2020 Jeep Gladiator vs. 2020 Honda Ridgeline

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/15

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

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 Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline 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, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Gladiator’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Ridgeline’s camshafts. If the Ridgeline’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Gladiator has a solid front axle with a floating power axle for durability that the Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The Gladiator’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 5 more horsepower (285 vs. 280) than the Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

The Gladiator’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 180 lbs.-ft. more torque (442 vs. 262) than the Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Gladiator has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ridgeline (22 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Jeep Gladiator higher (5 out of 10) than the Honda Ridgeline (3). This means the Gladiator produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ridgeline every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Gladiator offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Gladiator

Ridgeline

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

The Gladiator’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Ridgeline are solid, not vented.

The Gladiator stops much shorter than the Ridgeline:

Gladiator

Ridgeline

70 to 0 MPH

185 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Gladiator Rubicon’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ridgeline (285/70R17 vs. 245/60R18).

Suspension and Handling

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

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 Ridgeline doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Gladiator’s wheelbase is 12.1 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (137.3 inches vs. 125.2 inches).

The Gladiator’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Ridgeline’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Gladiator more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

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The Gladiator has 2.7 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 4 inches more rear headroom and 1.6 inches more rear legroom than the Ridgeline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Gladiator has a much larger cargo box than the Ridgeline shortbed (35.5 vs. 33.9 cubic feet).

The Gladiator has bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading to help accommodate diverse loads; the Ridgeline doesn’t offer two-tiered loading. The Gladiator also has indentations to separate the cargo box into three different sections length-wise.

Payload and Towing

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The Gladiator’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ridgeline’s (4000 vs. 3500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Honda Ridgeline is only 5000 pounds. The Gladiator offers up to a 7650 lbs. towing capacity.

The Gladiator can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Gladiator can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Ridgeline can’t be towed flat on the ground.

The Gladiator has a higher standard payload capacity than the Ridgeline (1600 vs. 1465 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Gladiator is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Ridgeline. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The Gladiator’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Ridgeline does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows available on both the Gladiator and the Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Ridgeline’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 Ridgeline’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/15

The Gladiator was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2020. The Ridgeline has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Gladiator as the 2020 North American Truck of the Year. The Ridgeline was Truck of the Year in 2017.

The Jeep Gladiator outsold the Honda Ridgeline by 20% during 2019.

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