Trucks

2020 Jeep Gladiator vs. pickup trucks from Chevy, Ford, Nissan and Toyota

Fiat Chrysler's first midsize pickup in a hot minute is coming out of the gates swinging.

Jeep

After years of wondering just how true the rumors were, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is finally here. Not only does it give the Wrangler lineup a new dimension to explore, it gives parent company Fiat Chrysler its first midsize pickup in years. Let's see how it compares to the current slate of tinier trucks -- Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.

It's worth pointing out that some sacrifices had to be made in the name of not drowning you in spreadsheets. A majority of the figures compiled below represent trucks in crew cab configuration, since that's the only style available for the Gladiator. Since four-wheel drive is also standard on the Gladiator, most comparisons are made with 4x4 specs in mind. All the relevant specifications were taken directly from the automaker's website.

Bodies and powertrains

The Chevrolet Colorado offers three body styles, the most of any midsize truck, while the Gladiator is the only truck making do with just one.

The Colorado is also the king of engine options, with two gas and one diesel engine on offer. The Ranger has just a single engine, while the Frontier and Tacoma both have two (one I4, one V6). While the Gladiator launches with just one engine, a V6, it'll have a diesel shortly as well.

Midsize trucks: Body styles, engines

Model Body styles Available engines
Chevrolet Colorado 3 2 gas, 1 diesel
Ford Ranger 2 1 gas
Jeep Gladiator 1 1 gas, 1 diesel
Nissan Frontier 2 2 gas
Toyota Tacoma 2 2 gas

Approach, departure, breakover

For this one, we've broken off the hardcore variants of each model to show just how much more capable they are versus the more mall-crawler-friendly variants. The Gladiator is far and away the champion of this category, boasting an impressive 40.8-degree approach angle (43.4 on the Rubicon).

The Gladiator is also the king of ride height by a country mile, varying between 10 and 11.1 inches depending on spec. The Colorado is closest to the ground at 8.3 inches, and it's also pretty weak on the angles, but opting for the gnarly ZR2 variant fixes that right up.

Midsize trucks: Climb angles

Model (4x4 only) Approach angle Departure angle Breakover angle Ground clearance
Chevrolet Colorado 17.6 22.3 19.7 8.3
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 30 23.5 23.5 8.9
Ford Ranger 28.7 25.4 21.5 8.9
Jeep Gladiator 40.8 25 18.4 10
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 43.4 26 20.3 11.1
Nissan Frontier 32.6 23.3 20.5 8.9
Toyota Tacoma 29 23 24 9.4
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 35 23.9 26 9.4

Towing and payload

For this one, we kept the towing and payload figures to gas-engine variants with four-wheel drive, to best match the sole figures from Ford and Jeep. Otherwise, the Colorado with its diesel engine would trounce everything on the list.

With the playing field evened, engine-wise, the Gladiator is top of the pops in towing at 7,650 pounds. The Ranger is only 150 pounds down, but it makes up for that gulf by being king of payload at 1,650 pounds. The Gladiator's bed can haul just 50 fewer pounds. The Frontier and Tacoma lag the competition in both figures by a decent margin.

Midsize trucks: Towing, payload

Model (4x4, gas engine) Towing Payload
Chevrolet Colorado 7,000 1,532
Ford Ranger 7,500 1,650
Jeep Gladiator 7,650 1,600
Nissan Frontier 6,510 1,360
Toyota Tacoma 6,500 1,405

Interior volume

Chevrolet, for some reason, doesn't offer a single overarching interior volume figure, so that's why the N/A is on this table -- it's not like the interior exists outside traditional Euclidean space. Despite being the widest truck, the Ranger has the smallest crew cab interior volume of the measured group at 97.6 cubic feet. If you guessed that the Gladiator would be the roomiest, congratulations.

Midsize trucks: Interior volume

Model (crew cab) Interior volume
Chevrolet Colorado N/A
Ford Ranger 97.6
Jeep Gladiator 103
Nissan Frontier 101.1
Toyota Tacoma 100.1

Size

For this one, I had to narrow the trucks down by selecting 4x4 crew cabs with the longest bed offered. With that rule in place, the Gladiator sits firmly in the middle of all measurements, except for height, where it's actually the tallest. The Ranger is nearly 10 inches wider than any other truck at 85.8 inches, yet it also packs the shortest wheelbase and overall length, in part because it doesn't have a long bed option.

Otherwise, the Colorado and Tacoma are the absolute units of the group.

Midsize trucks: Sizes

Model (4x4, crew cab, long bed) Wheelbase Length Width Height
Chevrolet Colorado 140.5 224.9 74.3 70.5
Ford Ranger 126.8 210.8 85.8 71.5
Jeep Gladiator 137.3 218 73.8 73.1
Nissan Frontier 139.9 219.4 72.8 70.1
Toyota Tacoma 140.6 225.5 74.4 70.6

Talkin' tech

I could lay out all manner of specifications here, but I decided to stick with the figures that buyers might appreciate with just a quick glance. Here, I compare the largest and smallest screen sizes, whether or not advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) are standard, and whether or not it can be outfitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Both the Tacoma and Frontier lack Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but thankfully, the Tacoma has standardized its safety tech across the lineup. Both trucks also have the smallest range of screen sizes, save for the Ranger's hella-base 4.2-inch little guy. The Ranger also packs some ADAS, but it's only standard on trims above base. It's nice to see that Jeep isn't the only midsize truck in town with standard safety tech.

Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system has been kicking for some time, but it's generally great and it offers two large-ish screens. Same goes for the Gladiator's Uconnect, one of Roadshow's favorites. Both offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay even in base form.

Midsize trucks: Tech

Model Smallest screen Largest screen ADAS standard? Android Auto + Apple CarPlay?
Chevrolet Colorado 7 8 No Yes
Ford Ranger 4.2 8 Yes (not base) Yes
Jeep Gladiator 7 8.4 Yes Yes
Nissan Frontier 5 5.8 No No
Toyota Tacoma 6.1 7 Yes No

Now that you've finished taking a leisurely swim through data points, kick back and relax by taking in our full preview of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Based on how well it did here, it's ready to compete.

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