The 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon are like two sides of the same coin

Thanks to Tesla’s efforts to ridicule the Ford F-150, tugging wars are now becoming a raging trend and there are many challenges on the internet where you can see vehicles of different shapes and sizes going up against each other. From the likes of Mercedes G-Class and Suzuki Jimny, to Ford F-250 and Jeep Gladiator, we’ve seen it all.

In most of the challenges mentioned, the winners could be predicted from the very off, so here’s one that will leave you scratching your head. The guys at Edmunds brought the 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon to the battlefield to determine the winner. Who are you placing your bets on, then?

The Specs On Both The Trucks Are Eerily Similar

The 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro comes with two engines to choose from – a 2.7-liter, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder unit that churns out 159 ponies and 180 pound-feet of torque and a 3.5-liter, V-6 mill that develops 278 horses and 265 pound-feet of torque.

Both the engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission system as standard, but the larger V-6 mill can be mated to a six-speed manual as well.

The publication doesn’t mention what powertrain this model is using, but we can safely assume that it’s the bigger V-6 because it comes the closest to the Gladiator’s powertrain.It can tow and haul up to 6,400 pounds and 1,175 pounds, respectively, and its front axle sports Fox shocks. The 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro starts at $43,960.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon comes packed with the familiar 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that produces 285 ponies and 260 pound-feet of torque.

It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, and is also offered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as optional. 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
    See What Happens When Two Evenly Matched Trucks Go Against Each Other in a Tug-Of-War
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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. The 2020 Gladiator can also tow up to 7,000 pounds and haul 1,250 pounds. The Gladiator Rubicon retails from $43,545.

Who Do You Think Will Win The Challenge?

See What Happens When Two Evenly Matched Trucks Go Against Each Other in a Tug-Of-War
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In the first round, both the trucks were switched to four-wheel-drive high mode with the traction and stability controls disabled.

Since both trucks are evenly poised, the first test ended in a stalemate.

In fact, they didn’t even spin their wheels. To save the transmission from getting damaged, the trucks were slotted back into two-wheel drive, with traction and stability control switched off. This time, the wheels did spin but none of the trucks moved an inch.

via GIPHY

However, you can see there’s a clear struggle as the pickups try to pull each other. The Tacoma TRD Pro vibrated violently at the end, whereas the rear left wheel of the Gladiator sunk halfway into the ground and the truck was almost sitting on its frame. In fact, the Gladiator dug a hole so deep and it looked like it will struggle to come back out. However, when the four-wheel drive low setting was selected, it freed itself out without any drama.

Final Thoughts

See What Happens When Two Evenly Matched Trucks Go Against Each Other in a Tug-Of-War
- image 878787

This is perhaps the first stalemate we’ve seen in all the tug-of-war videos that have surfaced the net recently. None of the trucks had an advantage whatsoever and not a single inch was lost or won. The trucks are very similar on paper and it’s good to see both of them staying tough in real life as well. Given that both trucks even come with the same starting price, which one would you pick and why? 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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