Compared: Jeep Gladiator vs. Toyota Tacoma

The Gladiator soars off-road in the competitive mid-size truck class, while the Tacoma keeps things civilized.


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The mid-size truck market is no stranger to models that prioritize off-road fun, and the 2022 Jeep Gladiator and the 2022 Toyota Tacoma represent both the newest and oldest of trail-ready trucks. The more recent Gladiator truck leverages its Jeep Wrangler SUV roots to provide substantial 4x4 capability. At the same time, the tried-and-true Tacoma dips into Toyota Racing Development's long tradition of building rough-and-tumble pickups that are still reasonably comfortable as commuters.

Here's how these two pickups fare when comparing their features, towing capacities, and prices.


Jeep Gladiator vs. Toyota Tacoma: Features

One huge difference between the Gladiator and the Tacoma is that the Jeep's top comes off, making it the only convertible pickup truck currently on the market. Buyers can specify either soft or hard tops for the Gladiator's passenger compartment, and they can also remove each of its four doors and fold the windshield forward if they so desire.


It's also worth noting that while both pickups offer hardcore off-road models (TRD Pro for the Tacoma and Rubicon for the Gladiator), the Jeep pulls ahead with rugged equipment like a solid front axle, ultra low-range gearing for rock crawling, and 11.1 inches of ground clearance—1.5 inches more than the Toyota.

From a daily driving perspective, however, the Tacoma provides a more civilized interior, which is quieter and more comfortable (especially at highway speeds). It also provides a choice of cab sizes (the smaller Access Cab and more roomy Double Cab) and five- or six-foot bed lengths, while the Gladiator is limited to a single, long-wheelbase model with a five-foot bed.


Jeep Gladiator vs. Toyota Tacoma: Towing and Cargo Capacity

The Tacoma's towing capacity starts at 3,500 pounds and stretches all the way up to 6,800 pounds with its V-6 Tow Prep package installed. The Gladiator makes use of its long wheelbase and more powerful base engine to score a higher starting tow rating of 4,000 pounds that increases to 7,650 pounds with its Max Towing package installed, giving it an advantage over the Toyota truck at both ends of the spectrum.


The Toyota can haul up to 1,685 pounds in its cargo bed, which is just barely below the Jeep's 1,700-pound rating.


Jeep Gladiator vs. Toyota Tacoma: Price

The least-expensive Toyota Tacoma, the Access Cab in SR trim, can be had for $27,915. It comes with a 159-hp four-cylinder gas engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive (four-wheel drive is an extra $3,075). A more powerful 278-hp V6 starts at $30,175. The most luxurious Tacoma—the Limited—starts at $40,670, but it's possible to spend still more for the Tacoma TRD Pro's off-road charms ($47,350).


The base Gladiator Sport trim is almost $10,000 more expensive to start with, with a sticker of $37,680. Unlike the Tacoma, the Jeep includes four-wheel drive, a 260-hp V6, and a manual transmission (an eight-speed automatic is an extra $2,000) as standard equipment, which explains part of the price gap. A turbo-diesel V6 rated at up to 28 mpg is a $4,010 option.

The rock-climbing Gladiator Rubicon is a closer match for the TRD Pro at $49,620, but the luxury-oriented $54,765 High Altitude is a $7,415 premium over the Tacoma Limited.

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Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.