After spending many years out of the pickup truck game, Jeep has reentered the market with the Gladiator, a revolutionary pickup that combines the features of a Jeep with the specifications of a truck. While many off-roaders are loyal to the Wrangler, the Gladiator makes a strong case for doing everything the Wrangler does—and more. We’ve laid out a few of the differences between the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator to help you decide which is right for you.
We’ll start with the obvious. The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup/SUV hybrid that combines the off-road capability of the Jeep with a pickup’s flatbed for maximum hauling and towing capacity. While the back of a Wrangler’s cabin allows for cargo storage, it can’t compete with the space that the Gladiator offers. Off-roading is an option for both, but the Wrangler will handle a bit more nimbly than the larger and heavier Gladiator. If you plan to specialize in off-roading with your Jeep and conquer the toughest courses, the Gladiator may not be the best fit.
Gladiators: A Four-Door Guarantee
There’s a lot for passengers to love about riding in a Jeep once they get in, but ingress and egress have not always been the easiest when it comes to the Wrangler. Fortunately, the Wrangler has expanded to allow for four-door as well as two-door models. The Gladiator, on the other hand, stays accommodating with exclusively four-door design, comfortably allowing five people to get in, get seated, and get out. If you want to be able to haul material on weekdays, off-road on the weekends, and drive the family around everywhere in between, the Gladiator will be able to do all three.
Whether you go with the Wrangler or the Gladiator, you’re getting serious horsepower. The stock ’21 Wrangler and Gladiator both come equipped with a 285HP engine, though aftermarket customizations to your Gladiator such as cold-air intakes can give either one an added boost. The off-road-focused Rubicon edition of the Gladiator, however, comes with a V8 engine that can achieve upward of 400HP for handling serious inclines and obstacles.
One of the biggest differences between the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator looms large as hunting season comes around and there are campers to tow. The Gladiator more than doubles the towing capacity of the Wrangler, with 7,650 pounds to pull compared with the Wrangler’s 3,500. Again, if you need your Jeep to do some serious work, that capacity matters and should inform your decision accordingly.