2022 Jeep Gladiator vs 2022 Toyota Tacoma

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  • 2022 Jeep Gladiator

    A silver 2022 Jeep Gladiator Overland is shown angled left.

    Starting at

    $37,565[a]

    2022 Toyota Tacoma

    A dark grey 2022 Toyota Tacoma SR5 is shown angled right.

    Starting at

    $27,150

    1,700Max Towing Capacity (lbs)6,800
    7,650Max Payload Capacity (lbs)1,525
    22/28Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)19/24

    The pickup truck has long been heralded as a conventional vehicle for hard workers and off-roaders alike. Whether putting in an honest day’s work or getting down in the dirt, it’s the standard bearer for the individual who believes in working hard and playing even harder. Two manufacturers who have spent a fair amount of time providing options for both are Jeep and Toyota. Both brands began their rise to prominence during the economic boom period following World War II. The 1950s saw the first Toyota’s arrive stateside and, in particular, their Land Cruiser, which forced the hand of many American manufacturers to produce vehicles such as the Wagoneer and Bronco, which in turn led to the eventual arrival of the SUV.

    As for Jeep, its service overseas during wartime had proved its versatility and effectiveness in unforgiving conditions. Their rise to prominence continued the following decade thanks to several war-themed movies and the popular television show, M*A*S*H*. The innovation and development of both brands have resulted in two of the most recognizable names in the industry. In the present day, both brands continue their undaunting strides towards mechanical perfection. To this end, today, we’ll be examining an offering from each that certainly appeals to those who crave versatility and are fueled by adrenaline. It’s the 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs. the 2022 Toyota Tacoma. Let's take a deeper look at both vehicles and what they offer.

  • Style

    A person is shown driving an ATV into the bed of a white 2022 Jeep Gladiator.

    As one of the most recognizable vehicle brands, most people can spot a Jeep from a mile away. With its distinctive look, Jeep tends to attract a loyal fan base. And while a vehicle cannot be judged on looks alone, style is an essential variable for those searching for the ideal vehicle. If owning a truck is a conventional option, then the Jeep Gladiator is the definition of unconventional. Which indeed leads to the unique style and aesthetic the vehicle possesses.

    The Gladiator's Off-Road Design

    The design of the Gladiator is similar to that of the Wrangler but with some noticeable differences. The first thing anyone notices is the sixty-inch cargo bed generally reserved for a pickup. This means that ample storage is provided over any terrain it travels upon. Also noticeable is the elevated ground clearance of 11 inches, which is more than the ten that the Jeep Rubicon offers. This means that the Gladiator is born and bred to journey off the pavement. Removable doors and the top can turn the Gladiator into a first-class dune buggy with minor adjustments.

    The Tacoma's Traditional-Looking Exterior

    If the Gladiator is the by-product of thinking outside the box and not adhering to convention, then the Toyota Tacoma is its polar opposite. There’s very little, if anything, to distinguish the Tacoma from the vast array of pickups commonly found on the road. The Tacoma looks like a pickup truck, which is the most accurate summarization of its style we can offer. Unlike the Gladiator, which can travel on and off the pavement with no difficulty whatsoever, off-road enthusiasts will have to opt for the TRD Off-Road trim package to follow the paths less traveled. And even then, the Tacoma’s ground clearance of just under 9.5 inches is less than the Gladiator and the more compact and off-road-ready Rubicon. While some may feel drawn to Toyota’s reliability rating, which is remarkable, off-road enthusiasts will quickly favor the Gladiator's uncompromising style and capability to leave civilization far behind.

  • Performance

    A person is shown putting supplies into the bed of a 2022 Jeep Gladiator.

    We’re taught as children to lever judge a book by its cover. The same can be said about vehicles. Style and aesthetic aside, what’s underneath the hood makes all the difference in the world. Jeep and Toyota have always had reliable powertrains that provide performance and have been praised by many for their reliability. Let’s pop the hood and see what each model offers in forward propulsion.

    The Gladiator's Engine Options

    While the Gladiator’s size might make one assume that a powerful Hemi is needed to move it forward, Jeep instead fires its versatile vehicle with six cylinders. The standard offering for the Gladiator is a 3.6L Pentastar V6. A tried and true workhorse, the engine has found use in various brands such as Dodge, Ram, and even the Italian-based manufacturer, Fiat. The specs of the standard engine measure out to a horsepower rating of 285 and the ability to generate 260 lb-ft of torque. Depending upon which trim level you decide to purchase, the engine comes equipped with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine is recommended for the trailering type, as it possesses a towing capacity of 7,650 lbs.

    Like many other domestic brands, the Jeep Gladiator uses a diesel-fueled powertrain option. This comes in the form of a 3.0L Turbocharged EcoDiesel. The diesel option is water-cooled and efficient in climbing the terrains that make other vehicles shrink away. A horsepower rating of 260 is more than formidable for the off-roader, especially with its ability to generate 442 lb-ft of torque and a towing capacity of 6,500 lbs. For those looking to get the most out of their fill-ups, this engine configuration gets 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.

    The Tacoma's Engine Options

    Like the Gladiator, the Tacoma avoids using a V8 in its powertrain. The base offering for the Tacoma is a 2.7L four-cylinder engine. While not a workhorse, the engine can still deliver 159 hp and generate 180 lb-ft of torque. While the four-cylinder engine has always been ideal for consumers who wish to save money at the pump, Tacoma’s MPG ratings are mediocre at best. A 2WD Tacoma with the 2.7L only achieves a combined MPG of 21, with 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway, respectively. The Tacoma’s four-cylinder matches the towing rating of 6,500 lbs but falls well short of its performance options.

    The Tacoma also offers a 3.5L V6, just in case someone’s looking for a bit more in the performance department. A significant step up from the mediocre four-cylinder, the V6 offers drivers 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. While this outdoes the Gladiator in the torque department, it falls well short of the horsepower rating and, even at its very best, can only tow a maximum of 6,800 lbs.

  • Interior

    A man is shown driving a 2022 Jeep Gladiator during a 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs 2022 Toyota Tacoma comparison.

    Performance and styling aside, the interior is where you’ll be spending a great deal of time. Therefore, being comfortable and having the right amenities at your fingertips is always essential.

    The Gladiator's Interior

    For the Gladiator, drivers are gifted with familiarity and convenience. Much like the Wrangler, the controls for the vehicle are placed in an upright position. To the casual observer, the driver’s area might look cramped and constricting. Luckily, the Gladiator isn’t made for the casual driver. Because it’s formulated to rip through the dunes and conquer terrain, the interior is strategic in its placement of the controls. Everything is easily within range, allowing the driver to keep focussed on the road and not be distracted during operation.

    The interior of the Gladiator is anchored by its seven-inch infotainment screen. Positioned above the climate control and the shifting lever, everything easily fits within its place almost too perfectly. If you're an off-roader who enjoys complete control and aesthetics, you’re found your new home away from home.

    The Tacoma's Interior

    We’ve often spoken about the growth and development within the automotive industry. And while this is undoubtedly the case for several manufacturers, this philosophy doesn’t lend itself to Tacoma’s interior. In an age where so many brands are going out of their way to stay ahead of the curve, Tacoma feels willfully stuck in the past. Spartan and uncomfortable, there’s space for both driver and passenger, but little room for a third party. Like many other vehicles, the interior is anchored by its infotainment center. This appears to be the only real highlight. While wireless charging is available, it’s only recently that the Tacoma became compatible with Apple and Android devices. Unlike many of its competitors, a mobile wireless hotspot is still conspicuous by its absence.

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