Jeep Wrangler vs. Jeep Gladiator – Differences and Comparisons

have seen a recent video we made which featured a Jeep
Gladiator and a Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. That one was all about trucks. This one’s all about Jeeps. We realized that we had
our Jeep Wrangler Unlimited along for the ride,
and we thought, wow, they’re both Rubicons. This is the perfect
opportunity to show the difference between a
Wrangler and a Gladiator. If you think the Jeep Gladiator
looks a lot like a Wrangler, that’s because it pretty much
is the same vehicle from here forward. Same doors even, same power
train, same transmission– 3.6 liter V6 with an
8-speed automatic. You can’t get the 2 liter
turbo in this, though. The tires, the lift,
the Rubicon equipment, disconnecting stabilizer
bars, front and rear lockers– all of that is the same. The front approach
angle is the same. You have your choice between
two different front bumpers. That’s all the same. Really, there’s no difference
except stickers up here. The differences come in when you
start looking at the suspension up close. For one, the shock absorbers
on a Gladiator Rubicon are Fox aluminum body shocks. On a Wrangler Rubicon,
they’re monotube shocks, but they’re not
aluminum body, and we don’t know who makes them. Well, you can probably find out. But let’s talk tires. The Wrangler Rubicon is
fitted with BFG KO2s, while the Gladiator Rubicon
has Falcon Wildpeak. They come with all terrains, but
you can also get mud terrains. And also, the wheels
that they’re mounted on are different. They’re stronger because this
vehicle can tow a lot more and haul more payload. The rear brakes have
been made larger so they have more
stopping power. The maximum for a Gladiator
is 1,600 pounds of payload and 7,650 pounds of towing. Now, that’s for the Sport. For the Rubicon, those numbers
are 1,160 pounds of payload and 7,000 pounds of towing. A Wrangler Rubicon? It can tow 3,500
pounds– half as much. Because this has a longer
wheelbase because they needed to put a truck bed
back here, they have room to alter
the rear suspension and change the way the
rear shocks are mounted. On the Wrangler, they
point to the rear. Here on the Gladiator,
they point forward, which is a better
way to go because you can put the load into the
strongest part of the frame. Now the rear axle
itself is the same, but the brackets
that hold the links are different because
these links are longer. They’re more like the
back end of a Ram 1500. Not exactly, but more like
that, which we really like. That delivers a smooth
ride in the Ram, and it delivers a
smooth ride here. So what about the
departure angle? Well, one, you need
the five foot bed, but also, there’s got to be a
place for the spare tire, which isn’t on the rear bumper
like it usually is. This is a 33-inch
tire on a Rubicon, but they actually made enough
room for a 35 spare tire to fit in the back. So that defined what
the departure angle was going to be. The four-door
Wrangler’s departure angle– it’s 37 degrees. The Gladiator is 26. So that’s quite a difference. We also put both
of these vehicles on our ramp to measure the
suspension articulation, and there we saw a difference. Both of them climbed up
the ramp nearly as far, but because of the
Gladiator’s longer wheelbase, the score isn’t quite as good. And of course, both of them have
disconnecting front stabilizer bars, so we measured them twice. With the bar connected,
the four-door Wrangler was 523 points,
the Gladiator, 449. With it disconnected, the
four-door Wrangler Rubicon became 718 and the
Gladiator, 607. Not as good as the Wrangler
four-door, but still, 607 is a nice, healthy
number to play with. Both the Wrangler Rubicon
and the Gladiator Rubicon come with rock
rails in the middle. But the Gladiator Rubicon
also has a rock rail behind the rear fender,
and that’s really cool because that prevents damage
if you drag the rear end through a low spot
in the trail, which we’ve done a couple of times. But it’s also strong enough
that you can put a high lift jack underneath there and
raise the vehicle up enough to change a tire. Because the Wrangler has
such a short rear overhang, it really wasn’t necessary
to go to great lengths to hide the exhaust pipe. But here in the Gladiator,
because of the truck bed, they tuck the muffler
up really high. If you walk around this thing,
you can’t even really see it. And that’s a good thing
because if you can’t see it, neither can the rocks. So right now, I’m in
a Wrangler Unlimited, which is the four-door
Wrangler Rubicon. It’s our long-term test vehicle. And I’m going to go
over this fairly– well, it’s marked
easy, but I think it’s intended for modified vehicles. Let’s see if a stock four-door
Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon can make it. Here we go. Haven’t touched anything yet. Ooh. In my low range. Trying to just pick my
way over these things. Play Operation and
not touch anything. I have to trust that I’m
pointed in the right direction because I can’t see the
course in front of me. I can just feel it. Ooh, I felt it there. I think I touched
just a little bit. Trying to be as gentle
on the throttle as I can. So far, so good. I think I might make
it, but of course that sounds like famous
last words, right? Ooh. I think that was just the
muffler or the tailpipe. Very light touch. That’s a heavier touch,
but nothing too bad. I think I just
ran over a camera. I think it was intentional, too. I think this is almost it. Done. Couple of light touches,
nothing really serious. No damage, I’m sure. Maybe a little paint
left on one of the tubes? But that’s about it. I can actually see pretty well
over the hood of this vehicle. The fenders drop away, and
it’s pretty easy to see. It’s got a good crawl ratio, so
I don’t have to go very fast. I just don’t know when
it’s going to touch. Ooh. That felt important. It’s still touching. Is that anything important
sounding underneath there? SPEAKER: Oh, no, that’s just
your frame rail and maybe drive shaft? No, I’m just kidding. It’s just a skip plate. DAN EDMUNDS: Drive shaft? I’m riding the
brakes a little bit to control my speed
because I don’t want to go over one of
these things too quickly. You end up impacting
the surface. Ooh, this is another tight spot. The center’s pretty low. Oh boy. OK. OK. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. Another drag. SPEAKER: Yeah. You’re just laying off that
skid plate, but thank goodness it’s there. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, it’s
just a skid plate. I feel much better. Yeah. Careful. Almost done. Rear bumper. I think I’m away. Wow. I rub-a-dub-dubbed a little
bit more than I thought I might there. I think we found a difference. If you’ll remember, when the
Wrangler Unlimited came out– the four-door– certain
Jeep people were up in arms because it was so long,
and it was a station wagon, and why would Jeep do that? But actually, it opened
up the Wrangler line to a whole lot more
families and other people that just needed four doors. And it’s still really capable. I think the same thing’s
going to happen here with the Gladiator. It’s got four-door cab that
all the truck owners want, and it’s a truck. So I mean if you were a person
who was on the sidelines, you needed a truck
but you wanted a Jeep, here’s your vehicle. Yeah, the Gladiator is a
truck, but it’s still a Jeep, and it does Jeep
things really well. I mean, the more time I spend
in it, the more I like it, and the less I’m concerned
about what I thought might be drawbacks. For more videos like
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