I’d pick the Jeep Gladiator over the F-250 any day of the year!

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The Jeep Gladiator made a strong comeback last year, much to the excitement of Jeep enthusiasts. Irrespective of the legacy and its capabilities, we all can agree to the fact that the 2020 Gladiator is priced at a premium; the top Rubicon trim retails at over $50,000, for example.

Forget about the Ford F-150; with that budget, you can even get a brand new Ford F-250. That said, the TFL team bought both the vehicles for the same price and decided to pit them against each other in a challenge that’s taken the truck market by storm – a tug-of-war. We know the winner already, right?

How Well Are These Trucks Spec’d?

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon comes packed with the famous 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that produces 285 ponies and 260 pound-feet of torque.

It comes mated with a six-speed manual transmission as standard and is also offered with an optional, eight-speed automatic gearbox. In the Rubicon trim, the Jeep Gladiator offers the Rock-Trac 4x4 System with up to 84:1 crawl ratio.

This trim also benefits from a handful of off-road-oriented gimmicks:

  • a two-speed transfer case
  • an electronic sway bar disconnect
  • locking front and rear differentials
  • FOX shocks
  • 33-inch Falken All-terrain Wildpeak tires
  • steel rock rails.

On top of that, Jeep has introduced a new Off-Road+ mode that can adjust the throttle response, transmission gearing, and stability control intervention time depending on the situation. Now, these things make it a capable off-roader, but do you get enough metal for $55,000? The 2020 Gladiator can also tow up to 7,000 pounds and haul 1,250 pounds.

The Ford F-250 used here is the not-so-loaded XLT trim.

Jeep Gladiator and Ford F-250 Tug-of-War Shows the Difference Between Function and Fun
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This particular example is powered by a monstrous 7.3-liter, V-8 gasoline engine that makes 430 horses and 475 pound-feet of torque.

Although it doesn’t come with features and equipment like the 2020 Gladiator, it can tow and haul almost twice as much as the Jeep truck: 14,000 pounds and 3,000 pounds, respectively. While you may enjoy the high driving position and feel like a god from up there, what you won’t appreciate is the large amount of hard plastics used all around the cabin. However, if your primary need is to tow stuff on a regular basis, the F-250 is better suited to your needs.

The F-250’s Pull Is No Match For The Gladiator


The two trucks went at it in a traditional tug-of-war. While the F-250 weighs about 2,000 pounds more than the Gladiator, the latter comes with all-terrain tires, and all-wheel-drive. But, as expected, the F-250 effortlessly pulled the Jeep Gladiator. The Gladiator couldn’t even pull the F-250 from a standstill with the latter’s brakes applied. In the end, the F-250 easily won the tug-of-war competition.

Jeep Gladiator and Ford F-250 Tug-of-War Shows the Difference Between Function and Fun
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The F-250 may have won the challenge, but are you ready to compromise on a lot of tech and off-road fun just to look big and mighty? As pointed out in the video, the Ford F-250 is all about utility and function, leaving things like heated seats, nice materials, and even keyless entry on the sidelines. The Jeep Gladiator comes with all the party tricks in tow as a very well-equipped vehicle. And, that’s exactly what this video was designed to point out — the Gladiator is more about fun and luxury but it can’t live up to the capabilities offered by something that was designed as a work truck first. So, do you compromise on amenities and tech or utility and usability?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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