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It’s no secret why drivers choose the smaller midsize truck over the larger full-size varieties. Midsize pickups cost less, are more fuel efficient with smaller engines and lighter builds, and make for better performance trucks, both on and off-road, than full-size models. They do all this while providing enough seats for small families with plenty of accommodations and just the right amount of working capabilities. Trying to decide which midsize truck to buy, now that’s where things get complicated.
Midsize pickups can range from being the best commuter vehicle to the most rugged performer on the trail, providing the best of both worlds while handling everything in-between. Just take a look at the 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs 2022 Ford Ranger. Both are capable of towing and hauling, providing an enjoyable ride for all passengers when hitting the crowded city streets of Costa Mesa, or taking the highway an hour north toward Los Angeles and tearing up the mud off the pavement, but each is unique in its own way when you dig into the finer details of the exterior styling, interiors, and performance.
A vehicle’s exterior is more than just the first feature to grab your attention while you’re browsing through a dealer’s inventory, either online or in person. It’s a way of presenting to the world who you are and who you want to be. Whether you choose a rugged or athletic body style with a radiant exterior paint color to stand out in a crowded parking lot and turn heads on the street, or you opt for a more subtle design with a somber tone, your vehicle should be a reflection of the person you want the world to recognize you to be. When comparing two brilliant and diversely capable midsize trucks like the 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs the 2022 Ford Ranger, you’ll find that while they may be similar in size and capability, their exteriors narrate two completely different stories with more than just their colorful paint palettes.
When coming across the 2022 Jeep Gladiator, you might find yourself taking a second look, questioning whether or not it’s a Wrangler instead. The Gladiator shares many common visible features in its design with its counterpart, specifically its boxy shape, removable doors, windows, and roof for an open-air drive, but the cargo bed sets it apart from its sibling. Unfortunately for the Gladiator, if you’re looking for an affordable truck for its bed size for toting around whatever you would prefer not to end up in your back seat, you might be disappointed. The Gladiator’s only cargo bed option provides up to 35.5 cu.ft. of bed volume for goods or trash if you wish. The Ranger, on the other hand, offers a 5 or 6-foot bed that can hold between 43.3 to 51.8 cu.ft. of whatever you please.
Let’s be honest here. If you’re interested in a 2022 Jeep Gladiator, it’s not going to be for the most junk that you can put in its bed. It caught your eye with its intimidating, military-grade good looks versus the mainstream design of the Ranger.
When parked beside one another, the Gladiator even looks down on the Ranger as it sits taller, with its ground clearance measuring 1.6 inches more than the standard 2022 Ford Ranger. The more ground clearance means you’ll have an easier time clearing the obstacles on the road and on the trail. However, the Gladiator is also lengthier and wider than the Ranger, which can make off-roading a little more complicated on the narrow trails, but it provides a more enjoyable ride for you and your passengers.
For a vehicle to have a promising outcome on the market, it needs more than just an attractive exterior. The interior is what seals the deal. Although the average driver’s commute to work in Costa Mesa is less than the country’s average, you’ll still be spending a good 20 minutes or more just getting to or from work; never mind any other trips on the road or out on the trail.
A vehicle with an interior that satisfies your need for style, comfort, convenience, and entertainment will speak to you more than one that looks appealing from just the outside. When you’re in the market for a new pickup for your daily driver, you’ll need to pay close attention to what its cabin space has to offer since many models are built for work, not for comfort. Measuring what the interiors of the 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs 2022 Ford Ranger have in store for you is a primary example of how different two models in the same class can be.
The 2022 Jeep Gladiator has nine trims to choose from, which can be overwhelming for some versus the three that the 2022 Ford Ranger offers. As you climb the trim level ladder up for the Gladiator and the Ranger, you’ll find better quality materials and a greater number of comfort, convenience, and entertainment features, which explains why having too many trims to choose from can make things complicated. From a different perspective, though, with the Gladiator’s various trim levels, you have greater flexibility for customizing the interior to suit your preferences. Although you’ll be spending more money on a Gladiator for basic features like power locks and windows versus the Ranger, which offers these features standard, its interior has premium amenities that you won’t find on the top-level Ranger trim.
For example: besides quilted Nappa leather-trimmed seats in the premium Gladiator High Altitude trim, the Gladiator also has a removable wireless connectivity speaker that you won’t find on any other vehicle in the industry. It charges while you drive and is water and dust-resistant. This means it’ll survive a dip in the mud when in your Gladiator, and you can take your tunes out on a hike when you decide to stretch your legs after a morning on the trail.
The 2022 Jeep Gladiator also has the first lockable and removable rear-seat storage bin available in the segment. The 2022 Ford Ranger provides similar under-seat storage, but you won’t be taking it out of the truck as easily as you will with the Gladiator. Both trucks are standard with a 60/40 folding rear seat for the flexibility to either store more in stuff for the road or bring along your friends and family, but the Gladiator’s extra 7.9 inches of rear legroom over the Ranger’s 30.4 inches enables you to fit more in the backseat and give your passengers more legroom than the Ranger. To decide between the 2022 Jeep Gladiator and the 2022 Ford Ranger, you just have to choose between a basic and practical interior or one with industry and segment-first premium amenities.
Trucks are built and designed to work hard and play hard. Nowadays, more than ever, pickups provide a softer side to them to appeal to commuters and families while still following their heritage of being the most capable vehicles on the market. Midsize trucks deliver the perfect amount of power for the average driver’s towing and hauling needs and are large enough to accommodate passengers without the bulkiness of a full-size pickup which can hinder your city driving. When deciding which midsize truck you want, it’s good to know what each model can deliver regarding performance and capability.
Take the 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs 2022 Ford Ranger, for example. The Gladiator is functional as a daily driver but flourishes off the pavement with its two V6 engine options and standard 4WD. The base 3.6-liter gas-powered engine can deliver 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque to tow the most weight, up to 7,650 lbs, but it’s only estimated to receive a combined 19 MPG when paired with either the automatic or manual transmission. The optional 3.0-liter automatic turbo-diesel powertrain is a better choice for fuel efficiency, with an estimated combined 24 MPG, but it’s also better for conquering the trail with an impressive 442 lb-ft of torque.
The Ranger is the complete opposite. It performs best on the road as a commuter and work truck but can also handle driving off the pavement. Unfortunately, you won’t have a selection of engines to choose from with the Ranger. It’s only available with a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder which delivers 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque that can handle towing 1,000 lbs more weight than the Gladiator diesel and hauls 205 lbs more than the 1,700 lbs that both Gladiator engines can carry.
However, if you’re planning on sticking to the pavement most of the time, you can opt for a 2WD Ranger. This drivetrain can get you an estimated combined 23 MPG. Even the 4WD Ranger gets better fuel economy than the least efficient Gladiator engine, but when it comes to the trail, the Ranger doesn’t stand a chance against the Gladiator, even with its Tremor off-road package. Ultimately, both trucks are versatile, but where one is a practical daily driver, the other seconds as an off-road warrior.