Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon

Last Updated November 18, 2019 | C.J. Tragakis

The top two trims of the Gladiator, the Overland and the Rubicon, offer the same foundation but two different philosophies of using it. If the comparison had to be summed up in a sentence, most would say that “The Overland is designed for comfort and luxury, while the Rubicon is designed for serious off-roading.” This is a fair conclusion for the most part, but there are some important distinctions to make along the way, as well as a few differences between the two that one might not expect. Fortunately, our guide will help explain the differences between the Gladiator Rubicon vs Overland trims so that you can decide which one should be in your garage.

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Whichever you choose, it’s hard to go wrong with these vehicles, and the same goes for the lower trim Sport and Sport S models as well. You’re still getting a comfortable cruiser that offers immense versatility and off-road prowess. Not to mention, it’s the only convertible pickup truck on the market!

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon Similarities

There are a lot of similarities between the top two of the four Gladiator trim levels, and they have many more attributes and features in common than not.

Both the Overland and Rubicon Gladiator trucks have 4-wheel-drive standard and come only one cab and bed configuration. All ten colors that are available can be had on either trim (some will not be available at launch, no matter which options you choose). You can select the soft Sunrider top, dual top option, Freedom Top, or body-color hardtop configuration on both, and both can be had with the manual or automatic transmission. The engine is also identical on both trims, with the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 being the only choice for now. A diesel engine will arrive later.

Safety and convenience features such as trailer sway control and remote keyless entry come standard on both models. You’ll get all the bells and whistles that are expected on modern vehicles like hill start assist, a back-up camera, and electronic stability control. Front side airbags are standard as well, as are daytime running lamps and four-wheel disc brakes.

All in all, the differences between the Overland and Gladiator trim come down to some exterior and interior styling differences, plus, more importantly, the additional off-road accoutrements that the Rubicon is enhanced with.

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon Differences

While these two trims are similar in many ways, there are quite a few notable differences to compare when we look at them side by side. The Gladiator Overland trim can essentially be thought of as the equivalent of the JL Wrangler’s Sahara trim, designed for a more upmarket experience than the regular Sport and Sport S trims, but not quite as off-road-ready as the even more expensive Rubicon.

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon Exterior

With a lower ride height and tires that aren’t quite as beefy, the Overland is likely to provide the more comfortable and smooth driving experience on-road. But even the Rubicon, due to its extended wheelbase and different suspension, is noted to have a much more enjoyable ride experience than the Wrangler (even though the JL has come a long way). If you’ll rarely or never be getting dirty, the Overland lends itself better to daily driving than the Rubicon.

Being more luxury-focused, the Overland has a more streamlined and smooth appearance as well, mostly due to those body-color fender flares (which are an option on the Rubicon). Bright grille inserts also add some flair that certainly differentiate it more from the lower Sport/Sport S trims. With large off-road tires, very noticeable “Rubicon” hood decals, and red hook accents on the front, the ruggedness of the Rubicon is readily apparent and unabashedly separates it from the other trim levels.

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon Interior Dashboard

On the Overland model, you’ll also get leather-trimmed seats that include a nice-looking “Overland” stitching on the front buckets. Leather-trimmed seats are an option on the Rubicon, but they’ll set you back an additional $1,495. They are not available at all on the Sport or Sport S.

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon Attribute Comparison
Jeep Gladiator OverlandJeep Gladiator Rubicon
Shocks Heavy-Duty Shocks FOX 2.0 Performance Shocks
Axles Standard Dana 44 Front and Rear Axles Tru-Lock Lockable Front and Rear Dana 44 Wide-Track Axles
Rear Axle Ratio 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio 4.10 Rear Axle Ratio
Suspension Normal Duty Plus Suspension Performance Suspension
Drive System Command-Trac® Part-Time 4WD System 4:1 Rock-Trac® Heavy-Duty Part-Time 4WD System
Wheels 18” Granite Crystal Aluminum Wheels 17” Granite Crystal Aluminum Wheels (Polished Black optional)
Tires 255/70R18 All-Season Tires 33-inch LT285/70R17C All-Terrain Tires (33” Mud-Terrains optional)
Sway Bar Disconnect No Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect
Rear Bumper Painted Rear Bumper Steel Rear Bumper
Grille Accents Bright Grille Accents Body-Color Grille Accents
Side Steps Side Steps Cab and Bed Steel Rock Rails
Fender Flares Body-Color Fender Flares Black (body-colored are optional)
Hood Standard Hood Dual-Vented Hood
Side Profile Visual Details Trail-Rated Fender Badges Rubicon Hood Decals and Red Trail-Rated Fender Badges
Rear Emblems Silver JEEP Emblem and Overland Badge Black JEEP Emblem
Dashboard and Interior White Contrast Stitching, Silver Dash Insert, Premium Door Trim Panels Red Contrast Stitching, Red Dash Insert (if saddle leather seats added, white contrast stitching with gray dash insert)

There are some options that you can only get on the Rubicon, and they're naturally accessories that are designed to aid you off-road:

  • Winch-Capable Steel Front Bumper
  • Forward-Facing TrailCam

There are a couple of other options that are only available on the Overland trim:

  • Heritage Tan Cloth Seats
  • Trac-Lok Anti-Spin Rear Differential

That’s it! Otherwise, the dozens of option and package configurations apply to both the Overland and Rubicon trims. That means that it comes down to the details when you’re trying to decide which one to purchase.

Which One to Pick: Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon

There are really only two essential questions that you need to ask yourself when you’re choosing between the Gladiator Overland and Rubicon: “What’s my budget?” and “What am I going to use it for?”

Interestingly, neither the Overland nor Rubicon will give you the maximum quoted towing and payload capacities of 7,650 lbs and 1,600 lbs respectively. To do that, you’ll actually have to select a Sport or Sport S trim and add the optional Max Tow Package with 4.10 Axle Ratio. This might seem odd that the lower trims have the best stats in this arena, but is actually pretty typical in the pickup truck world. Since the Overland trim is more luxury-focused and doesn’t offer the 4.10 rear axle, and because the Rubicon is designed more for hardcore off-roading, they fall slightly short in this regard. Make no mistake though, they still offer plenty of towing and hauling capability that should be enough for the vast majority of drivers.

The main advantage of the Gladiator Rubicon is that it is a ready-to-go, extremely capable off-roader that can be driven off the dealer lot and right onto some of the toughest trails. That isn’t to say you won’t want to add some upgrades right away, but there’s no denying the all-terrain prowess that Jeep bakes in right from the factory. It's got the tires, axles, off-road angles, and shocks to take on tougher terrain than just about any other mass-market model for sale. Another reason to consider the Rubicon is that, judging by what we know about Wranglers, the Rubicon trim will hold its value much more significantly.

The main advantages of the Gladiator Overland are that it is less expensive than the Rubicon and that it allows more freedom when it comes to adding off-road upgrades. If you’re a “do-it-yourself” type that’s going to want to add your own lift kit and swap out the wheels and tires, it’s definitely worth considering getting an Overland (or a Sport/Sport S). Going the aftermarket does, of course, cost money as well, but for enthusiasts, it’s a lot more fun!

For those that can afford the Rubicon and will be seriously putting it to the test, it makes a lot of sense as the top pick. But for those that will be daily driving their Gladiator and won’t be anything more rugged than a gravel road or mall parking lot, the Overland trim is probably the better bet. Unless you need the additional towing or payload capacity, but at that point, why not check out a Sport S trim instead?

No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to have a blast, as this new Jeep truck truly offers the most exciting and versatile lifestyle vehicle package on the market today. Check out the table below for full specification comparison.

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon Specs Comparison
Jeep Gladiator OverlandJeep Gladiator Rubicon
Starting MSRP $40,395 $43,545
Horsepower + Engine 285 hp 3.6 liter V6 285 hp 3.6 liter V6
Torque 260 lb-ft 260 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic
Ground Clearance 10.0 inches 11.1 inches
Max Towing Capacity 6,000 lbs 7,000 lbs
Max Payload Capacity 1,140 lbs 1,190 lbs
Length 218.0 inches 218.0 inches
Width 73.8 inches 73.8 inches
Height 75.0 inches 75.0 inches
Wheelbase 137.3 inches 137.3 inches
Curb Weight 4,742 lbs/4,720 lbs (auto/man) 5,072 lbs/5,050 lbs (auto/man)
Off-Road Angles (Approach, Breakover, Departure) 40.8°, 18.4°, 25.0° 43.4°, 20.3°, 26.0°
Fuel Capacity 22 gallons 22 gallons
MPG 19 combined/17 city/ 22 hwy (automatic)
19 combined/16 city/ 23 hwy (manual)
19 combined/17 city/ 22 hwy (automatic)
19 combined/16 city/ 23 hwy (manual)
Bed Length 60 inches 60 inches
Top Speed 110 mph (governor limited) 97 mph (governor limited)

Image Credit: Jeep

Sources: Jeep | EPA

Jeep Gladiator Overland vs Rubicon

There’s no denying that both top trims of the 4x4 Gladiator pickup, the Rubicon and the Overland, offer tons of capability and features. But where do they differ? Read our guide to find out which trim level is best for your lifestyle.