Off-Road Standoff: 2020 Jeep Gladiator vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
If you’ve ever seen the new Wrangler-based 2020 Gladiator mid-size pickup truck around with no doors. Well, there are two answers, and one of them is the off-roading illustrated in Pickuptrucks.com’s. Which is the head-to-head testing between a doorless Gladiator Rubicon and the buttoned-up 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison.
All of the Wranglers and Gladiators available are convertibles, though you wouldn’t be able to tell because some of them have removable hardtops rather than soft tops. Once those are removed, the Jeeps are among the most open-air experiences available in a convertible because so much of what’s surrounding the structure is removed. For example, way more than with a Porsche Targa top or Mazda MX-5 Miata retractable fastback.
One of the exceptions is the doors of which the window frames rise to the roof level. Some owners reduce this by purchasing half doors from Mopar or aftermarket companies, but others take off the full-size doors and then stop there. The jeep simplifies everything by making the doors owner-removable by utilizing only two bolts per door.
That is the equivalent of unfastening the pins from the hinges. Removing the door from a Colorado would require unbolting the straps from the doorjambs, which is not always done. The new generation for Wrangler JL and the Gladiator have aluminum doors, at just 44 pounds a piece for the front and 29 pounds for the rear doors, so they’re lighter than ever.
Driving with no doors will give you the convertible experience and take it to the next level. When removing front doors, the side mirrors will go with it. In some states, they do require the vehicle to have either one or both side-view mirrors.
The Doorless Off-Roading Advantage:
When it comes to rock crawling, the doorless Gladiator was in a league of its own. The lack of doors provides an exhilarating ride for both driver and passengers and also provides for a clearer view of what is ahead and below the vehicle. Contrast the ZR2, which has a tall hood and doors.
The Gladiator had a trail camera that shows the view forward on the touchscreen. The Gladiator is powered by a 285-horsepower V6, the same engine found in the Wrangler. It’s adequately powerful for most driving situations, including towing and hauling.
The standard manual transmission is worth the upgrade to get a smooth-shifting automatic vehicle. As of this writing, the V6 is the Gladiator’s only engine option. Jeep plans to introduce a turbocharged V6 EcoDiesel powertrain later in the model year.
When it’s equipped with a V6 and four-wheel drive, competitors such as the Chevrolet Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma get fuel economy ratings that are similar to that is the Gladiator’. Gladiator Ride and Handling feel Like a Truck. The Gladiator breaks the typical truck mold in some ways, but it still drives like most other pickups when it comes to its ride and handling. This Jeep handle turns reasonably well, and it rides smoothly for the most part, and the ride quality feels a little more even with some weight in the bed.