The midsize pickup realm is serious business just as much as it’s meant for the fun things in life. Whatever the purpose, it’s crucial that buyers are aware just which pickup truck suits their needs—and their wants—best. And that’s exactly why we’re comparing the brand-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator to the consumer-tried Toyota Tacoma.
Covering Power and Capacity
A pickup truck really ought to know how to tow. The upcoming Jeep Gladiator, a gas-fueled midsize truck, exudes confidence with a 7,650-pound tow limit and a 1,600-pound payload maximum. On the other hand, the latest Toyota Tacoma maxes out at 6,500 pounds for towing and merely 1,405 pounds for payload. Those extra thousand pounds and some change really make a difference (and Jeep is fully aware of it).
The Gladiator is introducing itself to the market with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that pumps out 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the Tacoma’s range-topping engine (a step up from it’s standard four-cylinder) is a 3.5-liter V6 DOHC with 278 horses and 265 pound-feet of torque. Close, Toyota, but no cigar.
Tackling Off-Road Performance
Both the Tacoma and the Gladiator can be considered professionals when it comes to rustic terrain. The Tacoma TRD Pro does well in the breakover angle category, offering 26″ where the Gladiator Rubicon only reaches 20.3″. It also provides a desert air intake, which reduces sediment suction by a landslide.
Despite this trick up the Tacoma truck’s sleeve, the Jeep truck exceeds in ground clearance as well as approach and departure angles. To add to it, an electronically disconnecting sway bar, 33-inch tires and a seriously steadfast 4×4 system make the all-new Gladiator seem like a veteran of the segment and the off-road. Considering its Wrangler roots, I don’t think this feat surprises anyone.
Design from the Inside Out
Truck styling is about taste as much as anything else. Both the Tacoma and the Gladiator are equipped with savvy infotainment screens, but the Tacoma only supports Apple CarPlay whereas the Gladiator’s UConnect system is fit for any device. As far as cabin comfort is concerned, the Jeep’s 38″ of rear seat legroom bests the competition by nearly half a foot.
On the exterior, the Gladiator has one serious perk that Toyota would never even think of. With either a soft or hard top, this truck can be converted into an open air machine. While the Tacoma provides a handsome and, admittedly, more traditional outlook on the midsize pickup genus, we think we’re ready for the revolution.
The Gladiator It Is
Each truck has their own pros and cons. However, when it comes down to it, we believe a brand-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator will ensure an ideal investment for adventurers of all kinds, no matter the destination.