2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon vs Chevy Colorado ZR2 vs Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro (Off-Road Truck Guide)

2020 jeep gladiator versus competition guide comparison
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon versus Competition

We recently showed how the base model Jeep Gladiator Sport compares to the competition, but how does the most off-road worthy Gladiator Rubicon compare against the best from the competition?

In this comparison, we put the Rubicon truck against the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

Why are the no Ford Ranger FX4 or Nissan Frontier PRO-4X in the table below? While the FX4 and the PRO-4X are very capable off-road trucks that offer good value – they are not on the same level in price or equipment as these other three trucks from Chevrolet and Toyota.

Let’s dive in and compare the specs: size, clearance, power, fuel economy, and price. The numbers in “bold” point out the truck that comes out on top.

In general, one of the selling points of a midsize truck is its smaller size. All trucks are getting bigger these days, and the Gladiator is approaching full-size truck wheelbase and length. Still, a smaller truck is better for off-roading. A smaller truck is more maneuverable and can get to places where a big a wide truck cannot.

 Gladiator RubiconTacoma TRD ProColorado ZR2
Wheelbase:137.3 in127.4 in128.5 in
Overall Length:218.0 in212.3 in212.7 in
Overall Width:73.8 in75.2 in74.3 in

Off-Road Specs

How about the ground clearance, approach/breakover/departure angles, crawl ratio, and suspension articulation? All these numbers are very important for the ultimate off-road truck that can take you to a remote location and back home.

 Gladiator RubiconTacoma TRD ProColorado ZR2
Ground Clearance:11.1 in9.4 in8.9 in
App/Br/Dep:43.4/20.3/26 deg35/23.9/26 deg30/(n/a)/23.5 deg
Low Range Ratio:4:12.57:12.72:1
Crawl Ratio:77:1 (84:1)
RTI score:623
Tires:Falken Wildpeak A/T (M/T)Goodyear Wrangler w/ KevlarGoodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Shocks:FOX ShocksFOX ShocksDSSV Multimatic

The Rubicon truck is leading in nearly all off-road specs. The only number where it’s not the best in class is the breakover angle of 20.3 degrees. It is a direct result of the truck’s long wheelbase.

The RTI score of 623 comes courtesy of front and rear solid axles with a front sway-bar disconnect.

Power & Efficiency

All trucks listed here are gas-powered crew cabs with automatic transmissions.

 Gladiator RubiconTacoma TRD ProColorado ZR2
Engine:3.6L V6: 285 hp / 260 lb-ft3.5L V6: 278 hp / 265 lb-ft3.6L V6: 308 hp / 275 lb-ft
Transmission:8-sp Auto6-sp Auto8-sp Auto
Fuel Tank:22 gal21.1 gal21 gal
Fuel Economy:17/22/1918 / 22 / 2016 / 18 / 17
Rear Diff. Ratio:4.103.91 or 4.303.42

The Gladiator does not have the most horsepower nor the most torque. We like to see torque-rich engines in trucks that allow for moving heavy loads off the line. The Rubicon offers low transfer case and rear differential gearing to counteract any torque deficit. The Jeep truck has the ultimate crawl ratio for smooth low speed crawling and general acceleration.

Truck Capability

Jeep is claiming class-leading towing and payload capability for the Gladiator. The Rubicon maintains the best towing capacity when compared to the TRD Pro and the ZR2. However, the Jeep Rubicon truck does not have the best payload rating.

 Gladiator RubiconTacoma TRD ProColorado ZR2
Max Towing:7,000 lbs6,400 lbs5,000 lbs
Max Payload:1,160 lbs1,175 lbs1,100 lbs

When any truck is focused on off-roading, the payload will suffer to the springs and shocks tuning. Off-road trucks are tuned for more compliant off-road ride, not ultimate payload handling. You can see it across the board among these three truck. The TRD Pro takes the payload battle by just 15 pounds.


All prices listed below are base MSRP for crew cab 4×4 trucks includeing destination but without any incentives or discounts.

 Gladiator RubiconTacoma TRD ProColorado ZR2
Starting Price:$45,040 (manual)$43,905 (manual)$43,995 (auto)

The new Gladiator Rubicon is the priciest one of these three on base price. Naturally, you can option each one these trucks to much higher prices. Recently, we tested a fully outfitted Tacoma TRD Pro with a price tag approaching $51,000. An optioned diesel ZR2 Bison price is approaching $54,000. Finally, a Gladiator Rubicon Launch Edition will retail at around $62,000 when you can order it on April 4, 2019.

The 2020 Gladiator trucks should start arriving at dealership in May 2019.

Here is our first four-truck comparison video, including the Gladiator, Ranger, Colorado, and the Tacoma.