Trucks & SUVs

These Pickups are Redefining How We Think of Trucks

Back in the day, we mainly reserved trucks for heavy utility work. Now, pickups have become so dynamic, some even consider them as luxury models. The midsized truck market, in particular, is redefining how we think of trucks today, especially with options like the Jeep Gladiator and the Honda Ridgeline.

The parallels between the Jeep Gladiator and the Honda Ridgeline 

Red 2020 Jeep Gladiator perched overlooking a canyon
2020 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

U.S. News notes that there are a few interesting parallels between the Gladiator and Ridgeline trucks. For starters, both vehicles were revived recently for their respective brands. Unlike other trucks, these options feature just one cab style and truck bed size. And since their reintroductions, these pickups have made an impact in the truck market by defying tradition, but in opposite ways. 

If you want a rough-rider, go with the Gladiator 

Before its relaunch for 2020, the Jeep Gladiator hasn’t been new since 1988. Enthusiasts love the Gladiator because of its commanding, rugged exterior. This beastly truck is powered by a 250-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine that can be linked to a six-speed transmission or an eight-speed automatic. For the smoothest ride possible, you’ll want to go with the eight-speed, though.

As far as fuel economy goes, the Gladiator gets a combined 18 mpg, which is not terrible for its class. Its engine can feel underwhelming at times, but it’s a thrilling ride overall. The most refreshing aspects of the Gladiator is its insane off-roading capability and removable roof and doors. 

There’s plenty of room for passengers to stretch out inside the Gladiator. Cloth upholstery comes standard, but you can dress it up with genuine leather. Not many advanced infotainment features come standard on the Gladiator; however, there is an available off-road camera and navigation system that’s pretty impressive. 

Go with the Ridgeline for a more upscale experience 

On the polar opposite end of the Gladiator is the Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline is for drivers who basically want a car that looks like a truck. This truck is the most comfortable daily-driver you can get in the pickup market today. The Ridgeline offers a refined cabin that’s arguably the most luxurious in its class. 

Unlike the Gladiator, the Ridgeline comes standard with a variety of in-car electronics. A touchscreen infotainment display is now standard on each Ridgeline trim level and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This truck also offers a long list of advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning.

The Ridgeline provides a buttery smooth driving experience and is powered by an energetic 3.5-liter V6 that generates a 280 hp. This Honda also handles road imperfections almost perfectly. The only real downside to the Ridgeline is that it’s towing capacity is low for its class. It’s not designed to be an off-roader either.

Other things to consider

2020 Honda Ridgeline in a showroom
2020 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

It’s not fair to compare the Gladiator and the Ridgeline because they are known for entirely different things. However, the Ridgeline has a better-predicted reliability rating than the Gladiator does. Also, know that the Gladiator hasn’t been crash-tested yet, but the Ridgeline has earned top safety scores.