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|10 in||Ground Clearance||8.3 in|
Not all midsize pickup trucks are created equal. Some automakers think they can build a truck that tries to be all things to all people, while others realize the key is to create a midsize pickup that has a clear focus. This is the case when you compare the 2021 Jeep Gladiator vs 2021 Chevy Colorado. When Chevrolet set out to design the Colorado, it decided to build a midsize truck that tries to fill different niches, whether a work truck for commercial purposes, an off-road vehicle for recreation, and also everything in-between.
While the 2021 Chevy Colorado is a fine truck, it is not focused like the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. While you have to pay extra for things like four-wheel drive and a crew cab on a 2021 Chevy Colorado, these features come standard on all models of the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. This means that with the Gladiator, you have a truck that is ready for everything. In comparing the 2021 Gladiator and the 2021 Colorado, you will see that you get more out of your truck when you buy a Jeep. The Gladiator is relatively new, only having been introduced in 2019, but sometimes the best surprises are the ones that are not expected.
Jeep offers two engine options on the 2021 Gladiator. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that can produce 285 horsepower and generate 260 pound-feet of torque. This engine features Engine Stop-Start technology to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. There is also an available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that provides 260 horsepower and a best-in-class 442 pound-feet of torque. The diesel also features Variable Geometry Turbo technology to boost performance.
Chevy actually offers three engines on the 2021 Colorado. However, the base engine is a 2.5-liter I-4 gas engine that only produces 200 horsepower and generates 191 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard on the WT and LT trims. The Colorado Z71 and ZR2 feature a 3.6-liter V6 gas engine that can provide 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This engine is also available as an option on the WT and LT trim levels. Finally, there is an available 2.8-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-4 that can produce 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This engine is only available as an option on the ZR2 trim.
Even though the Chevy offers three different engine options, you can only get the Turbo-Diesel on the ZR2. In addition, the base engine on all 2021 Gladiators is the V6, while the lower trims of the Colorado come with an underpowered I4. Finally, the Gladiator’s EcoDiesel is larger and more powerful than the Duramax on the 2021 Chevy Colorado.
Jeep gives you the choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or 8-speed automatic transmission on the 2021 Gladiator with the V6 gas engine. The EcoDiesel comes with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission. In contrast, the 2021 Chevy Colorado only comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, except if you buy one with the V6 gas engine, which comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This means that you will not have the same control and efficiency on the Chevy that you will with the Jeep. Also, you don’t have the option of a manual transmission on the Colorado like you do on the Gladiator if that is of interest to you.
If you are looking to go off-roading, a 2021 Jeep Gladiator is ready for it with its standard 4X4 drivetrain and 10 inches of ground clearance. What’s more, certain trims like the Mojave and Rubicon add additional features to provide improved off-road performance, such as lifted suspension and locking differentials. The only models of the 2021 Chevy Colorado that can provide you with the confidence to take them off-road are the Z71 with four-wheel drive and the ZR2.
Even when you look at these dedicated off-road trims of the Colorado, you will see that they are less capable than what the Gladiator brings to the table. While every single Gladiator wears Jeep’s Trail Rated badge, the Mojave and Rubicon trims go above and beyond, offering a simply unbeatable off-roading experience. Whether you are interested in hard-core rock crawling or high-speed desert running, Jeep has a focused off-road trim specializing in your activity of choice. Meanwhile, even the Colorado’s specialist trims are more generalist in design and fail to excel at any single task.
Both the 2021 Jeep Gladiator and the 2021 Chevy Colorado offer solid fuel economy. However, the Jeep has a slight edge when it comes to giving you the best gas mileage. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator with the optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel will give you 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. In contrast, the 2021 Chevy Colorado with the 2.8-liter Turbo-Diesel and four-wheel drive will give you 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon in highway driving.
This difference carries over to the V6 gas engines on these trucks. When you drive a 2021 Gladiator with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and automatic transmission, you can expect to get 17 miles per gallon in city driving and 22 miles per gallon on the highway, which is comparable to the Chevy Colorado with the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine and four-wheel drive. Despite being a highly capable off-road truck, the Gladiator is remarkably efficient, which comes in handy when you are exploring the wild.
If you are looking to tow trailers, then look no further than the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. One of these trucks with the standard 3.6-liter engine can tow up to 7,650 pounds. This is more than the 7,000 towing capacity of the 2021 Colorado with a V6 gas engine and significantly more than the 3,500-pound maximum capability if the Colorado is sporting its standard 2.5-liter I-4 engine. If you need to haul a boat or camper to a remote lake or campsite, the Gladiator is the truck to pick.
The 2021 Chevy Colorado sports a larger bed than the 2021 Jeep Gladiator because the Gladiator comes standard with a generous four-door crew cab. However, the Gladiator has the power to carry 1,700 pounds of cargo safely and efficiently.
The Colorado can only carry up to a maximum of 1,500 pounds of cargo if it is equipped with its V6 gas engine and 4x4. If a 4x4 Colorado is equipped with its optional diesel, the maximum payload capacity drops to 1,430 pounds and goes down to just 1,380 pounds with the I4 gas engine. The Gladiator will give you more payload as well as the ability to go more places.
Every model of the 2021 Jeep Gladiator features a crew cab configuration capable of seating up to five passengers comfortably in 103 cubic feet of space. The standard model of the 2021 Chevy Colorado has an extended cab, which can only seat up to 4 passengers. If you want a crew cab on a Colorado, you are going to have to pay more money.
The Gladiator also provides more space in its two rows of seats than the Colorado. For example, the Gladiator provides 42.8 inches of headroom in both the front and back rows, as well as 38.3 inches of legroom in the back row. The Colorado only gives front-row passengers 41.4 inches of headroom with either an extended or crew cab. What’s more, rear row passengers in a Colorado crew cab only get 38.3 inches of headroom and 35.8 inches of legroom even if you opt for the crew cab, making it a little too cozy for anything more than short trips. Things really get cramped in a Colorado extended cab, with only 36.7 inches of headroom and 28.6 inches legroom in the rear row of seats.