The full-size pickup truck market is huge and receives a lot of attention. But, the mid-sized pickup truck market is also pretty strong and has welcomed new players. The Jeep Gladiator is one of those players joining the field alongside the recognized Ford Ranger nameplate. So, how is the newbie doing?
The statistics for 2020
The Jeep Gladiator began sales in 2019 as a 2020 model year vehicle. So, it had a few months remaining in 2019 for consumers to become acquainted with it. When the 2020 calendar year began, consumers were already buying them up at a brisk pace. Those sales showed some promise for the newbie mid-size pickup truck’s adoption as it entered into the market segment for its first full model year.
This leads to how the Jeep Gladiator did overall in 2020 against other mid-size pickups. The answer is that it did well. It had a solid mid-pack performance. According to the year-end data posted at Good Car Bad Car, the Gladiator 77,541 units while the Ranger sold 101,485 units.
It is important to note here that the Ford Ranger has a broader spectrum of buyers. The entry point for a copy starts at $24,410, according to Ford’s website. The Jeep Gladiator, however, starts at $33,545, according to Jeep’s website. So, even though this is a mid-size pickup comparison amongst equals, it really isn’t.
The 2020 Ford Ranger XL pickup truck
The 2020 Ford Ranger XL is the base model trim for the pickup. For the $24,410 mentioned above, the truck comes in a 4×2, in the supercab configuration. The pickup is motivated by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine pumping out 270 hp and mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Cloth seats, 16-inch wheels, auto-dimming rearview mirror, airconditioning, a Bluetooth radio, and vinyl floor covering round out the offerings in this trim package.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport pickup truck
The 2020 Gladiator Sport is the base trim for the Jeep pickup. The starting price point of $33,545 is for a 4×4 with four full doors. The powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 hp. That engine is mated to a manual transmission. Cloth seats, 17-inch wheels at all four corners, airconditioning, and a Bluetooth radio round out what comes with the base trim. But, one of the most defining characteristics of this truck versus any other mid-size truck is that the Gladiator is a convertible. The roof comes off in small panels.
Here is the long and short of it. The Ford Ranger is less expensive in its base trim. But, for that entry price, the truck will have little capabilities for off-road fun as a 4×2. The Jeep Gladiator, however, is a 4×4 off-road-ready vehicle that is convertible. But, one would have to pay the price for that extra capability. The entry point is $9,000 more. As was mentioned earlier, the spectrum of buyers is different between the two trucks. So, much deliberation will need to happen before the purchase if pursuing the more pricey trims.