Jeep Gladiator Vs. Toyota Tacoma: A New Take on the Midsize Pickup

By Justin Cupler | December 19th, 2018

After plenty of rumors and reports, the Jeep brand has unveiled its long-awaited Wrangler-based pickup truck, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will roll into the Jacksonville, Florida area with all the off-road credentials fitting of its donor rig, but will it be a good midsize pickup when compared to the 2019 Toyota Tacoma? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator may not bear the Wrangler nameplate, but its resemblance to the famed Jeep SUV is unmistakable. This plays right into the hands of the Wrangler fans who’ve clamored for such a vehicle for years and gives this rig immediate credentials within the off-road community. Not that its up to 30 inches of water fording wasn’t enough.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma takes on more of the traditional midsize pickup look it’s boasted for decades. It’s familiar, buyers love it, and it ages well. Plus, those looking for something more rugged can go for the TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro model. The Tacoma adds an extra wrinkle with its sportier and better-handling TRD Sport model.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator comes in just one cab-and-bed format — four-door with 5-foot bed — so most of its measurements are fixed. It is 218 inches long, 73.8 inches wide, 73.1 to 75 inches tall, and boasts 10 to 11.1 inches of ground clearance. This Wrangler-based pickup rides atop a 137.3-inch wheelbase.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma has several body options, including Access Cab and Double Cab with a short or long bed. It is 212.3 to 225.5 inches long, 75.2 inches wide, 70.6 to 71.6 inches high, and rides 9.4 inches of the ground. The 2019 Tacoma sits atop a 127.4- to 140.6-inch wheelbase.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma boasts two bed lengths: 6.1 feet and 5 feet, which beats the 2020 Gladiator’s lone 5-foot bed.

Advantage: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

  • Significant ride height advantage
  • Rugged Wrangler looks
  • Can trek through 30 inches of water

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Tacoma

  • More bed and cab options
  • TRD options dress it up nicely

Interior

Inside, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator takes on all the sharp and retro-inspired styling of the new-generation Wrangler. This gives it a leg up in terms of styling, as it has more color to catch the eye and a classically laid out center stack that will take old-school enthusiasts back a few decades while still offering all the modern amenities.

The 2019 Tacoma, on the other hand, is a truck. That’s about all there is to say other than the fact the upper trim levels feature some upscale materials and technology.

In the front, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator boasts 40.8 to 42.8 inches of headroom, 41.2 inches of legroom, 55.7 inches of shoulder room, and 53.9 inches of hip room. Though the 2019 Tacoma’s 39.7 inches of headroom is far short of the Gladiator, its 42.9 inches of legroom, 58.3 inches of shoulder room, and 57.2 inches of hip room all beat the Jeep pickup.

In its rear seats, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator boasts 40.8 to 42.8 inches of headroom, 38.3 inches of legroom, 55.7 inches of shoulder room, and 55.9 inches of hip room. Because the 2019 Tacoma has two cab options — Access and Double Cab — there are two sets of rear-seat measurements. In the base Access Cab model, its rear seats come up 5.9 to 7.9 inches short in headroom, 13.7 inches short in legroom, and 4.2 inches short in hip room.

The 2019 Tacoma Double Cab model offers a little more room, but it’s still 2.5 to 4.5 inches short on headroom and 5.7 inches light on legroom. The Tacoma Double Cab beats the Gladiator in shoulder room by 3.2 inches and hip room by 0.4 inches.

Advantage: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

  • Flashy, retro interior
  • Plenty of options to guss it up
  • Roomier rear seats

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Tacoma

  • Wider rear seat
  • Toned-down styling
  • Plenty of tech

Performance

The Jeep brand played no games in creating the 2020 Gladiator as it skipped the base four-cylinder engine all its competitors offer and went straight to a standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine that injects 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. Like any proper Jeep SUV, the 2020 Gladiator comes standard with four-wheel drive.

At some point in 2020, the Gladiator will also gain an optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine that churns out 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This engine will pair exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma goes the more traditional midsize pickup route with a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available as an option.

Buyers can opt for a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed automatic transmission or an optional six-speed manual in select trim levels. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is available as an option.

Towing and payload may not have as big of an impact as they do in the full-size pickup segment, but they still matter to midsize buyers. The 2020 Gladiator is no joke with its 7,650-pound towing capacity, which is 950 pounds more than the Tacoma. In-bed hauling goes to the Tacoma and its up to 1,620-pound payload capacity, which is 20 pounds greater than the Gladiator.

The EPA has yet to rate the 2020 Gladiator’s fuel economy, so we’ll have to wait for that. The 2019 Tacoma is no shining star in this department, though. With its four-cylinder engine, it gets up to 20 mpg city, 23 highway, and 21 combined, while the V-6 model gets up to 19 mpg city, 24 highway, and 21 combined.

Advantage: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

  • Standard V-6 power
  • Torque-heavy diesel coming soon
  • Easier-to-find manual transmission
  • Big towing advantage
  • Standard four-wheel drive

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Tacoma

  • Standard automatic transmission
  • Various models for different driving styles

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will come in three trims — Sport, Overland, and Rubicon — and prices won’t be available until we get closer to its on-sale date in the second quarter of 2019.

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma has a wide range of trims: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. Prices range from $25,550 to $42,660.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Sport: $TBD

  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Four-wheel drive
  • 3.73-to-1 axle ratio
  • Low-gloss-black 17-inch full-face steel wheels
  • Trailer-sway control
  • Four-pin and seven-pin trailer wiring
  • Class II bumper hitch
  • 5-foot steel bed
  • Body-color grille
  • Damped three-position tailgate
  • Cargo lights
  • Halogen headlights
  • Fog lights
  • Mold-in color manual folding mirrors
  • Fuel tank and transfer case skid plates
  • Sunrider folding soft top with sunroof feature
  • Two front, one rear tow hooks
  • Full-metal doors with roll-up windows
  • Manual door locks
  • Black, one piece fender flares
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Rear heat ducts
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • LED interior lighting
  • Keyless ignition
  • Rear under-seat storage
  • Cloth seating
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Urethane steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Eight-speaker audio system
  • Uconnect 3 infotainment system with 5-inch display
  • Uconnect voice control
  • USB port in center console
  • Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Hill-start assist

Overland: $TBD

  • All Sport features, plus
  • Power windows
  • Power door locks
  • Two-piece fender flares with body-color insert
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Overland accent throats and headlamp rings
  • Automatic-on/off headlights
  • Power, heated mirrors
  • Tubular side steps
  • 18-inch Granite Crystal-painted aluminum wheels
  • Automatic dual-zone climate control
  • LED ambient footwell lighting
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Universal garage door opener
  • 115-volt power outlet
  • Uconnect 4 infotainment system with 7-inch screen
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Two USBs and two USB-Cs in back of center console

Rubicon: $TBD

  • All Overland features, plus
  • 17-inch Granite Crystal-painted wheels
  • 4.10-to-1 axle ratio
  • Wide-track axles
  • Tru-Lok electronic locking front and rear differentials
  • Electronic sway-bar disconnect
  • FOX monotube shocks
  • Rock-Trac NV241 transfer case
  • Two piece, high clearance black fender flares
  • Rubicon accent throats and headlamp rings
  • Rock rails
  • Front skid plate and brush guard
  • LED center console ambient lighting
  • Premium cloth seats

2019 Toyota Tacoma Key Features and Pricing by Trim

SR: $25,550

  • 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Projector-beam headlights with turn daytime running lights
  • Dark gray grille with black surround
  • Body-color heated power outside mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Fiber-reinforced Sheet-Molded Composite inner bed with steel outer panels
  • In-bed storage compartments and rail caps
  • Easy-lower, lockable and removable tailgate
  • Deck rail system with four adjustable tie-down cleats and four fixed cargo bed tie-down points
  • 16-inch styled steel wheels
  • Two-speed windshield wipers
  • Sliding rear glass w/privacy glass
  • Engine and front suspension skid plates
  • 4.2-inch color multi-information display
  • Manual climate control
  • Three USB ports (one data, two charging)
  • Cloth seating
  • Urethane tilt-and-/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls
  • Entune™ Audio
  • 6.1-in. touch-screen display
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Bluetooth with audio streaming
  • Siri® Eyes Free
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure warning with sway-warning system
  • Automatic high beams
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Hill-start assist

SR5: $27,325

  • All SR features, plus
  • Integrated headlights
  • Charcoal grille with chrome surround
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls
  • Remote keyless entry system with lock, unlock and panic functions
  • Entune™ Audio Plus
  • 6.1-inch high-resolution touch-screen display
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio
  • Scout® GPS Link compatible
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio

TRD Sport: $32,245

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Double Cab body
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • TRD sport-tuned suspension
  • Integrated wide-angle fog lights
  • Gray grille with smoked finish and chrome surround
  • Hood scoop
  • Mirror-integrated turn signal indicators
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color overfenders
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • 120-volt/400-watt deck-mounted AC power outlet
  • 17-inch machined alloy wheels
  • Wireless smartphone and mobile device charging.
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • Smart Key System on driver’s door with keyless ignition
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation
  • Entune® App Suite
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen with split-screen display
  • HD Radio Predictive Traffic and Doppler Weather overlay
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • ATF cooler
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Power steering cooler
  • 4- and 7-pin connector with converter
  • Trailer-sway control

TRD Off-Road: $33,500

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Double Cab body
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • TRD-tuned off-road suspension with Bilstein shocks
  • Electronically controlled locking rear differential
  • Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control
  • Gray grille with smoked finish and chrome surround
  • Mirror-integrated turn signal indicators
  • Body-color door handles
  • Black overfenders
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • 120-volt/400-watt deck-mounted AC power outlet
  • 16-inch machined contrast alloy wheels
  • Power sliding rear window w/privacy glass
  • Wireless smartphone and mobile device charging
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • Smart Key System on driver’s door with keyless ignition
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation
  • Entune® App Suite
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen with split-screen display
  • HD Radio Predictive Traffic and Doppler Weather overlay
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • ATF cooler
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Power steering cooler
  • 4- and 7-pin connector with converter
  • Trailer-sway control

Limited: $37,490

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Double Cab body
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Integrated fog lights with chrome bezels
  • Silver grille with chrome surround
  • Chrome-accented heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators
  • Chrome-accented door handles
  • Body-color overfenders
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • 120-volt/400-watt deck-mounted AC power outlet
  • Power tilt-and-slide moonroof and sliding sunshade
  • 18-inch polished alloy wheels
  • Power sliding rear window w/privacy glass
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Wireless smartphone and mobile device charging
  • Leather seating
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • Smart Key System on driver’s door with keyless ignition
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink® universal transceiver
  • Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio
  • Navigation
  • Six JBL® speakers and subwoofer amplifier
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • ATF cooler
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Power steering cooler
  • 4- and 7-pin connector with converter
  • Trailer-sway control
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking assist sonar

TRD Pro

  • All SR5 features, plus
  • Double Cab body
  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Four-wheel drive
  • TRD Pro cat-back exhaust
  • TRD-tuned off-road suspension with 2.5-in. FOX® Internal Bypass coilovers and rear remote reservoir shocks
  • Active Traction Control
  • Electronically controlled locking rear differential
  • Projector-beam headlights with black sport bezels
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rigid Industries® LED fog lights
  • LED taillights with black sport bezels
  • Heritage-inspired “TOYOTA” front grille
  • Black badging
  • Black overfenders
  • Hood scoop with graphic
  • Body-color heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • 120-volt/400-watt deck-mounted AC power outlet
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof and sliding sunshade
  • 16-inch TRD Pro black alloy wheels
  • Power sliding rear window w/privacy glass
  • TRD Pro front skid plate
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Wireless smartphone and mobile device charging
  • Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats
  • Leather-trimmed shift lever
  • TRD Pro shift knob
  • TRD Pro floor mats
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror and HomeLink® universal transceiver
  • Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio
  • Navigation
  • Six JBL® speakers and subwoofer amplifier
  • Class-IV towing hitch receiver
  • ATF cooler
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Power steering cooler
  • 4- and 7-pin connector with converter
  • Trailer-sway control
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking assist sonar

Who Should Buy the 2020 Jeep Gladiator?

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is best suited for buyers who must have serious off-road credentials in a pickup. Sure, the Tacoma can go off-road, but it pales in comparison to the Gladiator’s ride height and water-fording abilities.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma is best suited for the buyer who’s on a tighter budget and does not need the off-road capabilities of the Gladiator.

Ready to tackle the trails and haul a load in the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Keep an eye on the Garber Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM online inventory to be the first to know when the 2020 Gladiator hits our showroom serving Orange Park, Jacksonville, and Fleming Island. We expect to see the 2020 Jeep Gladiator in the Jacksonville, Florida area in the second quarter of 2019.

Comments

comments