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

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

Edmund’s exclusive test, we’re pitting the
new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon against the Chevrolet
Colorado ZR2 on the road, on the trails, over
obstacles, and in the dunes. We’re here in Ocotillo
Wells, California, which is a beautiful wide
open desert landscape that has trails that run everywhere. I really like coming here,
and I’ve seen a lot of it. But I’ve never seen this place. But what I do know
about coming here is that you need a truck that
can handle just about anything. CALVIN KIM: That’s right. That’s why we brought out
the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. It’s a truck that we’re
intimately familiar with. We’ve had it on numerous
comparison tests. We’ve driven it
all over the place. We even have one in
our long-term fleet. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. And while we know what the
Colorado can and can’t do, we don’t know anything about
the new Jeep Gladiator. I mean, they’ve been teasing us
for years at places like Moab with concept vehicles, but
now we finally got one, and we can find out
once and for all if this is a Jeepy
truck or a trucky Jeep. CALVIN KIM: That’s right, and we
can’t wait to test the metal– DAN EDMUNDS: I see we did there. CALVIN KIM: –and find
out the good, bad, and the ugly of
these two platforms by getting them out there. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. Let’s hit the trail. But before we hit the
trail, you hit Subscribe, and also remember to use
Edmunds for all your truck shopping needs. [MUSIC PLAYING] Right now we’re on one
of the main thoroughfares here in Ocotillo Wells. We can get some speed up. This section is covered
with whoop-de-doos which you get where there’s
motorcycle and side-by-side traffic. They really chop up
the surface here, and the suspension
on the Gladiator seems to be dealing
with it really well. The FOX shocks are nicely
tuned and the wheelbase seems to be helping
settle out the motions. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: If you don’t
have the right suspension, it can ruin your day. Thankfully, the Colorado
ZR2 has these trick dampers from a company called
Multimatic that kind of is speed sensitive, if you will, and
keeps the truck pretty stable even on these wash boards. Now, an interesting fact is that
sometimes going slow is bad, and for the Colorado, it really
likes a little bit of speed so that it’s just skimming the
tops of these washboard bumps. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: Wrangler is
what this is based on. The Wrangler is known for being
a vehicle that can pretty much do anything and go anywhere. And they’ve had a
two-door version, and then they introduced the
four-door version, of course. There doesn’t seem to be
any limit to the appetite for variants of this vehicle. So now we have a Jeep pickup,
and they call it a Gladiator. The thing about a Jeep
is it can go anywhere. On trails you might not even
feel comfortable walking up, you can crawl up in a Jeep. The other thing is the top
comes off, the doors come off, the windshield folds. I mean nothing puts
you in the middle of the action like a Jeep. And now, the Jeep truck
just gives the person who kind of needs a
truck but wants a Jeep a way to have both
at the same time. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: Chevrolet
has been making trucks for quite possibly
a billion years, but the Colorado is
actually fairly new. This second generation
was only introduced about four or five years ago. But the ZR2 is a
little bit different. Chevrolet saw people
buying other trucks that were more enthusiast
oriented, not so much for the 9:00 to
5:00, hence the ZR2. It’s a little bit wider. It’s got better
suspension, and it’s more meant for the weekend
than the weekday. DAN EDMUNDS: Customization
is almost expected. There’s so many different
aftermarket parts that Mopar sells, and
independent companies sell. If you can dream it,
they make it for a Jeep. I mean, the first thing people
do is they usually lift it up and they add bigger tires. And the thing
about the Gladiator is the Rubicon comes
with 33-inch tires, but they say 35s will fit
without any modification. Even the spare tire
compartment, in the back, underneath the frame,
will hold a 35-inch tire without any modifications. So right there they’ve even
designed in the knowledge that people are going to
want to mod this thing. CALVIN KIM: Enthusiasts like
tinkering with their stuff, you know, upgrading. They’ve provided a
catalog of parts. For example, the new Bison
model with upgraded armor and underbody protection,
and even performance parts from the GM Performance
Parts catalog. And you can upgrade
suspension, upgrade the power, so you can go a little bit
faster than you’re going now. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, these
whoop-de-doos are really deep. I generally just
have to tolerate them until I get where I’m
going, but certainly this is easier in
the Gladiator than it is in, say, my two-door Jeep
Wrangler which really gets tossed around because
it’s so short. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: I just turned off
the stability control system because as we’re skimming
the tops of these bumps, the computer’s kind of
flipping out a little bit and kind of directing me, giving
me inputs that I don’t really want. So by turning it
off, it’s giving me a little bit more control over
how we’re going down the road. Whee. DAN EDMUNDS: Calvin
in the Colorado is probably saying that
the ride’s pretty good, but the Multimatic
dampers don’t seem to be as well suited
to the terrain as you think they might be. My impression is they’re tuned
really well for the pavement, and they could stand to have
another tuning session out here on this type of terrain. CALVIN KIM: The Colorado’s
independent front suspension pays dividends on these
flatter washboard roads. It’s not that great on
rock crawling because of the lack of articulation,
but out here the dampers can really control each
wheel individually. And on top of that, the
rack-and-pinion steering gives me fingertip
control and pointability. The Gladiator’s front
suspension, on the other hand, has to do a lot more work
simply because the solid front axle is a lot heavier. On top of that, the Gladiator’s
recirculating ball steering system just isn’t as precise
as the ZR2s rack and pinion. Let’s take it somewhere where
it can really flex its muscles. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: We’re here at
the off-road training area here at Ocotillo
Wells, and there’s a lot of obstacles designed
to test the agility and capability of both modified
trucks and side-by-sides. DAN EDMUNDS: Right, and
modified is the key word here because have you seen
some of this stuff? I mean, it’s really
difficult. I can’t imagine an unmodified vehicle,
even attempting some of it. That’s why we’re here at a
fairly simple obstacle that’s meant to test approach,
departure, ground clearance, and break-over angle. CALVIN KIM: These are all
things that we don’t know about on the Gladiator. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. So, I think we’re going
to know a little bit more in a few minutes. I’m lined up with
the tubular obstacle. The Gladiator has a longer
wheelbase, not only than a Wrangler Unlimited, but
also a mid-sized pickup with a 5-foot bed and a crew
cab which is what this is. So let’s see how it does. Do I look like I’m lined up OK? CALVIN KIM: Looks
good from here. DAN EDMUNDS: I can
actually see pretty well over the hood of this vehicle. The fenders drop away, and
it’s pretty easy to see. It’s got a good crawl ratio so
I don’t have to go very fast. CALVIN KIM: It’s pretty good. No problems with approach,
and now the first breakover. DAN EDMUNDS: Whoa. Whoa. CALVIN KIM: Oh just barely. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh yeah. CALVIN KIM: Oh he’s on there. DAN EDMUNDS: That
felt important. It’s still touching. Yep. Is that anything important
sounding underneath there? CALVIN KIM: Oh no, no. It’s just your frame rail
and maybe a drive shaft? DAN EDMUNDS: Drive shaft? CALVIN KIM: No,
I’m just kidding. It’s just the skid plate. DAN EDMUNDS: I’m riding
the brakes a little bit to control my speed because
I don’t want to go over one of these things too quickly. CALVIN KIM: The good thing
is the approach angle is nothing to worry about. Just a little drag on the– on the hitch. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh. Oh. CALVIN KIM: Oh, but
it’s that breakover. DAN EDMUNDS: Another drag. CALVIN KIM: Yeah, you’re just
laying on that skid plate, but thank goodness it’s there. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, it’s
just a skid plate. I feel much better. CALVIN KIM: One of the
benefits of a skid plate is it helps you slide right
off obstacles like that. So far, departure doesn’t
seem to be an issue. So it’s just the
breakover height. DAN EDMUNDS: Almost done. CALVIN KIM: So close. No, looks good. Good job. Good job, Gladiator. DAN EDMUNDS: I rub-a-dub-dubbed
a little bit more than I thought I might there. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: We’re
about to do tubular, so I’m going to go
ahead and put it 4 low. DAN EDMUNDS: If
you keep it slow, you probably won’t kill it. CALVIN KIM: Dan, I don’t
have a lot of visibility out the front. You think you can
tell me and let me know if I’m OK laterally? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, you’re
pretty well centered. You might cheat it just to
the right a little tiny bit, but not much. CALVIN KIM: Approach
angle is really good. First breakover
angle test was good. Let’s see the first departure
angle test out for the back. Now, Dan, was a little bit
of a rub on the exhaust? DAN EDMUNDS: No harm, no foul. CALVIN KIM: Well, all right. DAN EDMUNDS: That
was pretty good. Couple of light taps,
but nothing major. [MUSIC PLAYING] We just left the training area,
and we drove on an obstacle that we picked
because it highlighted the approach, departure, and
breakover angle of these two vehicles. This truck has a
very long wheelbase. I was worried about it,
departure angle a little bit as well, because you know
the rear end does hang out there a little bit. But it performed much better
than I thought, especially departure. The spare is tucked
up nice and tight, and it’s got a little
rub rails to protect the bed corners, which we didn’t
need because it didn’t rub. And the skid plate
that they have is right where it needs to be. And that’s the only
thing that touched. And it didn’t touch that bad. I crawled underneath there. Not even that many
detectable scratches. So, it did pretty well. I’m less worried about
that aspect of this vehicle than I was going into this test. CALVIN KIM: We were surprised
at the ground clearance that the ZR2 had. I honestly thought it dragged
body parts a little bit more than it did, but all
things considered, the built-in skid
plate did its job, and you know that’s
what it’s there for. The exhaust tip did touch down,
as well as the spare tire. And while we’d like to
see both of those items higher up in the
body, not too bad. DAN EDMUNDS: Before
we came here, I put both these trucks on a RTI
ramp, that’s Ramp Travel Index. It measures the articulation
of the suspension, the amount it can flex. And the Gladiator
really did a great job. It has an advantage though
because the stabilizer bar can be disconnected. But even when it was
connected, it matched the ZR2. When it was disconnected, it
added a significant advantage, and that didn’t really come
into play on the obstacle we just drove, but it
came into play on the way to that obstacle. CALVIN KIM: Out
here on the road, the ZR2s independent-foot
suspension is not magical, but compared to the
Gladiator’s, it is. See, the Gladiator’s
heavy solid front axle has a lot of joints and stuff
to make it turn and articulate, whereas ZR2s does not
what that means is, yeah I lose a little bit
of flex on the rocks, but I get absolutely straight
precise tracking on the road. Now normally, big knobby
tires don’t ride so well. But surprisingly, the ones
on the ZR2 are pretty good. And combined with the
Multimatic dampers that I mentioned earlier, it’s
actually a pretty good ride. In fact, it’s better than some
trucks that are specifically just meant for the street. DAN EDMUNDS: The highway
ride of the Gladiator is a little bit better than the
Wrangler because of the longer wheelbase, but it’s not
quite as settled and poised as the ZR2 and other trucks
that have independent front suspension. It’s pretty smooth
over the wavy stuff, but when you hit individual
single wheel bumps, the front axle can
shudder just a little bit. The other thing you notice,
when on the highway, is this is a boxy vehicle and
there’s a fair bit of wind noise because of it. The other thing that’s
kind of interesting though is the Gladiator
has adaptive cruise control right up here by the mirror. They’ve actually built a sensor
to enable that, and what’s neat about that
location is you can put on a winch or another
bumper, and it’ll still work. And you can even fold
the windshield down and it’ll still work. CALVIN KIM: ZR2 is powered
by a V6 engine that makes a little over
300 horsepower, and it’s made it to an 8-speed
automatic transmission We like this setup because
it’s very responsive and does what you want. When you want it to go
a little bit faster, the downshifts are
crisp and quick. And when you’re done, it
upshifts back to save gas. In fact, it even has a
cylinder deactivation mode. Not much to dislike here. DAN EDMUNDS: Both
of these trucks have the same
displacement engine. They’re both 3.6
liter [? V6es, ?] And they both have the same
transmission in terms of gears. The ZR2 makes a little bit
more horsepower and torque. It’s not a significant amount,
but the Jeep makes up for it off road because in low range,
the transfer case has a 4 to 1 ratio. So if you’re crawling
in low-low this is going to feel a
lot more torquey, and it’s going to be
easier to control speed, like we saw on
the tube obstacle. The Gladiator has the highest
tow-rating in the segment. Now, there is an asterisk there. That applies to the Sport
which is the entry-level model. If you get a Rubicon
like this one, the maximum tow rating
is 7,000 pounds. That’s still pretty darn good. CALVIN KIM: The same
trick suspension that gives the ZR2 its
immense capability, both on and off
the road, is also its Achilles heel for both
payload capacity and towing capacity. For payload it’s 1,100 pounds. For towing it’s
only 5,000 pounds. That doesn’t even hold a
candle to the Z71 model and certainly not
to the Gladiator. While realistically speaking,
it’s more than enough for most people, if you’re looking
for the ultimate in towing and payload, ZR2 isn’t it. DAN EDMUNDS: One thing that
Jeep wanted to make sure of was that the Gladiator
had a bed that was useful. So it has a five-foot bed
just like the crew cab versions of its competition. It’s got four tie downs
that come with it. Front two are D
rings that pivot. There are a system
of three rails and sliding tie downs that
is a factory option, not an accessory. You can get a 110 volt
outlet in the bed. It’s not terribly deep, which
I think in my mind a positive. Because let’s face it,
the Colorado ZR2s bedsides are comically high. What is it going to be? A Jacuzzi? You’re not going to fill it
up to the brim with anything anyway. CALVIN KIM: I hope
you’ve been doing your CrossFit
because you’re going to need it to get into the bed. The Cargo bed in a
Colorado pickup truck has a high-load floor
and high bed sides. Great for loose stuff, but
not so good for anything else. ZR2 makes it even
worse because it has two more additional inches
of ground clearance, which means the load floor and the
bedsides are that much higher. DAN EDMUNDS: So two things
that I like about this tailgate is one, it’s tied into
the central locking. So if you lock the truck,
you lock the tailgate. The other thing
that’s really cool is it’s got a
45-degree open position by just taking the
cables that hold it open and looping them around a
stay that they have there. What’s neat about that is
the 45-degree tailgate, the edge of it is lined
up with the Fender top. So you can stack plywood flat. It’s kind of a neat setup,
and it’s real simple. This weekend something happened. I have four orange
trees in my backyard, and we had to pick the
oranges and take them to a donation center. And that ended up
being about 700 pounds in the back of the
bed, and one thing you notice about this
truck is the rear axle kind of crowds the cab
a little bit more than some of its competition. The effect of that is the center
of gravity of your payload is going to be a little bit
further behind the rear axle, which will unweight the
front a little bit more and make the ride a
little bit less flat. And I certainly
did observe that. It wasn’t bad but certainly
something to be aware of. [MUSIC PLAYING] The thing about the
Gladiator that’s really nice is it is, for all
intents and purposes, a Wrangler pickup truck. Doors come off,
windshield folds. It just happens to have a
five-foot bed back there. If you want a Jeep and you
don’t really need a truck, well you might as
well get a Wrangler. But if you’re the kind of person
that, yeah you want a truck, but you want to be able
to take it off-road, it’s going to be hard to
recommend against this one. CALVIN KIM: We’ve done
tight trails and the street. So now we’re going to do
something completely different. We’re going to go
out to the dunes where we can open
these trucks up and see what they can do when it’s
soft but hopefully fast. [MUSIC PLAYING] So we made it to the dunes. DAN EDMUNDS: Absolutely. Look at them. They go for miles. CALVIN KIM: It’s
pretty gnarly out here. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, and I think
it’s going to be a lot of fun. CALVIN KIM: That’s right. And you know what? That’s what these trucks
are all about, aren’t they? DAN EDMUNDS: Absolutely. I mean, we don’t
have to do this. But we want to. CALVIN KIM: [LAUGHING]
Let’s get out there then. DAN EDMUNDS: All right. [MUSIC PLAYING] [LAUGHING] It’s fun, but
I don’t want to get stuck. [MUSIC PLAYING] CALVIN KIM: This is awesome. Super fun way to test out
the whole drive system. Multimatic dampers don’t
mind this sort of abuse. In fact, they like this. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: So this
is Tectonic Wash, which is a really cool formation. It looks like they could
have filmed Star Wars here. The Gladiator is longer than
a Wrangler or compact pickups that are similar, and so I’m
just watching the rear corner when I go around some of
these tighter corners. But it’s not that
bad because a Jeep is narrower than a regular
compact pickup or midsize, I should say. This also has protection on
the lower corner of the bed, so I don’t really feel like
I’m going to tear anything up if I rub the side of the
bank as I go around one of these tight corners. And even if it gets really
bad and I rip off a fender, well it’s not like a trip to
the body shop necessarily. The black plastic fender
that sticks out this far is something you can buy and
bolt on another one or not. You see people with
Jeeps where they have removed the fenders to give
them that much more clearance. I guess you could do
that if you wanted to. And the interior here
is utterly familiar. It’s just like the
Wrangler’s, which is good because the new Wrangler
that they just introduced last year has some
great improvements and they’re all here, as far
as the organization of all the controls, the seats,
the dashboard, just the way it all looks and operates. It has a real nice
quality feel to it. All these controls
are really fantastic. CALVIN KIM: The Colorado is
fundamentally a work truck, and the ZR2 shares a lot of
the benefits that that brings, such as a very usable
interior with buttons that are large and easy to access. All the switch gear
falls right in hand. DAN EDMUNDS: Got
an Apple CarPlay, Android Auto built into that
8.4-inch Uconnect system. It’s a touch screen,
but there’s also some fixed buttons that
are really prominent, some virtual buttons that are
always in the same place, that are easy to find. And it’s really easy
to operate the system. Navigation is available. It doesn’t cost a lot
to add it to the system. So I can use the maps on
my phone if I have signal, but since we’re out here. I don’t have signal. So the built in native maps
are really nice to have because I wouldn’t
have maps otherwise. CALVIN KIM: The navigation
system is not quite as detailed as the Gladiator’s. In particular to showing
trail detail when you’re going off-road. Having said that, Chevrolet’s
Link III is very responsive and has all the
smartphone connectivity that anybody that’s
into tech would want. The screen’s big, colorful,
and very responsive. There’s a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
connection available with it, and an induction charging
pad although the induction pad is a little too small for
any of today’s larger phones. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: The
interesting thing about the audio system
here in Gladiator is it sounds better than the
same system in a Wrangler Unlimited, and that’s
because the cab is smaller. I mean, it’s got the
same size back seat, but because there’s
a rear window there and you don’t have– the storage is outside the
cab, not inside the cab, there is a smaller volume. And so the sound
just sounds better. It’s also quieter
background noise because there’s less
resonance of just road noise and the other stuff. So the sound just is
that much clearer. The audio system can be upgraded
with an optional Bluetooth speaker, and the
speaker has a dock that is behind the rear seat back
that keeps it out of sight, and it keeps it from
rattling around, and it keeps it fully charged. So when we stop and I
pair it to my phone, I can listen to my
tunes in the campground. CALVIN KIM: The
Colorado’s back seat is roomy and perfectly suited
for two full-size adults or three kids. The seat backs fold
60-40, and the seat bottom is fold up 60-40. So you’ve got some
flexibility in cargo. Now, behind the
seat backs there’s really not much there,
only the attachment points for child seats. Of course, you can fold
the seat backs down for additional cargo space,
but the ZR2’s right height becomes its curse yet again. When the seat backs are down,
the cargo floor is really high. So it’ll make getting
bulky or heavy cargo in and out a real
pain in the back. DAN EDMUNDS: The back seat of
the Gladiator is really nice. It’s got the most leg room
of anything else in the class except for the Ridgeline,
which wouldn’t be caught dead out here. It’s also great for storage. You know, if you’re
just two people here and you’re out
somewhere exploring and you want to have a
cooler and some other stuff inside the cab with you,
the seat bottoms flip up. The seat backs flip down. They give you a platform
to put things on. There’s a couple of
places to store things behind the rear seat backs
when they’re folded up, and they’re lockable. And the lockable feature
is really important because this is a convertible. You might be out
here with the top off and you might want to have
that stuff that you’ve got in those storage
compartments under the seat or behind the seat locked away
where people can’t take them. CALVIN KIM: The seats
are comfortable, and they’re covered in a
leather like surface that makes long road trips a breeze. Getting in and out is going
to be a little bit harder, and you’re going to
have to do that a lot because the visibility in the
Colorado is not that great. [MUSIC PLAYING] How’s the visibility out
of that Gladiator, Dan? DAN EDMUNDS: It’s
really, really good. I mean, there’s a rock at
the apex of this corner, and I’ve been able
to keep my eye on it. I’m not worried about it at all. The hood falls away. It’s not very long
to begin with. The windshield’s nice
and vertical up close, so no A-pillar problems. And then the fenders
drop away, so yeah. No problem at all. CALVIN KIM: Yeah that’s one area
where I’m definitely envious. The ZR2 is remarkable
in many ways, but exterior visibility
is not one of them. Where they A-pillar meets
the dash in particular, is a huge blind spot, and
that huge hood protrusion looks great. But man, it’s not doing
me any favors out here on this tight trail. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah,
and I remember that the hood’s really wide
out towards the headlight, so it sticks way out
there in the corners or– you know, I can’t imagine you’re
seeing half of what I can see. CALVIN KIM: I’m just thankful
for the cutaway bumper letting me crawl over
anything that I miss. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but you’re
fenders really stick out wide. Are you rubbing around
any of these corners? The rear fender? CALVIN KIM: Thankfully, no. But I’ve been playing it pretty
safe and taking the high line. Having said that, I have scraped
some of the tops of the rocks. But nothing enough to cause
any damage, thankfully. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, that’s
the thing about the Colorado, and it applies to
the ZR2 as well is the rear shocks are kind
of exposed at the bottom. They’re lower than
the [? pumpkin ?] of the differential, in fact. CALVIN KIM: Yeah,
that’s a good point. I mean when you’re just
going straight or doing broader, wider
turns, your wheels kind of follow the same track. But out here in this
little tight wash, each tire is just
going its own place. So you know, rocks that I
miss with the front end, the rear end stuff,
they’re pegging them. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah,
that’s the thing. This trail is so tight you
don’t really have the option to steer around some things. Ground clearance is
your only friend. CALVIN KIM: Yeah, at
the end of the day, the ZR2 just has more
things dangling down. DAN EDMUNDS: What’s the
Colorado done well out here? CALVIN KIM: Well, definitely
I like the ZR2’s power train. It’s super accurate
and responsive, and the steering too. While the rear end, I’ve
been kind of just letting it go wherever it wants to go. The front end I can point
just with inch precision, and with the very
accurate throttle I can use the exact
amount of throttle without upsetting the chassis. DAN EDMUNDS: I’m actually
in the same boat back here. You know, the steering that
goes along with a solid axle may not be the most
accurate out on the highway. But here, I’m having no
problems at all, and you know, it doesn’t kick back
violently if I hit a big rock. It’s pretty stable and
steady in that regard. CALVIN KIM: Normally,
I would think the ZR2 would be better
out in the open, but aside from the ground clearance
issues, it’s doing really well. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: We’re here on a
trail through the mud hills, and the thing
about this trail is every time you come
here, you never know what you’re going to get
because every time it rains, it changes. Every time somebody
in a [? razor ?] throws up a roost
of mud, it changes. CALVIN KIM: It’s a
perfect place to try out trucks that have a
lot of articulation, a lot of ground clearance,
and really good driveability. Wouldn’t you say? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah,
you need traction and you need
clearance, for sure. And we’re going to
need a lot of it here pretty soon if
we don’t get going because it looks like it’s
going to rain right away. CALVIN KIM: It’s been
pretty even, although rough, terrain but I heard over
the radio that up ahead is something a little
bit gnarlier, so I’m going to go ahead and put it
in 4 low just to get it ready. All you– all you’ve gotta do is
put a neutral and put the knob and literally in that
amount of time it’s low. And what that lets me
do is not use the brakes so I can maximize traction
on this loose surface. It’s pretty steep and
rocky, but ZR2 doesn’t care. Right now we have a steep
climb out of this little gully, and the gear
reduction that we get gives us all that extra
torque and modulation so we pop out
without any problems. Ta dah. DAN EDMUNDS: Hey
Calvin how was that? It looks a lot worse than it is. You gotta watch out
at the very bottom. There’s a little bit of a divot. DAN EDMUNDS: All right. I’ll keep an eye out. I don’t think I’m going
to pop it into 4 low. I’ve got a secret weapon,
my stabilizer bars are disconnected. I do that a lot because
it makes for a nicer ride. You don’t have as much
jostling left or right, but that will also give me a
little bit more articulation than he’s got. And I know I’ve got
better approach clearance than he does. So I don’t think
I’m going to have as much trouble at the bottom. But we’ll see. Famous last words, right? [MUSIC PLAYING] OK. Here’s what he
was talking about. This doesn’t look too bad. Just ease through. I’m still in 4 high, Oh I
touched my trailer hitch which is what they’re for, right? I probably took a little bit
deeper line than I needed to. CALVIN KIM: Looks like it
wasn’t a problem regardless. DAN EDMUNDS: Man, that was
in 4 high the whole time. [MUSIC PLAYING] Well that was fun. CALVIN KIM: Yeah, I mean
overall we learned a lot, right? DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. CALVIN KIM: What was
the biggest surprise? DAN EDMUNDS: Well,
you know I came into this really suspicious of
the Gladiator’s long wheelbase. It’s quite a bit
longer than the ZR2, but that didn’t turn out
to be an issue at all. CALVIN KIM: I got to
drive it a little bit too, and I was really impressed
with the ride comfort especially over
all that washboard. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but
the ZR2 was way better on the highway on the way here. CALVIN KIM: Yeah,
and I actually really liked it on the washboard,
on the faster stuff. DAN EDMUNDS: Uh huh. CALVIN KIM: I really
like the pointability, and honestly it’s
handling surprisingly in the tight stuff. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh absolutely. But in the tight stuff, I had
a couple of problems with it. Namely visibility. The hood is really wide. It’s hard to find out
where the corners are, and then in the back, that
spare tire hangs down a lot. And I remember taking
a really hard hit when I dropped into a gully. I thought I broke
something, but actually it was just the spare
grounding out. CALVIN KIM: Now, the
most important question for a lot of people
is going to be price. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, well
that’s the thing the. Rubicon is typically
pretty pricey, and that hasn’t stopped
Jeep people from buying it. So we’ll see. But certainly the
ZR2 is a lot cheaper. CALVIN KIM: It is. I mean, I guess if you
want to spend more money, you can get the Bison with
its additional protection. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah? CALVIN KIM: But honestly, the
capability between the two is the same. DAN EDMUNDS: So, Yeah. I got some friends here,
and I’m coming back in a couple of weeks. I think this is the
one I’ll bring back because I’ve got some
more canyons to explore, and I’ve seen how this maneuvers
through the tight stuff, and I just– I just like it. CALVIN KIM: For me, while
I love the Wrangler and now the Gladiator, the ZR2. Just because it’s so much fun
to play in the open desert floor, and man it’s almost
three hours back home. I really like being
comfortable on the highway. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah,
that’s for sure. I can’t argue with that. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN EDMUNDS: When all
was said and done, we compiled
everything we learned about the entire
Gladiator lineup, and compared it to the full
range of its competition. Setting aside the
Honda Ridgeline, which is more of a
pavement specialist, the Gladiator is now
our highest ranked 4-wheel-drive midsize truck. If off-road
capability is remotely important to your
next truck purchase, the Gladiator is
worth a hard look. [MUSIC PLAYING] You know I really
enjoyed this trip, but I’m almost disappointed
that we’re leaving now just as it’s
starting to rain here and snow in the
higher elevations. You know, it’s not just
about perfect weather. It’s about all the
different kinds of weather and all the different kinds of
terrain, the wildflowers that come out at certain
times a year, hot weather, the cold weather. I love it all. I’m one of those people,
I see a line on the map, I want to know where it goes. I want to be there. I want to see what
it’s all about. And that’s what’s really
neat about the Gladiator is it can go off-road
exploring in its own right. But if you want
to go deeper, you could bring a
side-by-side on a trailer and tow it out there with this. CALVIN KIM: You know, a
lot of people will say, hey, how come you’re
out there when it’s raining and miserable? Well frankly, because
it’s fun, right? I draw a lot of parallels to
the original American settlers that went out and
explored the countryside in horse-drawn carriages. You know that feeling
of going up a rise and seeing the valley floor
below for the first time must have been exhilarating. And while I know that
sounds a little bit silly, I can kind of experience
a little piece of that in this truck,
and you know the ability to just look out at a
mountain, see a trail, and go I want to do that
trail, and then go and do it. That’s pretty amazing. And you know what? I haven’t found an
experience that beats that. If you like videos of adventures
like these, click Subscribe. And don’t forget to go to
Edmunds for all your truck buying needs. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Drink everytime jeep guy says "but it's not that bad!" you won't make it half way through the video. Jeep drags on the tubes… but it's not that bad! Totally biased. Comments are pretty unanimous in favor of the zr2, including for looks… and it's thousands less! You can get a zr2 Bison for the price of the Gladiator.

  2. Great review. As expected, the ZR2 did much better, but I will say that Jeep wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

    Still don't see a reason to buy a midsize truck unless space in an issue, and even then, I would never buy another Jeep. Our 2016 JKUR was only good offroad, and even then not much better at crawling than my Raptor is.

  3. Edmunds sucks at truck reviews. Now they've got a middle aged Asian hipster complaining about a truck being too tall lol.

  4. It was very obvious the driver of the Jeep was very biased toward the Jeep. It was very disappointing since the testers should remain unbiased and report there findings and let the viewer decide for themselves. Since they admitted that the on road performance of the Jeep was no where near as good as the ZR2 and the price of the Jeep tends to be a lot higher than the ZR2 especially once you start adding options I don't see the Jeep being a big success. The Jeep gets into the $60,000 range once you load it up with all of the options people like to have. Jeep overpriced it. Its too long and should be offered in a regular cab and a extended cab.

  5. wow this is the worste testing ive ever seen…testing a 4×4 at 2 kms??…lol…ive done all of these things in my 68 vauxhaul at 50mph. and no dings or anything happened..realy??..if this is how they test their units i will surely never even think of buying one of these…wow??

  6. LOL, they are going sooo slow over the tubes, my dad's truck could easily go over that with no problems and he could go about 15 mph over those pipes rather than about 3 mph like they are doing in the video, Mabey even slower, Happy Easter!

  7. For all you people who like the Chevy,I'll bet you'll see more Jeeps/Gladiators/Wranglers on the road than this Chevy thing.You don't see women driving ZR'2's..Women drive Wranglers.We all know they are way smarter than we men.The Gladiator is my choice.Won't be caught dead in any Chevy.Period.

  8. These aren't really trucks. Keep making the passenger area larger while reducing the bed of the truck. These are not your working man's trucks anymore they are just glorified SUV's.

  9. Not really a test of off road capability, more of a pleasure drive. I have a ZR2 and a 2011 Wrangler Rubicon unlimited. The Rubicon is the king of off road, but for a trip with moderate off road, I'll take the Chevy.

  10. The Rubi Gladiator is in a league of its own.
    Chevy had to outsource AEV to churn out the Bison, in order to desperately try to compete with the Rubi.
    But customize the Rubi Gladiator with Mopar parts, and the AEV Bison is shyte.
    So is the Raptor.
    Do you wish you could have one anyway?
    Darn right.

  11. Like to see them in mud & snow. Things a lot of us get the 4wd for. I don't go to the desert, but I have tons of mud around that's fun as well.

  12. They also forgot to mention that if you get the diesel version of the zr2 it will tow 7000 pounds as well

  13. For the price of these posers I would rather spend the extra couple grand for an AEV Brute or Prospector.

  14. This video is trash and so are these two old guys. I mean how they were reaching to create knocks on the ZR2. They showed it driven up a ramp then he jumps out to exaggerate getting out. They just kept making up stuff to complain about.

  15. Old dude just drug the sh*t out of everything on the bottom that Jeep and tried to say it was just the tow hitch every time. He’s funny as hell. Good thing it was a loaner.

  16. Jeez the wrangler has gained some girth. For this kind of money I could build a bad azz cj8, or even a tj unlimited. And chevy is a fiat

  17. IMO, Jeep should have more closely mirrored the AEV Brute pickup design. The Gladiator's proportions are wonky and non-Jeeplike. The truck is too long, the tires are too small for the wheelwells, and the ground clearance looks (and as the breakover test proved, IS) inadequate.
    I've also seen another video featuring a 2-door concept version of the Gladiator with larger tires that looks much more "Jeepy" than the production model. Jeep really should consider offering this version for sale – either instead of or in addition to the current model.

  18. I just looked at a new gladiator and as soon as I started it the idle was all over the place. The sales said geez feels like it's going to stall, sorry fiat is junk! Worst part is the truck was a Rubicon with a 59k sticker🤣

  19. You guys are such off road rookies it isnt even funny. You have the beat equipment but lack the guts to really test it!

  20. Checkout TFL review of the the JL kittenator trying to tow its load rating and failing miserably.

  21. One feature I love on my new Tacoma is being able to record a breadcrumb trail on the nav system. Helps immensely for off-roading out here in the desert with a gazillion road forks everywhere you go. Do either of these trucks offer that?

  22. Jeep's interior design is hands-down the best for domestic mid-size truck offerings. Looks like they actually put some thought into it, and isn't just bland curves and cheap looking plastic (*cough looking at you Ford and Chevy *).

  23. Im not a chevy guy but I'd much rather own the zr2. Finally chevy builds a midsize truck worth talking about.

  24. Hey that's my guy Calvin from our days at Porsche, what's up Big Guy? Long time no see…cool video! I shall subscribe…

  25. So not the most capable Chevy vs the most capable jeep in the class. Consider the Bison vs the Gladiator.

  26. Colorado ZR2 by a country mile (even in that ugly color; white or red look way nicer). The ZR2 is $4000 less money, better off-road and WAY smoother and quieter ride on the highway, plus better gas mileage, plus comes in diesel, plus way better looking. Though they both have F&R lockers, the ZR2 is just in a totally different league than the Jeep, which looks old and will probably end up aging like the Hummer. This Jeep reviewer was embarrassingly biased while the Asian dude was just frank and honest. The ZR2 wins easily, and in red or white would have really shown how much nicer it looks, too; that ugly blue didn't help it against the red Jeep.

  27. Everyone please love a Jeep collided a far better than not too bad and Abby up you of convertibles the Jeep Gladiator is the one you should choose because it is amazing please please guys

  28. What's this world coming to ?? Jeeps trying to look like Hummers..

    Hummers trying to look like Jeeps.. Why can't they just leave shit alone..

    Best jeep ever ?? The CJ 5 … $70K for a Jeep ?? Get Real ..

  29. The people commenting on this forum don't even understand off-roading. If they knew more about how a wrangler (and the gladiator) perform in really gnarly terrain (ever heard of skid plates anyone???) but, then again, from the comments, I know that is not whoever is commenting here. Sure, if you want to spin around in dirt, whatever, but over Colorado's mountain roads no way a chevy could handle that. Why don't we hang up both the glad and the chevy and inspect the damage, much less see the chevy try to extract itself. NO WAY!

  30. I just bought ZR2 Duramax Diesel and I love it. It goes anywhere. I was out wheeling in Hollister and it went everywhere that a lot of custom crawlers and side by sides went. I love it.

  31. This channel is booty for off roading.. They use 4L for everything when not needed.. I test my off road vehicles slow especially in sand to test my diffs. All the places I saw in this video my 1978 cj7 would easily match these vehicles in 2×4. 34 mins of bias garbage

  32. If you don't have the extra money for a Specialty Vehicle for everyday driving and off-road there's nothing better than the ZR2! The chief doesn't come close to the ZR2 when it comes to comfort! ZR2 could probably use a little bit softer seats maybe some of the Jeeps buttons but it has better cargo capacity and it is a pickup truck meant to carry cargo and have fun with off-road! The Jeeps only benefit as far as I'm concerned it's a fact that you can make it at convertible open Ride.

  33. *switches to the jeep cockpit view during suspension test- camera shakes a little bit "these fox shocks do a decent job" *switches to Colorado cockpit view during suspension test- camera shaking violently "I think this truck likes the higher speeds better" I call bull😂 jeep definitley won that one😂

  34. You should always make your decision after the hype has past. Buying on impulse will be your biggest regret. Salesmen are only out to make money .

  35. If you're gonna charge 60k… you should have 360 front back side cameras… love trucks but need european car makers to start making them because the features and interior and inovation for price is straight trash on american vehicles. Awesome trucks tho just limited by american automakers

  36. Not ready for the Gladiator. I bought the 2018 ZR2 & 2018 ZR2.  Best of both worlds.  Plus ZR2 offers gas & Duramax.  The ZR2 Duramax has 369 foot pounds torque.   Thanks for the video..

  37. Why didn't he use the off-road cruise control of the rubicon for the tubulars? Thats what it is there for…

  38. Both of them: narrating how great their suspension and shocks are and how smooth the ride is then zooms on a shaky and cabin shot

  39. I've owned 3 Wranglers and 1 Chevy Colorado LT. I love my wranglers and wanted a Gladiator but I would say the colorado is a very good choice as well, especially with their AutoTrac 4WD system, making my life in the mountains of PNW so much easier. The only problem of Colorado is that no much aftermarket accessories to choose from.

  40. Why dont they use a leveled gladiator? If it was leveled it wouldn't drag? Plus you can get ut like that from the dealership, like the zr2 they used was.

  41. It's hilarious how the guy was bragging that the Jeep was almost able to "match" the ZR2's capabilities and "keep up" most of the time. I'm most surprised that the ZR2 won in nearly every category; just didn't expect that.

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