2020 Nissan Frontier vs. 2020 Jeep Gladiator

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 2020/06/04

The Frontier 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.

The Frontier has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Frontier 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, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Frontier has a 185-amp alternator. The Gladiator’s standard 180-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Frontier’s reliability 18 points higher than the Gladiator.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Frontier second among midsize pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Gladiator isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 15 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

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The Frontier’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 25 more horsepower (310 vs. 285) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 260) than the Gladiator’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Frontier 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the Gladiator Auto V6 (17 city/23 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

Transmission

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

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Nissan Frontier, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Gladiator.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Frontier stops shorter than the Gladiator:

Frontier

Gladiator

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Frontier has larger tires than the Gladiator (265/70R16 vs. 245/75R17).

The Frontier Long Bed SV Crew Cab’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Gladiator Overland’s 70 series tires.

The Nissan Frontier’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

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The Nissan Frontier’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Gladiator’s solid front axle, which allows the Frontier’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 Frontier has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Gladiator.

For better maneuverability, the Frontier Short Bed Crew Cab 4x4’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Gladiator Rubicon’s (43.33 feet vs. 44.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Frontier may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Jeep Gladiator.

The Frontier Short Bed Crew Cab is 1 foot shorter than the Gladiator, making the Frontier easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over bed design makes loading and unloading the Frontier easier. The Frontier’s bed lift-over height is 31.5 inches, while the Gladiator’s liftover is 35.4 inches.

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

Frontier King Cab

Frontier Crew Cab

Gladiator

Length (short/long)

73.3”

59.5”/73.3”

60.3”

Max Width

61.4”

61.4”

56.8”

Min Width

44.4”

44.4”

44.8”

Height

18”

18”

17.7”

Towing

© 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 2020/06/04

The Frontier’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Gladiator’s (6250 vs. 4000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The Frontier’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 Frontier’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 Frontier’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.

Model Availability

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

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

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 2020/06/04

The Nissan Frontier outsold the Jeep Gladiator by 81% during 2019.

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