2020 Chevrolet Colorado vs. 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Colorado Crew Cab and Gladiator have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Colorado has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Gladiator’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Colorado are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Colorado has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Gladiator doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Colorado. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Gladiator.

The Colorado LT/Z71’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Colorado and the Gladiator have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Colorado the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 164 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Gladiator has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Colorado’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Gladiator’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 25 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are Jeep dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Colorado’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Colorado’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 23 more horsepower (308 vs. 285) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 260) than the Gladiator’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Colorado V6 is faster than the Jeep Gladiator (automatics tested):

Colorado

Gladiator

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.1 MPH

85.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Colorado gets better fuel mileage than the Gladiator:

MPG

Colorado

RWD

Auto

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

20 city/30 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

19 city/28 hwy

ZR2 2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

18 city/22 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

Gladiator

AWD

Manual

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/23 hwy

Auto

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/22 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Colorado V6’s fuel efficiency. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Colorado has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Chevrolet Colorado comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Gladiator.

Brakes and Stopping

The Colorado stops much shorter than the Gladiator:

Colorado

Gladiator

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Colorado has larger standard tires than the Gladiator (255/65R17 vs. 245/75R17).

The Colorado’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Gladiator Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The Colorado RST’s tires have a lower 55 series profile than the Gladiator Overland’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Colorado RST has standard 20-inch wheels. The Gladiator’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Chevrolet Colorado’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Jeep Gladiator only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The Chevrolet Colorado’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Gladiator’s solid front axle, which allows the Colorado’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Colorado has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Gladiator.

The Colorado has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Gladiator doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Colorado Short Box Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the Gladiator Rubicon pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Colorado Short Box Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Gladiator Rubicon (27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 29.4 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Colorado Short Box Crew Cab’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the Gladiator Rubicon’s (41.3 feet vs. 44.8 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Colorado may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 700 pounds less than the Jeep Gladiator.

The Colorado Short Box Crew Cab is 5.3 inches shorter than the Gladiator, making the Colorado easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Colorado has standard flush composite headlights. The Gladiator has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The front grille of the Colorado uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Gladiator doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Colorado Short Box Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 is quieter than the Gladiator Overland:

Colorado

Gladiator

At idle

37 dB

37 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

The Colorado Crew Cab Short Box has a much larger cargo box than the Gladiator (41.3 vs. 35.5 cubic feet). The Colorado Crew Cab Long Box has a much larger cargo box than the Gladiator (49.9 vs. 35.5 cubic feet).

The Chevrolet Colorado offers an optional EZ-Lift and Lower (not available Base), which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. The Jeep Gladiator doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

The Chevrolet Colorado has a standard CornerStep (not available ZR2), which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. The Jeep Gladiator doesn’t offer a rear cargo step.

The Colorado has stake post holes, to allow the containment of tall, light loads. The Gladiator doesn’t offer stake post holes.

Ergonomics

The Colorado’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows cost extra on the Gladiator.

The Colorado’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and tollbooths. The Gladiator’s optional driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Colorado’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Gladiator’s optional power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The Colorado’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks cost extra on the Gladiator.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Colorado Work Truck/LT/Z71/ZR2’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Gladiator doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SOS Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Colorado Work Truck/LT/Z71/ZR2’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Gladiator doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SOS Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Colorado has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Gladiator has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Overland/Rubicon.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Colorado Z71/ZR2 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Gladiator doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Colorado comes in extended cab and crew cab bodystyles; the Jeep Gladiator isn’t available as an extended cab.

The Colorado is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its May 2019 issue and they ranked the Chevrolet Colorado Short Box Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 first. They ranked the Jeep Gladiator Overland third.

Motor Trend selected the Colorado as their 2016 Truck of the Year. The Gladiator has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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