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

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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: https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/colorado/2019/
Watch our other truck comparison test with the Chevy Colorado: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-giWYOeLFk

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: https://www.edmunds.com/jeep/gladiator/2020/
Watch our 2020 Jeep Gladiator video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK2pP4yThck

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