The Ford F-150 Raptor is undoubtedly the king of full sized high speed desert running.
However, Jeep just introduced the Gladiator Mojave, the desert rated version of its mid-sized pick up.
Do these trucks technically compete with each other?
Well, not directly, but they are two of my favorites and I was really curious to see how they stacked up with each other in terms of power, suspension, drive mode, size, geometry and utility and I bet you are too.
So here we go.
One bloodthirsty dinosaur versus a Roman cage fighter with the sword there can be only one.
So the first thing we need to talk about here is the power plant.
After all ain't gonna go fast.
Fast without horsepower.
With this last generation Ford swapped out the V eight for a twin turbo V six.
And a lot of people got their butts in a bunch over the loss of the V eight but the V six actually puts out more power than that old v eight.
So really, who cares?
The 3.5 liter EcoBoost v six puts out 450 horsepower and 510 pound feet of torque and that is made it to a 10 speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, the Gladiator is powered by a 3.6 liter naturally aspirated the 6 engine with 285 horses and 260 pound feet of torque.
A 6 speed manual transmission is standard hallelujah.
Or you can opt for an eight speed automatic.
So it sounds like the Raptor is really walking away with it here but remember that SuperCrew Raptor is 5697 pounds.
While the mojave with an automatic weighs 4974 pounds, a few pounds less for the manual.
Now that doesn't exactly make their power tweet ratios equal but the mojave is not quite as far behind as it would seem.
The next thing you need to go fast is suspension.
The Raptor sports and independent front suspension with internal bypass Fox shocks that are computer dependent.
That's to say the live valving can adjust the shocks in real time depending on what the Raptor is going through.
I've taken some foot deep loops in the Raptor at 4550 miles per hour and let me tell you, those things work.
You just really have to commit to it because if you get scared and you lift your foot off the throttle, it's gonna be a party that you definitely do not want to go to.
Meanwhile, the gladiator Mojave relies on more tried and true technology.
The solid front axle needs it's not quite as nimble as the raptor but it's soaks up the whoops with internal bypass fox shocks with hydraulic downs bumpers.
You can think of these bumpers as a secondary shock that takes the hit when the whoops get deep, while still allowing the main shock to be a bit more compliant and comfortable in less aggressive driving.
During my time with the Mojave, I was able to keep a steady 40 miles per hour so threw some foot deep whoops with absolutely no problems.
All right, what about drive mode?
In addition to modes for rock, sand, mud, snow, and sport, the Raptor gets dirty with the Baja mode.
Now, that immediately puts the truck into four-wheel drive high, keeps the turbo spooled, and locks out the top five gears to keep those refs high.
You can even override the transfer case and keep the Raptor in two-wheel drive in Baja mode for the ultimate in ruse throwing shenanigan.
The Gladiator actually relies on the driver for inputs and only features one mode off road plus, informal drive high it keeps the throttle responsive the revs high and keeps much of the electronic stability control nannies out of the way, and four wheel drive low those parameters are shifted to enhance low speed road crawling.
You can't override offer plus to work in two wheel drive, you can eliminate the electronic stability control altogether by pressing and holding the button for five seconds.
Okay, let's talk about size.
The Raptor might be a full size truck, but actually it's not that much bigger than the mid sized Gladiator.
The wheelbase of both is right around 12 feet At 19 feet long overall, the Raptor is only a foot longer than the gladiator.
However, that Raptor, seven feet wide compared to the six foot width of the gladiator.
Now there can be some narrow tracks out there in the desert so expect some scratches on your Raptor when you get out there.
Alright, so looking at all those numbers I mean, the gladiator Mojave is certainly the fastest solid axle truck you can get for high speed desert adventure, but the Raptor with its more powerful engine and independent front suspension is gonna get you there quicker.
However, if you know you're gonna be out there in the rocks and the dirt well the Mojave is probably going to be your jam.
I mean, let's just look at the numbers.
The Raptor approach angle 30.2 degrees.
Gladiator Mojave 44.7 degrees.
Raptor departure angle 23 degrees, Mojave, 25.5.
The Raptor only wins in the break over angle 21.8 degrees versus the Mojave at 20.9 degrees, and both are pretty much equal in ground clearance at 11.5 inches for the Raptor and 11.6 inches for the Mojave.
One thing that really surprised me here is water 14 capabilities.
The Raptor can go through 32 inches of water, the Mojave only 30
Now the Raptor earns itself a crawl ratio of 50 to 1, but the Mojave goes big with 57.3 to 1 with the manual transmission or 52.6 to 1 with the automatic.
Both trucks however, only get a rear locker.
That's right, no front locker on that Mojave As for the tires, the two are actually fairly equally matched with the Raptor coming in with 34 inch BF Goodrich tires on 17 inch wheels.
While the Mojave runs 33 inch Falcon wild peak tires also on 17 inch wheels.
If you're looking at utility well the rafters got a five and a half foot bed but the Mojave makes you with just five feet of bed space.
Both can carry 1200 pounds of payload but the Raptor killed it with towing at a maximum of 8000 pounds.
The mahogany can only tow 6000 pounds, dropping down to 4500 pounds with the manual transmission.
All right, what about range, the rafters got a 36 gallon fuel tank and gets an EPA rating of 16 miles per gallon combined Giving it a range of 576 miles which is not too shabby.
In theory, the Raptor could race the Baja 500 and not have to stop for fuel.
Meanwhile, the gladiator Mojave has a tiny 22 gallon tank and that's 19 miles per gallon combined according to the EPA.
Total rage 418 miles so enough to raise the Baja to 50 on one tank of gas However there is of course price to think about.
That super crew Raptor starts at about $58,000 including $1,695 for delivery.
Apparently Raptors are coming from Mars or something.
Now that super crew features four doors like the Mojave, but you can get a super cap for about five grand less.
Meanwhile, the gladiator my hobby starts at around $45,000 including $1,495 for delivery.
When everything's said and done, I think I'm still going for the hobby.
I mean, it's not as fast sure, but my adventures often take me on rocks and I really want that added capability and offer geometry The extra towing of the Raptor is tempting, but I'm mostly towing 3,000 to 5,000 pounds, so I should be okay.
Plus, it's a convertible and there's nothing like the sun on your face and the wind in your hair when you're out enjoying what nature has to offer.