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The Jeep Gladiator is one of the most popular trucks in America. It’s got versatility, luxury, and the ability to drive anywhere off-road. For many, it checks all the boxes a midsize pickup truck needs. However, did you know there are a few other options that check most of the same boxes without breaking the bank? Models like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma are great Gladiator alternatives under $40,000 that offer luxurious off-road models that don’t cost as much as the 2022 Jeep Gladiator.

Why do you need a 2022 Jeep Gladiator alternative?

Firecracker Red 2023 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck parked by some rocks. Looking for alternatives under $40,000?
Firecracker Red 2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

For some people, the pickup version of the Jeep Wrangler is the perfect midsize truck. However, for most others, the 2022 Jeep Gladiator is out of their price range. According to Car and Driver, the most affordable version of the Gladiator is the Sport trim, which starts at $38,765. While not too expensive compared to full-size trucks, the midsize Gladiator is more expensive than nearly every model in its class.

Furthermore, buying the Gladiator variant most people actually want is even worse. The experts at C/D recommend the third Sport S trim, which starts at $42,165. Sport S buyers get a good mix of off-road readiness and features. However, C/D thinks adding all-terrain tires, an anti-spin rear differential, side steps, a three-piece hardtop, a headliner, and the upgraded touchscreen is best practice. Each item will raise the Jeep midsize truck’s price even more. As a result, you need a Gladiator alternative that’s more cost-effective.

Buy a Chevy Colorado Z71 instead

A 2023 Chevy Colorado mid-size truck shows off its capability.
2023 Chevy Colorado | Chevy

If off-road capability is important to you, your options are limited. However, the 2022 Chevy Colorado offers two trim levels with some off-road prowess. In addition, they combine with luxurious features to make for a high-quality pickup. As the only Colorado trim level under $40,000 with some off-road features, the Z71 is an obvious choice.

According to Edmunds, the 2022 Chevy Colorado Z71 has all-terrain tires, an off-road suspension, a locking rear differential, hill descent control, heated exterior mirrors, rear parking sensors, and unique upholstery. These are in addition to the many standard features of the lower LT trim—like heated seats, navigation, a Bose sound system, an eight-inch touchscreen, and more.

Of course, the Colorado ZR2 is even better if the price is no object. The highest Colorado trim level is the one to buy for a proper off-road pickup. It adds a raised suspension with special dampers, larger all-terrain tires, fender flares, unique front/rear bumpers, a spray-in bed liner, and an electronically locking rear differential to the already well-equipped Z71. Of course, this model is more expensive, starting at $45,095.

The Toyota Tacoma is a 2022 Jeep Gladiator alternative

2023 Toyota Tacoma is worth buying as one of the Gladiator alternatives under $40,000.
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Another great 2022 Jeep Gladiator alternative is the 2022 Toyota Tacoma. In the same midsize truck segment, it also offers luxurious off-road trim levels. More importantly, the Tacoma’s options are cheaper than the Gladiator and Colorado. The Tacoma TRD Off-Road is a great place to start if you’re looking to drive off-road. At $36,555, it’s well under $40,000. Additionally, even the higher trims, like the Trail Edition, barely exceed $40,000.

Every TRD Off-Road model has a few enhancements for driving off the paved roads. For example, bigger 16-inch wheels, textured black fender flares, a lockable rear differential, Bilstein shock absorbers, and an advanced off-road traction control system with multiple terrain settings and rock control.

Like the Colorado, there’s an even more well-equipped off-road option if you’re willing to go over $40,000. For the Tacoma, it’s the TRD Pro trim, which starts at $47,800. However, it comes with many excellent features that make it ready for anything:

  • Black-painted TRD wheels with all-terrain tires
  • Increased approach, breakover, and departure angles
  • Off-road suspension with Fox shock absorbers
  • LED headlights
  • Hood scoop
  • Ticker front skid plate
  • Upgraded exhaust
  • Multi-terrain monitor
  • and much more

Great 2022 Jeep Gladiator alternatives under $40,000

In conclusion, a few excellent alternatives to the 2022 Jeep Gladiator can save you money. For under $40,000, the Chevy Colorado Z71 and the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road provide many of the same features. Whether you love off-roading or riding in comfort, these midsize trucks can get it done. Additionally, those willing to go over $40,000 have excellent off-roading options in the Colorado ZR2 and Tacoma TRD Pro. Which of these 2022 Jeep Gladiator alternatives under $40,000 interests you?