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You Won't Believe How Much People Are Spending on Jeep Gladiators

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And it's not because dealers are marking them up, either.

Want to make money as an automaker, hand over fist? Build pickup trucks. Not only do the workhorses tend to sell like hotcakes, but they typically sell for far above their base prices. And that's certainly the case with the new Jeep Gladiator.

CarsDirect cites data from Cox Automotive's Kelley Blue Book to report that Gladiators are selling on average for $56,403. That's nearly double their $33,545 starting MSRP, and to reach that high an average, you know some are selling for much more (or many are selling for at least a bit more).

So what gives? Unlike some other new models that've been highly anticipated by certain enthusiasts, it's not because of scarcity, or dealers marking them up with big stickers. It's because many buyers, it seems, are optioning their new Jeep pickups to the proverbial gills. And that's not hard to do with the new Gladiator.

Opt for the top Rubicon model, for example, and you're already looking at over $45k (delivered). Click all the options and you're looking at well over $60k, and it seems that many (if not most) buyers are doing exactly that.

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Compare those figures to the new Ford Ranger, which starts at $24,300 and sells for an average just over $37k – a far narrower gap than FCA's seeing with the new Gladiator.

Mind you, Jeep isn't selling nearly as many: last month it sold 2,548 Gladiators compared to 7,750 Rangers. Both figures pale in comparison to the aging (but class-leading) Toyota Tacoma, which saw nearly 23,000 sold last month alone. But with average-transaction prices this high, and deliveries just ramping up, we're not sure how much that really matters to Fiat Chrysler's bottom line.