AskTFL: Want to Buy a Jeep Gladiator, But How Does It Compare In Turning Radius and Maneuverability? Midsize Truck Expert Buyer’s Guide

Today on AskTFL, we’re answering a question about turning radius.

Reader Nathan is looking for a midsize pickup, and how sharp each one can turn is a major consideration for him. He writes:

I’m very likely going to be buying the Jeep Gladiator when diesel comes out (rumored around Nov. 2019). I’ve seen the videos and sources about how it stacks up against the other in most specs, but what I’m really curious about is how do the turning radius (or diameter) compare between the mid-sized crew cab short bed competitors (Tacoma, Ranger, Chevy ZR2 and Frontier). I plan on using my Gladiator for everything from daily driving, to rock crawling to exploring the Colorado shelf roads (like Black Bear pass), so turning radius and maneuverability are huge factors for me. That’s why a similarly priced Power Wagon or Raptor aren’t even considerations. Plus parking is a nice benefit.

First off, thanks for the question Nathan. We dug up the spec sheets on all of today’s midsize pickup trucks, so lets go over the circle for each one.

Manufacturers generally list the curb-to-curb turning circle measured in feet, which is exactly what all the numbers are here. Curb-to-curb tells us the minimum distance between curbs for a vehicle to pull a u-turn without hitting either curb with the wheels.

We’ll start with the Jeep Gladiator, since it is clearly Nathan’s top choice. Jeep lists the turning diameter at 44.5 feet, which is nearly the worst of the bunch. For reference, the Gladiator has only one wheelbase available sitting at 137.3 inches, much longer than say a four-door Wrangler, which has a turning circle of just 39.4 feet.

Nathan also mentioned the Power Wagon, so just for reference, that big off-road machine has a turning diameter of 48.2 feet, significantly worse than any midsize pickup.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 is capable of a curb-to-curb turn in 44.1 feet, and Toyota says that is with both the short (127.4-inch) and long (140.6-inch) wheelbase options. When you opt for the long bed, Toyota clearly states that its turning circle numbers apply to both the “Double Cab and Double Cab Long Bed.”

The Tacoma TRD Pro can do it in 40.8 feet with its 127.4-inch wheelbase.

Over at Ford, the new 2019 Ranger is capable of a curb-to-curb turn in 41.99 feet and that is with its wheelbase of 126.8 inches, the only wheelbase available.

The Nissan Frontier clocks in with the worst turning radius of all the midsize trucks, though only when you get the long wheelbase option. With the short wheelbase (125.9 inches) the Frontier is measured at 43.33 feet curb-to-curb, while with its long wheelbase (139.9 inches) the truck makes the turn in 47.50 feet, nearly the same as the much larger Ram Power Wagon.

Finally, the Chevy Colorado ZR2 doesn’t list its turning circle, but out friends over at Car Connection list the turning circle at 41.3 feet.

Curb-to-Curb Turning Diameter
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro40.8 ft
Colorado ZR241.3 ft
Ford Ranger41.99 ft
Nissan Frontier short wheelbase43.33 ft
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab44.1 ft
Jeep Gladiator44.5 ft
Nissan Frontier long wheelbase47.50 ft

After looking at the chart, we see that the midsize pickups have a seven foot range, which is a sizeable amount when you’re trying to avoid a tree or off-road obstacle.

Now don’t miss our Moab, UT comparison between the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison and the Jeep Gladiator.