Which mid-size pickup truck is better off-road?
The Ford Ranger and the Jeep Gladiator are two of the most hotly anticipated new cars of 2019. It just so happens that both are midsize pickups, and both happen to offer off-road optimized trim packages for those who like to get dirty on the weekends.
The Fast Lane Truck has released this comprehensive review and comparison on YouTube after extensively testing both trucks off-road in the Pacific Northwest. Naturally, the version of the Gladiator that they chose for this test is the Rubicon model, the top of the line for off-road enthusiasts.
While the Ranger Raptor isn't available in the US – not yet, at least – it turns out that the FX4 version is a more than acceptable stand-in. Both trucks are very evenly matched, and the video does a good job of sharing their relative strengths and weaknesses.
On paper, it would seem that the Ford is at a sever disadvantage off-road compared to the Jeep. While the Gladiator has a solid front axle, locking front and rear differentials, and an electronic disconnect for the sway bar, the Ranger has an independent front suspension and an electronic locker on the rear only.
This doesn't seem to hurt the Ranger FX4 much off-road, though. In fact, it keeps right up with the Gladiator at nearly every turn.
The Jeep Gladiator is a very capable machine, but its long wheelbase and long rear overhang hamper its ability off-road ability just a bit. As a result, the Jeep's backseat should be a much more comfortable place to spend time compared to the cramped rear seat of the Ranger. However, leg room appears to be about the same in both trucks.
While the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is a more capable vehicle off-road, it may not be the best pickup truck for everyday use. The hosts of The Fast Lane Truck seem to think that that particular honor goes to the Ford Ranger. With a price difference of around $18,000 between the two, we're going to wait for the Ranger Raptor to settle the score once and for all, on even terms.
Source: The Fast Lane Truck on YouTube