getting into the car park itself was smooth enough – it may be large but the Gladiator’s dimensions are clear thanks to excellent all-round visibility and a well-placed driver’s seat.

I had a good view of the hood and front wheel arches, and I could make out the rear corners of the tray surprisingly well, even though they felt very far away from the driver’s seat.

Helpful things were that the rear parking sensors and reversing camera are remarkably accurate.

In fact, in the same week I was assigned this anxiety-inducing task, I also tested the Land Rover Defender, which felt harder to handle than the Gladiator, despite being shorter.

That said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hyper-aware of the size of the car as I wound my way down parking ramps.



The biggest challenge was the car’s 13.6m turning circle, which made it difficult to handle tight corners – especially when trying to account for other cars approaching from the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, other drivers had to wait for me to clear a corner before they could continue.

The parking lot we chose also featured raised lane edges, which are tricky to navigate in smaller cars, let alone a wannabe semi.

On the plus side, the Gladiator’s giant off-road wheels can just cruise over curbs when needed, and I tested this in a particularly tight S-bend. I was able to mount the curb and drive straight over the curvy bits with no problem at all.

Once we got to a particularly tight part of the parking lot, Ted helpfully suggested (note my sarcasm) that I try to park the Gladiator in a spot designated for small cars, right next to a large cement pillar.

I decided to back it up, which – in my experience – is always the easiest method, and approached the task with military-like precision.



Surprisingly, it only took me a few seconds to get the car into the compact space with the help of the Gladiator’s large side mirrors, reversing sensors, reversing camera and head controls.

The precision of the parking sensors even allowed me to back up far enough to tuck the Gladiator’s front end neatly in line with the concrete pillar for minimal overhang.

A particular highlight was just before parking when Ted got out of the driver’s seat to grab his camera and I jumped into the driver’s seat to park the car.

A couple passing by gave him a very judgmental sideways glance, clearly assuming that Ted had enlisted his female counterpart to park the patio because he couldn’t handle the challenge.

Nosing into another location was more challenging, with the Gladiator’s length making it difficult to determine the correct entry angle. I would assume most owners would prefer to back it up in tight spots.

After about an hour of navigating the tight, crowded, poorly lit and judgmental confines of the mall parking lot, I felt almost euphoric. I hadn’t hurt the car, myself, or any innocent bystanders, and I actually got really comfortable with the Gladiator’s massive dimensions.



Although it looks intimidating from the outside, the Gladiator’s well-placed driver’s seat, good all-round visibility and clear edges take the confusion out of parking. Accurate sensors and a helpful reversing camera provide excellent back-up.

Fortunately, I also found most drivers to be really polite and considerate, giving me plenty of room to round corners, wait patiently while tackling reverse parking maneuvers and even give way with a smile and a wave.

Although, with a car as big and intimidating as the Gladiator, they didn’t have much of a choice.

After successfully completing several parking maneuvers, we triumphantly headed back to the office, feeling glad that we didn’t humiliate ourselves and our fellow Gladiator drivers in the process.

And with that I pulled a sharp left out of the narrow exit lane into the parking lot and promptly knocked over an orange cone with the back corner of the tile.

Well, nobody is perfect.



Now that you know how the Gladiator handles tight underground parking, find out how it handles other aspects of everyday life by reading Glenn’s ongoing owner review here.

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Susannah Guthrie

Susannah Guthrie has been a journalist since she was 18, and has spent the last two years writing about cars for Drive, CarAdvice, CarSales and as a motoring columnist for several aviation and hotel magazines. Susannah’s background is in news journalism, followed by years spent in celebrity journalism, entertainment journalism and fashion magazines and a short stint hosting a travel show for Channel Ten TV. She joined Drive in 2020 after spending a year and a half at the helm of Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE’s online platforms. Susannah holds a BA in Media and Communications from the University of Melbourne and cut her teeth as an intern for Time Inc in New York City. She has also completed a television presentation course with the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and one-year-old son who, despite her best efforts, has yet to enjoy a good road trip.

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