There’s been a lot of hype around both the Jeep Gladiator and the Ford Ranger in recent years. Both fit into the mid-size pickup truck market and stand out with their capabilities, but they offer very different experiences. You can’t go wrong with either truck if you’re looking for a rugged look, lots of features, and off-road capabilities, but which one is right for you?
What’s Under the Hood?
Pop open the hood of the Jeep Gladiator, and you’ll find a 3.6-liter V-6 gas engine that generates 285 horsepower. This truck comes with a six-speed manual transmission unless you opt for the eight-speed automatic. The Gladiator is also available with a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine that delivers 260 horsepower.
The Ranger, on the other hand, has a 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that puts out 270 horsepower. There’s enough muscle with either of these trucks to quickly get up to 60 mph, but if you’re looking for towing power, the Gladiator edges out the Ranger with its ability to pull up to 7,700 pounds. The Ranger is close behind with a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.
Taking the Gladiator and Ranger Off-Road
While the Ranger offers excellent off-road capabilities, it’s no match for a legendary Jeep. The Rubicon has 33-inch all-terrain tires, increased fender clearance, and an electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar that all contribute to its ability to traverse over rocky terrain and ford up to 30 inches of water.
When equipped with four-wheel drive, the Ranger has an impressive 8.9 inches of ground clearance, and it’s available with Ford’s Terrain Management system with modes for snow, sand, mud, and ruts to give it some extra off-road abilities.
You can get the Uconnect infotainment system in the Jeep Gladiator with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Jeep’s special Off-Road Pages app that gives you information for things such as the front-facing camera if you have it. Navigation comes in the Overland, and this trim also has a nine-speaker Alpine stereo.
The Ranger has Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system that you can get with an 8-inch touchscreen. Both of these trucks offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Ranger also offers a 110-volt power outlet.
Safety is Front and Center
Choose the Gladiator, and you’ll get a rearview camera no matter what trim you have. If you like the added confidence you get with advanced driver aids, they’re available as an option.
Systems such as blind-spot monitor, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic braking are all available. The Gladiator also offers a front-facing camera that allows you to see rocks and obstacles when off-roading.
The Ranger comes standard with a rearview camera and forward collision warning with automatic braking. Ford’s Co-Pilot360 bundle is available with systems such as blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keep assist.
Gladiator vs. Ranger: Which One is Right for You?
If you’re on the fence between the Jeep Gladiator and the Ford Ranger, take both out for a test drive. You can see and feel the difference for yourself, but either one has the ability to handle mid-size truck duty for anyone.
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