The Ford F-150 is a mainstay of the truck market. Consistently holding the position as the top seller, most other trucks are measured against the F-150. The Jeep Gladiator is the relative newcomer in the space. While there have been Jeep trucks in the past, this is the
first modern Jeep pickup.
The Gladiator certainly borrows some of its style and trail-ready equipment from the JL Wrangler. There are lots of parts that are shared between the two, and their designs are nearly identical (with the big exception of the bed of course).
These two trucks are in different categories altogether, but that doesn't mean that they can't be meaningfully compared. The Jeep Gladiator is a medium-size truck while the F-150 is considered a full-size truck. Regardless, these two truck classes are adjacent to each other, so they allow for many important comparisons.
Gladiator and F-150 Appearance
One of the big differences between these two trucks is their looks. The F-150 looks like what most people imagine
when they hear the word “truck.” The Gladiator, on the other hand, looks like a JL Wrangler with a bed. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t for everyone either. On top of that, the Jeep Gladiator comes in several vibrant color options that aren’t offered on the F-150. If you want a ride that is less traditional overall (just in
terms of presentation), then the Jeep Gladiator is your option.
Speaking of traditional, the Jeep Gladiator comes with the classic Wrangler functionality of having removable doors and roof. As of now, it’s the only truck on the market today that doubles as a convertible. The F-150 can’t do anything similar.
In practically every interior and exterior dimension, the F-150 is the bigger truck. From length to interior legroom,
the F-150 comes out on top of the Jeep Gladiator. This is expected since these two trucks are in different classes altogether.
Gladiator vs F-150: Exterior Dimensions
|Truck Bed Length
Gladiator and F-150 Performance Figures
In terms of raw engine power and grunt, the F-150 is in the lead. While the Gladiator is by no means a weak vehicle,
there’s a bigger variety of engines for the F-150 that contain more powerful options. Below is a chart of the
available options for the F-150 and the Gladiator.
In terms of raw towing capacity, the F-150 is the leader. The highest weight that an F-150 can tow is 13,200 lbs,
while the Jeep Gladiator can tow only tow up to 7,650 lbs. If you absolutely need to tow heavy-duty items, however, the F-150 is your choice.
Gladiator vs F-150: Max Towing and Payload Values
|Max Towing Capacity
Gladiator Engine Options
|3.6-liter Pentastar V6
|3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6
F-150 Engine Options
|3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6
|Power Stroke 3-liter diesel V6
|3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
|Ti-VCT V8 engine
Both of these vehicles offer dedicated high-performance off-road trims. The F-150 has the Raptor and the Gladiator
has the Rubicon. Both of these vehicles are very well-equipped for off-road scenarios.
The Gladiator Rubicon has a long list of off-road-focused upgrades. It has FOX 2.0 Performance shocks, a Tru-Lock
lockable front and rear Dana 44 wide track axle, a 4:1 Rock-Trac 4WD system, and an electronically-detachable sway bar (among other things). There are even Gladiator-specific Rubicon features like the front-facing trail camera that
differentiate this Rubicon model from the JL Wrangler Rubicon.
The Ford Raptor is just as capable of an off-roading truck as the Gladiator, but it’s intended to be a higher
speed off-roading machine. One of the Raptor's most impressive abilities is the amount of air it can safely get.
The Raptor comes with a 3.5L EcoBoost engine, heavy-duty front and engine skid plates, FOX racing shocks, and a
terrain management system that comes with 6 distinct driving modes. All in all, the Ford Raptor is nearly a
Baja-ready trophy truck that you can buy from the factory.
If you’re into the more standard off-roading scenarios like trail riding and rock crawling, then the Gladiator
Rubicon is the choice for you. If you want to go fast or do some desert-running, however, then the Ford Raptor is
likely the better option.
The prices for these trucks are both in the same general range but vary heavily depending on the model. The F-150
has a lower starting price than the Gladiator, but the higher-end trims are cheaper with the Gladiator. For example,
an F-150 Limited starts around $67,485 while a Gladiator Rubicon starts at $43,740.
If you want a full-sized pickup that is more focused on performing pickup duties, then the F-150 is your best bet. If you want a smaller truck with the versatility of the Wrangler, then the Jeep Gladiator is the option for you.
Sources:2020 Jeep Gladiator Brochure, Jeep | 2020 F-150 Brcohure, Ford | Ford F-150 vs Jeep Gladiator, Car Gurus