Jeep vs Toyota - Gladiator vs Tacoma Comparison

There was a time when the midsize pickup truck segment seemed all but forgotten by the major manufacturers. But luckily for truck buyers in Ames, Ankeny, Des Moines, and Marshalltown, midsize trucks are back with a vengeance. And two of the best examples available in Iowa are the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma. With powerful towing, advanced features, and a great combination of utility and comfort, both of these trucks rank among the best. But which one should Des Moines shoppers choose?

Below, we're going to compare the 2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2020 Toyota Tacoma, to help our Ankeny customers decide which of these popular midsize pickup trucks is right for them. Each has its own strengths, as well as a lot in common. At, we write these comparisons and vehicle research pieces to help our Ames, IA customers decide on the best vehicle for them. In addition to our comparison of the Gladiator vs Tacoma, you'll find links to our inventory, financing, and more below.


Deery Brothers of Ames, Inc.

1700 SE 16th Street
Directions Ames, IA 50010-6430

  • Sales: 515-337-2515
  • Service: 515-520-8406
  • Parts: 515-598-7353

Gladiator vs Tacoma: Engines & Towing

While midsize trucks aren't going to match the towing of full-size trucks like the RAM 1500, many Marshalltown shoppers want their midsize pickup to be able to tow and offer good utility. That's why it's important for midsize trucks like the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma to offer powerful engines and features that enhance their towing capability and utility.

The standard engine that Ankeny shoppers will find on all Jeep Gladiator models is a 3.6l V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the Toyota Tacoma comes standard with a 2.7l four-cylinder making 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. There is also an optional upgrade to a 3.5l V6 at 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.

As you can see, Des Moines buyers who choose the base model of the Jeep Gladiator will be treated to significantly more power than the Tacoma's base engine. While the Tacoma's base four-cylinder is an efficient option, it is not a good choice for Iowans who plan to tow or haul with any frequency.

However, when properly equipped, both midsize trucks offer strong towing. The Toyota Tacoma can tow a maximum of 6,400 lbs, while the Jeep Gladiator offers a class-leading 7,650 lbs of max towing. Those 1,250 lbs could make a big difference to Ames, IA drivers who want to tow their boat or trailer frequently.

Gladiator vs Tacoma: Off-Roading & Features

The Jeep Gladiator made a big splash when it hit the market in Ames, IA, bringing the off-road capability of the Jeep Wrangler to a pickup truck form factor. It even shares the legendary Rubicon trim with its Wrangler sibling. However, many Des Moines owners have also bought a Toyota Tacoma for its off-road capability. So which one comes out on top?

The Tacoma TRD Off-Road comes with specialized off-road equipment, including a lockable rear differential, Bilstein monotube shocks, and an off-road traction control system with multiple terrain settings and crawl control. Smaller wheels also make for better shock absorption both on-road and off, but Ames buyers will have to go with the top-of-the-range TRD Pro trim to get all-terrain tires and a raised ride height. Until the release of the Jeep Gladiator, the Toyota Tacoma was the class leader in off-road capability.

Looking at the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, standard off-road equipment includes lower crawl ratio, increased clearance, all-terrain tires, locking front & rear differentials, electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar, Fox shock absorbers, rock rails, skid plates, and Jeep's advanced terrain selection and 4x4 system. While the Tacoma offers great equipment and capability, it does not match the Jeep Gladiator's off-road prowess. Ankeny buyers that prioritize off-roading will find the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon to be the best option.

Both the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma offer the latest in tech features, including large touchscreens with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, advanced safety features, and premium sound systems. Des Moines buyers can also equip both trucks with other features like leather interior for a more luxurious feel.

However, the two trucks do have some very important differences. The Jeep Gladiator is the only convertible truck on the market, allowing Marshalltown, IA owners to change out the roof, go without a roof, take off the doors, and more. This level of customization is truly unique, and a hallmark of Jeep's philosophy.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Tacoma is available in a variety of cab and bed configurations, while the Jeep Gladiator has a single configuration. Ankeny buyers' priorities and needs when it comes to bed size and options will play a factor in their decision between the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma.

Test Drive the New Jeep Gladiator in Ames, IA

Jeep has truly rocked the midsize pickup truck market with its introduction of the Gladiator. Comparing the Jeep Gladiator vs Toyota Tacoma, it's clear the the Gladiator means business. Both vehicles have their own unique strengths. While the base Tacoma comes with a small, efficient engine, all Gladiator models offer a powerful V6. And while Des Moines owners can off-road in both pickups, the Gladiator Rubicon offers better standard equipment. And when it comes to customization, the Gladiator is fully convertible, while the Tacoma has several bed and cab sizes to choose from.

So how to decide between the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma? The best way to start is to test drive them both. Above, you can view's inventory of Jeep Gladiator models, and schedule your personal test drive. We also have a Research Center where you can read more about the Gladiator and our other vehicles. At Deery of Ames, we are committed to providing the highest level of service to our Ames, Ankeny, Marshalltown, and Des Moines customers. Located in Ames, Iowa, we treat our customers like family from the moment they contact us. So if you've been shopping for a midsize pickup truck like the Jeep Gladiator, don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you have.

Make an Inquiry

By submitting your contact information, you consent to be contacted by telephone about purchasing a vehicle or obtaining vehicle financing. Clicking on the Submit button above is your electronic signature.


  • Monday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
; ;