2020 Jeep Gladiator vs Toyota Tacoma

June 25th, 2019 by

2020 Jeep Gladiator vs Toyota Tacoma

The Jeep Gladiator is new but it’s already outpacing some big names in the compact pickup truck class. Compared to the Toyota Tacoma, the Jeep Gladiator is five inches taller and just a hair narrower. And while in function the Gladiator and Tacoma have a bunch in common, critics are comparing the Gladiator more to the compact SUV Wrangler. That’s because the Gladiator, with the exception of its 5-foot truck bed, looks a lot like the Wrangler. The boxy frame, the round headlights, the same grille. So, even if you’ve never seen a Gladiator before, this compact pickup is unmistakably a Jeep. How does the Gladiator compare to the current slate of compact pickup trucks. We’ll explore that here, using the 2019 Toyota Tacoma as reference.

Towing Capacity: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

First of all, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator is almost the class leader in towing, pulling up to 7,650 pounds and hauling up to 1,600 pounds. In case you’re wondering, that’s only 50 pounds less than the class leader. The Toyota Tacoma does just as well with payload capacity, but its 6,800 pounds is noticeably lagging here.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Interior

Roominess: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Just because we’re discussing compact pickup trucks doesn’t mean we have to settle for being sandwiched or squished. Leave that to compact sedans. No, compact trucks do just fine, but some do better than others. Thanks to its height, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has more headroom than the Toyota Tacoma. There’s also more head- and legroom for backseat passengers, by a very sizeable margin. In the base configuration, we’re talking 8 more inches of headroom and well over a foot more legroom. That difference narrows considerably when you upgrade the Tacoma’s cabin to a different configuration, but the Gladiator still has it beat.

The only interior dimension that the Tacoma wins out is front legroom. But the difference is less than two inches. In terms of bed length, the Tacoma wins out again because in addition to its 5-foot standard bed length, there’s a 6-foot-1-inch bed available. The Gladiator comes in only one bed length: the 5-foot.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Off-Roading

Off-Roading: It’s a Tie!

For some time now, the Toyota Tacoma was considered the uncontested champion of off-roading compact pickup trucks, thanks to the Tacoma’s active traction control, electronic locking rear differential, and TRD-tuned suspension. But the Jeep Gladiator might just unseat the Tacoma. Because the Gladiator boasts all that equipment, plus removable walls and top and fold-down windshield. For now, we’re calling it a tie but when the Gladiator debuts its second, heartier engine later in the model year, this Jeep might just claim top prize.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator meets or beats the categories we’ve presented here. We could go on to say that if you’re interested in technology–particularly the kind that keeps you connected–you’ll want the Gladiator. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available and come standard on all but the base trim. But this smartphone connectivity can’t be had for any amount of money on a Toyota Tacoma.

Posted in Jeep Comparison