2020 Jeep Gladiator vs. 2019 Nissan Frontier

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Gladiator offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Frontier doesn't offer a collision warning system.

To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four-Wheel Drive is standard on the Gladiator. But it costs extra on the Frontier.

The Jeep Gladiator has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Frontier doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Gladiator Overland/Rubicon’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Frontier doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Gladiator Overland/Rubicon’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Frontier doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Gladiator Overland/Rubicon offers optional SOS Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Frontier doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Gladiator and the Frontier 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, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.


There are over 2 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Gladiator’s warranty.


The Gladiator has a solid front axle with a floating power axle for durability that the Frontier 4x4’s independent front suspension and exposed front driveshafts don’t offer.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Gladiator has a standard 180-amp alternator (220-amp - Gladiator optional and 240 optional). The Frontier’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (V6) 130-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Gladiator has a standard 650-amp battery (700 optional). The Frontier’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.


The Gladiator’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 133 more horsepower (285 vs. 152) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 171) than the Frontier’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Gladiator’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 24 more horsepower (285 vs. 261) than the Frontier’s optional 4.0 DOHC V6.

The Gladiator’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 108 more horsepower (260 vs. 152) and 271 lbs.-ft. more torque (442 vs. 171) than the Frontier’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Gladiator’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 161 lbs.-ft. more torque (442 vs. 281) than the Frontier’s optional 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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








3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/23 hwy



3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/22 hwy




4.0 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy



2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

17 city/22 hwy



4.0 DOHC V6

16 city/23 hwy



4.0 DOHC V6

16 city/21 hwy



4.0 DOHC V6

15 city/21 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Gladiator’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Frontier doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Gladiator has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Frontier (22 vs. 21.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


An eight-speed automatic is available on the Jeep Gladiator, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a five-speed automatic is available for the Frontier.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Gladiator’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Frontier:



Frontier 4 cyl.

Frontier V6

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.1 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The Gladiator stops shorter than the Frontier:





60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Gladiator has larger standard tires than the Frontier (245/75R17 vs. 235/75R15). The Gladiator Rubicon’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Frontier (285/70R17 vs. 265/70R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Gladiator has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Frontier S King Cab.

Suspension and Handling

The Gladiator has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Frontier base model’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Gladiator has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Gladiator flat and controlled during cornering. The Frontier’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Gladiator Rubicon has an active front sway bar, which helps keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnects at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Frontier doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The front and rear suspension of the Gladiator uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Frontier, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Gladiator’s wheelbase is 11.4 inches longer than on the Frontier Short Bed Crew Cab (137.3 inches vs. 125.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Gladiator is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Frontier.

The Gladiator’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Frontier’s (55% to 45%). This gives the Gladiator more stable handling and braking.

The Gladiator Rubicon handles at .73 G’s, while the Frontier PRO-4X King Cab 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Gladiator has 1.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Frontier Crew Cab (102.9 vs. 101.1).

Cargo Capacity

The Gladiator has a much larger cargo box than the Frontier Crew Cab short bed (35.5 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The Gladiator has a much larger cargo box than the Frontier Crew Cab long bed (35.5 vs. 33.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over bed design makes loading and unloading the Gladiator easier. The Gladiator’s bed lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the Frontier’s liftover is 31.5 inches.

The Gladiator’s cargo box is larger than the Frontier’s in almost every dimension:



Frontier King Cab

Frontier Crew Cab

Length (short/long)




Max Width




Min Width








The Gladiator has bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading to help accommodate diverse loads; the Frontier doesn’t offer two-tiered loading.

Payload and Towing

The Gladiator’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Frontier’s (4000 vs. 3790 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan Frontier King Cab is only 6710 pounds. The Gladiator offers up to a 7650 lbs. towing capacity.

The Gladiator has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Frontier Short Bed Crew Cab 4x4 (1600 vs. 1130 lbs.).

The Gladiator has a much higher optional payload capacity than the Frontier Short Bed Crew Cab 4x4 (1600 vs. 1360 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Gladiator to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Nissan doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Frontier.


The Gladiator offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Frontier doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Gladiator automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Frontier’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The Gladiator’s standard tilting steering column adjusts to different sized drivers and makes entering and exiting easier. Nissan doesn’t offer tilt steering on the Frontier S King Cab.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Gladiator has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Frontier doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The power windows available on both the Gladiator and the Frontier have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Gladiator is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Frontier prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Gladiator’s available front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Frontier’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.

The Push Button Start standard on the Gladiator allows you to start the engine without removing a key from pocket or purse (Gladiator Overland/Rubicon’s optional Passive Entry will also allow unlocking the driver’s door without taking your keys out). The Nissan Frontier doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Gladiator’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Frontier’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Gladiator’s optional power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Frontier’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

On extremely cold winter days, the Gladiator’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Frontier doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Gladiator has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Frontier S/SV/Desert Runner/King Cab doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Gladiator offers an optional Adaptive Speed Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Frontier doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Gladiator offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Frontier doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

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