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2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Jeep Gladiator: Which Is Better?


The 2021 Ford Ranger is a new look for an established nameplate while the new 2021 Jeep Gladiator features Wrangler capabilities with a pickup bed.  We find out which is better!

Quick Facts

  • Ford Ranger: Sleek looks; multiple configurations; off-road capable Tremor package
  • Jeep Gladiator: Wrangler in the front/party in the back

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Ford Ranger2021 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Cab Base Price: $28,015 / Read our 2021 Ford Ranger Review

What we like: Powerful but single engine offering; strong fuel economy; best max payload; 7,500-pound tow rating

What we would change: Expand bed and cab options; offer other powertrain choices; smooth out the ride

Overview: With a single engine choice, a pair of cab sizes, and two bed lengths, some may claim the Ford Ranger is limited in scope. The hefty tow rating and best in class payload do the talking here and mix well with the safety and high-tech infotainment features.

What’s new for 2021: The Tremor Off-Road package is new for 2021.

Features and technology: The Ranger returns to the midsize fold as a very versatile truck that can help others forget the previous model. Power is from an exclusive turbocharged 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder engine developing 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s then routed to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Passengers in the second row will appreciate the SuperCrew cab over the more confining SuperCab. Blind-Spot Monitoring is now tow-optimized for rearward vision regardless of towed length behind the truck. Combined with the Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker audio system, these are our two favorite options. Ford’s Co-Pilot360 safety suite is available on all models; Optional on the XL, standard on XLT and Lariat trim levels.

What does the future hold: The trail-busting Ford Tremor is new for 2021. Expect the current design to undergo minor trim changes during the next two or three years. See 2021 Ford Ranger Models for sale near you.

2021 Jeep Gladiator

2021 Jeep Gladiator2021 Jeep Gladiator Base Price: $35,040 / Read our 2021 Jeep Gladiator Review

What we like: A true off-road vehicle; convertible roof; a pickup truck with hefty towing ability.

What we would change: solid axles make a rough ride; boxy interior; plenty of road noise.

Overview: The 2021 Jeep Gladiator offers the functionality of a pickup truck with the look and toughness of a Jeep Wrangler. It is a typical mid-size player with four-door body, seating for five, and a 5-foot bed out back.

What’s new for 2021: New diesel engine joins the lineup; full-time 4WD with low range gearing; 80th Anniversary and Willys versions join the lineup.

Features and technology: Every Gladiator comes with four-wheel drive, a five-foot bed, a removable top, and a fold-down windshield. Power derives from a 3.6-liter V6 making 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard while an 8-speed automatic is also available.

A 3.0-liter diesel V6 is optional in Sport, Overland, and Rubicon models. Generating 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, it hooks up with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Step up in the lineup from the base Sport model and receive more creature comforts and 18-inch wheels in the Overland. Move to the Rubicon to receive an electronic locking differential, Fox-brand tuned off-road shocks, part-time 4×4, and much more.

What does the future hold: Expect mild refreshes for the next few years because the Gladiator is a relatively new vehicle. See Jeep Gladiator models for sale near you

Ranger vs Gladiator: Strengths Comparison

Ford Ranger benefits: Great power and max payload; varying configurations.

Jeep Gladiator benefits: Traditional Jeep capability; available diesel powertrain.

2021 Ford Ranger vs. 2021 Jeep Gladiator: Which is better?

The Ford Ranger is a tough truck, with great payload and towing. The Jeep Gladiator has legendary Jeep capabilities with decent towing abilities. But with the thought that more is better, the Ranger is our choice!

Find a 2021 Ford Ranger for sale or Find a 2021 Jeep Gladiator for sale

2021 Ford Ranger 2021 Jeep Gladiator
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.3-liter Turbo I4 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower 270 hp @ 5,500 rpm 285 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 310 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm 260 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission 10-speed automatic 6-speed manual 4WD
Fuel Economy 23 mpg (21 city/26 highway) 19 mpg (17 city/22 highway)
Also Available  AWD; Cabs and Beds; Tremor off-road package 3.0-liter Diesel V6; 8-speed automatic 4WD.
Specs
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4-star 4 star
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 126.8 inches 137.3 inches
Overall Length 210.8 inches 218 inches
Width 77.8 inches 73.8 inches
Height 71.1 inches 75 inches
Turning Diameter 42.0 feet 44.5 feet
Headroom, Front 41.0 inches 42.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.3 inches 42.8 inches
Legroom, Front 43.1 inches 41.2 inches
Legroom, Rear 34.5 inches 38.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.7 inches 55.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 56.3 inches 55.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 97.6 cubic feet 103 cubic feet
Max Payload 2,128 pounds 1,109 pounds

Mark Elias
Mark Elias is a writer and photographer specializing in automotive topics ranging from new and used cars to classics and motorsports. His first car was a Matchbox Jaguar D-Type. From there, things have only become larger. During his professional career, he has been a staff photographer for the Associated Press, a contract photographer for Bloomberg News, and a contributor to automotive outlets... Read More about Mark Elias

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