Whether you’re the type of off-roader who enjoys exploring a desert landscape and climbing dunes, or you’re the one who wants to test out your Jeep in the snow through a mountain pass, there are some up and coming vehicles that might just tempt you to turn in your old off-roader and take a new one for a spin––but which one? The 2022 Jeep Gladiator vs 2022 Chevy Colorado is a heated debate, but by comparing them side by side, you’ll be able to see which one you’d prefer taking on an off-road trip to explore the wild.
My dad is a huge fan of the Jeep Wrangler, and back in the day, we even had an Isuzu Trooper that took us through the mountains, the snow, a flood, and plenty of mud. The Jeep Wranglers he bought later were put to good use in Colorado, where he traversed a number of mountain trails, often stopping on a dime to take a picture or hugging the side of the mountain while another vehicle went past in slow motion. We’ve crawled over rocks and downhill, pulled ourselves over logs, and forded waterways when needed.
We’re a family of off-road adventurers, but the issue most often is that we don’t all fit into one vehicle because we need storage space as well. However, if he had a Jeep Gladiator or Chevy Colorado, we could all fit comfortably, and we’d be able to get off the beaten track more often with all of our gear, like hammocks, tents, a grill, and hiking equipment.
Both vehicles have a rather unique appearance––the 2022 Jeep Gladiator looks like the Wrangler except with a truck bed, and the 2022 Chevy Colorado is more like an SUV with a bed attached. While they do appear quite different on the surface, they’re both equipped and ready to provide a stellar off-roading experience.
The Jeep Gladiator offers removable body panels, which means the top and doors can be taken off to take full advantage of the outdoors, which is a unique feature as it is the only open-air pickup truck available on the market. On the other hand, the Chevy Colorado is made to tow, haul, and otherwise have enough power for you to bring bigger toys along. With up to seventeen tie-downs, a corner step rear bumper, and an EZ lift and lower tailgate, you can seat and entertain the entire family for a weekend or even longer.
Standard and Optional Features for the Off-Road Crew
While the outside of any vehicle can be appealing, what’s under the hood is the most important. What type of engine does it have? Which transmission is available? Do you want it to run on gas or diesel? What about torque, axles, and wheels for those off-roading adventures that require climbing over rocks, fording streams, and hugging the side of a mountain? Luckily, both the Gladiator and Colorado are built for off-roading, from their engine options to wheels and axle ratios designed specifically for taking on the trail.
The Gladiator has a V6 gas engine standard and a V6 diesel engine available, as well as options for a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The off-roading particulars include an elongated body compared to the Wrangler, and it’s also high enough off the ground to wade through water two and a half feet deep. The axle ratios are good enough to climb and crawl a variety of terrain, and there are plenty of skid plates to protect the underside of the Gladiator. The pickup also has multiple options for door removal, top removal, and windshield removal so that you can take full advantage of the sun or the breeze, and if you want to stop and take pictures, you won’t have glass in the way.
While the Gladiator is best for shorter, wilder adventures, the Colorado is for those who want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. It comes with either a gas-powered four-cylinder, a gas-powered six-cylinder, or a diesel-powered four-cylinder. It specializes in towing capacity and fuel economy for those long road trips. The Colorado also comes with a reinforced safety cage, an available off-road suspension system, and a partnership with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to provide optional front winch provisions, front and rear bumpers, and rear recovery points in the ZR2 Bison.
Unique Offerings For The Off-Road Enthusiasts
There are plenty of vehicles that offer standard off-road features, but the Gladiator and Colorado have gone above and beyond to provide every enthusiast with a safe and fun off-road experience.
Chevy’s Colorado is dedicated to the idea that off-roaders will want to tow things along with them to their outings. Trailer-sway control is standard across all trim levels, helping to ease anxiety when the item being towed begins to sway in inclement weather or on rougher paths. There’s also the option to add off-road suspension, a factory-installed lift, or rock sliders to help keep everyone safe while also having the most fun possible on and off-trail.
Jeep’s Gladiator leans more on the rugged side, including a waterproof start button, plenty of storage space, a Gorilla Glass windshield, rock rails, a steel rear bumper, high clearance fender flares, and a steel pickup bed. However, there are still plenty of comfort options, such as a tonneau cover and an available 115-volt power outlet, which means you will be ready to have an incredible time. No matter how rough the terrain, you and your off-roading equipment will always be safe from the elements while interacting with them.
Which Truck Makes You Want to Enter the Off-Road Ring?
Not every vehicle fits every person’s needs. Depending on what kind of off-road enthusiast you are, you may need a vehicle that can handle a multitude of situations. My dad would probably go for the Jeep Gladiator, as he has long been a fan of the Jeep brand and prefers not to bring along a lot of stuff on his off-road excursions. He wants a vehicle he can arrange to his liking, so the ability to take the doors, top, and windshield off would be a huge bonus.
I, on the other hand, have a bigger family, and we eventually want a camper to take on road trips, so we’d be more interested in something like the Chevy Colorado to tow all of our things and have enough space for the family to sit comfortably as we head toward our destination. The additional safety features would be an added bonus, especially if we decided to take a little side trip off the beaten path and come across some rather challenging landscapes.
If you’re looking for a dependable yet exciting ride for those weekend getaways into the mountains, to the beach, or through a forest, you might want to see if your local dealerships have the Jeep Gladiator and the Chevrolet Colorado in stock. Test drive them, see how they handle, and think about what it is you want to be doing with these vehicles. You’ll be able to figure out which one works best for you, and then you’ll be ready to take off and explore new places, see the sites, and get a little rough and rugged in your free time.