Jeep Gladiator Rubicon vs. Chevy Colorado ZR2 – 2019 Off-Road Truck Comparison

This video chronicles an off-road truck comparison test of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon and the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The Gladiator is by far the most anticipated new vehicle of the year. This all-new crew-cab 4WD midsize pickup is basically a four-door Wrangler with a 5-foot truck bed instead of an enclosed cargo area. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 is a more traditional crew-cab pickup that has been around a few years.

While all Gladiators are built to excel off-road, the Rubicon is the top-level offering with oversize off-road tires, a lifted suspension with special Fox shocks, a disconnecting stabilizer bar, and lockable front and rear differentials. Likewise, the ZR2 is the most extreme off-road variant of the Colorado lineup. It also has knobby off-road tires, a lifted suspension with unique Multimatic shocks, and lockable front and rear differentials, but its front stabilizer bar is fixed.

We took both of these trucks out into our local desert to see how they compared on silty desert trails, washboard dirt roads, whoop-de-dos, narrow canyons, mud hills and sand dunes. We also brought them to an off-road training area to try them out on a constructed obstacle. In the end, the result highlighted the differences you might expect between a Jeep truck with a solid front axle and a more typical pickup with an independent front suspension. Which one did we like more? Watch the whole thing to find out.

About the 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2

The Chevrolet Colorado won a recent three-way truck comparison by offering a better overall mix of on- and off-road performance than the Toyota Tacoma and the Ford Ranger. But that was the more mainstream Colorado Z71. The ZR2 we tested here is a more niche version of the Colorado lineup that we chose to better match up against the Jeep.

Apart from the off-road suspension, the ZR2 shares many of the Colorado’s strengths and weaknesses. Its V6 engine and eight-speed transmission are a good combination, making the truck pleasant to drive on the pavement. The interior is easy to use and the audio system is straightforward, but the back seat is a bit tight for four adults, especially if they are tall. Curiously, the off-road suspension rides fairly smoothly on the highway despite a bit of extra tire noise from the knobbies.

See our Chevy Colorado Review:
Watch our other truck comparison test with the Chevy Colorado:

About the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

The new Gladiator may just be the perfect vehicle for those who want a Jeep but need a truck. It benefits from the Wrangler’s well-sorted V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission combination, and it has the same impressive-to-look-at and easy-to-use interior as the newest Wrangler. And its pickup credentials are real: The Sport S can tow 7,650 pounds and has a 1,600-pound payload, but even the Rubicon can tow 7,000 pounds.

Yes, the driving experience does suffer a bit from the very Jeepy solid front axle, but that’s offset by a smooth-riding coil-spring rear suspension. And it’s true that the Gladiator’s wheelbase is a bit long compared to other crew-cab pickups. That’s a mixed bag because it smooths out the ride and tracks it straighter on the road, but it also reduces breakover clearance and makes it more likely to drag its belly off-road. This aspect is meaningful if you compare it to a Wrangler, but it’s less significant when compared to other midsize trucks.

See our Jeep Gladiator Review:
Watch our 2020 Jeep Gladiator video:
Watch our Jeep Gladiator vs. Jeep Wrangler video:

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43 bình luận cho “Jeep Gladiator Rubicon vs. Chevy Colorado ZR2 – 2019 Off-Road Truck Comparison

  1. The Multimatic DSSV killed the the Fox set up on the Jeep on those washboards/whoops. The dude in the Jeep could barely talk he was bouncing so much. The ZR2 appears to handle like a desert racer. The Jeep was so out of sorts at speed…..great crawler but that is about it. Speed = fun = ZR2. What is up with the guy driving the Jeep talking about the ZR2 DSSV needing tuning for off road while it looked like he was going to get whiplash in that Jeep – hahahaha. Then they head to the tubes for departure angle checks/clearance. Jeep is on 33" tires and ZR2 is on 31" tires – stock for each vehicle so I am glad they did that and didn't swap tires. The stock ZR2 easily handled the tubes (makes you wonder if you really need to mount 33" tires on the ZR2 unless you are serious hard core off road/crawling) yet the Jeep was grinding all over the place and the journalists doing this test were acting as if the ZR2 had no chance. The speed difference in which the tubes were run by the ZR2 and Jeep was substantial — the ZR2 was done in 1/2 the time. All in all though video was very informative – no matter the spin the video doesn't lie. Turn off the sound and watch the performance of each truck. Going to drop some coin on a ZR2.

    Journalist…"The ZR2 makes a little bit more hp and torque, its not a significant amount" Ok. So 23 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque isn't significant? Holy crap and consider the Gladiator's curb weight is going to be in the ball park of a few hundred pounds more. That is significant. 

    Payload capacity for the ZR2 = 1247 lbs not 1,100……. So payload of 1247 for ZR2 and 1,160 for the Jeep. 

    A deep bed is negative? The Jeep in this video can't even haul a few boxes of oranges w/o them looking like they are going to topple over the top of the bed side. There are very few applications in which a low bed side is preferable. 

    Dunes…..ZR2 does a full circle around the Jeep while the Jeep can't gain speed or get pointed in a direction

    Jeep guy….."I got better approach clearance and I disconnected my sway bar" — I guess that didn't play out so well in the tubes and mud trail. The faces are priceless. 

    By the end of this video I couldn't figure out if this was a set up for the Jeep or did the journalists really expect it to trounce the ZR2 and then when it got beat, tried to explain it away?

    2021 ZR2 = $45,395. 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon with options that are standard on the ZR2 = 52,590

  2. The thing about these trucks… 20 years ago they made the trucks with steel parts. They started saving money on production and putting plastic shit everywhere. Your reviews do a great job on going over all the options available but are they worth a shit? Given the prices these things go for now, I want something that is going to run for 20 years and never needs repaired. I love the looks of these things but I just have a feeling that the Toyota is three times the pickup over the latter years after the GM shit that was designed to fail after warranty starts going out.

  3. Just seems like they built for different style off roading. The Zr2 seems more for faster higher speed trails. Such as the ford raptor. The Gladiator seems more for over-landing and crawling. The solid axle on the gladiator make a better platform for modifications. The zr2 can probably be modified but less extensive and more expensive.

  4. As a life long Chevy guy who now owns a jeep wrangler I have to tell you that I was not surprised that the ZR two seemed more capable. However there are things about the gladiator that are just my son the fact that you could take the top off and the doors make it a little bit more fun in the summer time. However if you don’t care about that and you want something more capable the Chevy is born on the better of the two. While the jeep can definitely do on go anywhere the CR two can see our two has 308 hp so it’s got plenty of balls coming from the 3.6 L that they put in v6 Camaro and some cadillacs.

  5. The guy driving the ZR2 needed to raise his seat height. I have a Colorado and when wheeling I raise the seat up and have no issues seeing. Mr amateur hour there gave a misleading review.

  6. jjjjjjjjjjjjjjeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppppppppppppppppp tttttttttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssssssss. RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I have a jeep truck and I have to admit the zrt is a good truck but personally I think the jeep truck is way more fun cause riding with the doors off and the roof off is more better then just a normal truck and the inside is way way way nice and allot of people like jeeps and allot like trucks so I think the jeep truck is a great combination

  8. I hear both of the testers complain about the high side walls of the bed then I see one loading stuff from the side. I don't know but I thought everybody knew the tailgate was for access and the best way to scratch your truck up was to load it from the side.

  9. wanna blow the jeep anymore? I mean damn.. I test drove both of them and if I had the money I would buy the zr2 with the duramax or even the 3.6l in a second over the jeep. Ill stick with the z71 though hahaha

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