ANCAP has announced the Jeep Gladiator will carry the Wrangler’s same three-star rating without testing and despite being a different model.

Jeep’s Gladiator has been stamped with a sub-par three-star ANCAP result from the Australasian testing authority which claims the Gladiator is similar enough to the Wrangler to not warrant its own testing and rating. Instead, it is utilising computer modelling and diagrams.

This is also despite the NHTSA in the USA finding that the Gladiator exceeded the Wrangler in the passenger frontal crash test that plagued the Wrangler (NHTSA testing above). To be noted, the NHTSA and ANCAP do not follow the exact same testing procedures.

For the Wrangler, this is not to excuse poor results for compromised structural crash results, which is some of the reason the Wrangler performed poorly in its own assessment. 

Wrangler left, Gladiator right

In the instance of the Gladiator, which despite looking mostly like a Wrangler with a tray on the back, there are differences that one would assume warrant testing. In the US for example the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) did test both models separately and the Gladiator scored higher where the Wrangler failed.

This might be that although sharing what is mostly the same ladder-frame structure underneath, the Gladiator chassis is a revised design constructed by a different supplier. It’s also 787mm longer with a 492mm longer wheelbase and a completely different rear-end suspension design. Such things affect weight transfer and load when moving. The rear-seat space is also larger with a bigger footwell which one would assume will potentially affect the rear-seat occupancy results in an impact.

To this, ANCAP told us that while it did not crash-test the Gladiator, it did inspect diagrams of the Gladiator and found it “provides comparable levels of safety performance” to the Wrangler, hence the carry-over rating. 

“As the Gladiator shares the same core structural underpinnings, engine configuration and restraint package as the Wrangler, we were able to utilise the test results from the Jeep Wrangler in conjunction with an evaluation of technical evidence supplied by FCA for the Gladiator,” a spokesperson said when asked if the car was inspected.

“This included results from a number of additional in-house tests conducted on the Gladiator, along with technical diagrams and modelled results.

“The technical evidence assessed by ANCAP engineers confirms that the Gladiator provides comparable levels of safety performance to that of its partner model, the Wrangler.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. As a very poor 3 star rating before, I would not expect it to jump up to 5, even with “some” improvements. If a car will not meet 5 stars, I will not risk it.

    1. A 5-Star Rating these days may not mean what you think, when it was first tested the Kia Stinger scored either 3 star or 5 star depending on the spec level, the physical crash performance was exactly the same it was only differences in assistance tech that varied the rating.

      1. True, but Dale you’re forgetting the crucial part… That safety gear is essential for the over abundance of road users that wouldn’t be capable of driving without it!!

  2. Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator buyers don’t consider the star rating, neither do dual-cab Amarok buyers (which have no 2nd row airbags). I don’t understand why someone would buy a 5 seater vehicle with known poor safety for your passengers when there are equally purposeful 5 star vehicles available.

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