2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2021 Jeep Gladiator

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  • 2021 Chevy Colorado

    A white 2021 Chevy Colorado is angled left.

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    2021 Jeep Gladiator

    A silver 2021 Jeep Gladiator is angled right.

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    181-308Horsepower (HP)260-285
    49.9Max Cargo Space (cu.ft.)35.5
    7,700Max Towing Capacity (lbs)7,650

    If you are looking for a practical vehicle that can handle daily driving and a bit of off-roading, then you may want to consider a midsize truck. Although the full-size pickups tend to be the most popular, there is a lot of appeal to owning a midsize truck. They are generally better on fuel, easier to maneuver in big cities, and they still offer exceptional performance when you need it the most. In today’s head-to-head battle, we will be comparing the 2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2021 Jeep Gladiator to see which one is worth your money. 

    Practical is the keyword here. While the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is fun to look at, it is best suited for extreme off-roading adventures. Meanwhile, the well-rounded 2021 Chevy Colorado is fit for all sorts of driving, including urban, suburban, rural, and off-road. It’s not over-kill, and it will still turn heads everywhere you go. Well suited for families, couples, singles, and work crews, you can find the perfect model for your needs. 

  • Performance

    A blue 2021 Chevy Colorado is driving past a lake after winning the 2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2021 Jeep Gladiator comparison.

    One of the first things people tend to look at when considering purchasing a new truck is the engine. With a midsize pickup, you can expect to see a few different options that deliver various performances. Let’s compare the 2021 Chevy Colorado and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator to see which one has the best engine selection for all-around driving. 

    Under the Hood of the Colorado

    The 2021 Chevy Colorado is available with three different powertrains. The first is a 2.5-liter I-4 engine that is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission and RWD (4WD is optional). Pumping out 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, this motor can haul up to 3,500 pounds. It also has a decent fuel economy set at 22 MPG combined (21 MPG with 4WD). 

    The second powertrain option is the 3.6-liter V6. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and RWD (4WD is optional), this combination generates 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Since this is a more powerful engine, the towing limit has been extended to 7,000 pounds. It also gets about 21 MPG combined (19 MPG with 4WD). 

    Finally, the 2.8-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder motor is an excellent choice if you’re planning on off-roading often. Producing 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, this engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and RWD (4WD is optional). With a much better fuel economy set at 23 MPG combined (22 with 4WD), it can tow up to 7,700 pounds. 

    Under the Hood of the Gladiator

    On the other hand, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is only offered with two different engines. The first is comparable to the Colorado’s second option. It’s a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 4WD that puts out 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. While it can pull up to 7,650 pounds, the gas mileage is averaged at 19 MPG combined. 

    The diesel option is a 3.0-liter V6 motor that uses an 8-speed automatic transmission. It generates 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, has 4WD, and it can haul up to 6,500 pounds. As for the fuel economy, it is rated at 24 MPG combined. One thing to note is that this engine is better suited for rock crawling. You won't get to enjoy some of these benefits if you mostly drive on paved roads. 

  • Safety

    A black 2021 Chevy Colorado is driving past a lake and mountain.

    Another key element to look for when shopping for a new truck is safety. While driving a powerful truck is fun, you also need it to keep you safe. The 2021 Chevy Colorado and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator both have paid attention to safety features, but one definitely comes out on top. 

    Standard Colorado Safety

    Standard safety features on the 2021 Chevy Colorado include six airbags, daytime running lamps, electronic traction/stability control, a rearview camera, a tire pressure monitoring system, and Teen Driver technology. Additional options that can be added to higher trims include automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, rear park assist, and an HD rearview camera. Some trims also have OnStar telematics that will alert emergency services in the event of an accident and can be used to locate your truck if it gets stolen. 

    Standard Gladiator Safety

    Aside from a rearview camera and airbags, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator doesn’t come with many safety features. Most of the available safety systems are additional options like forward collision warning, rear parking sensors, and blindspot monitoring. Adaptive cruise control is another add-on feature; however, you will be paying a lot more money to add these systems to the Gladiator. 

  • Trims

    A red 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is off-roading on a dirt trail past desert mountains.

    As midsize trucks, both vehicles can seat up to five people. However, there are a few differences between them as far as exterior looks go. For example, the 2021 Chevy Colorado is available in two body styles, including the Extended Cab (4-seater) and the Crew Cab (five-seater). There are also two bed lengths, including the short 5.1 ft box and the standard 6.1 ft box. Meanwhile, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is simply a Wrangler Unlimited (4-door) with the cargo area left uncovered. The bed measures 5 ft, and there are no other options for the body style. 

    Trucks that Look Amazing

    Now, let’s look at a few exterior features, in particular, starting with the wheels. The 2021 Chevy Colorado has 13 different wheel sizes, designs, and finishes, and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator only has 10 different options. Surprisingly, this makes the Chevy more customizable than the Jeep. As for exterior accents, both can be decorated with black or body-colored accents. However, the Colorado can have chrome added to it, depending on the trim. 


    Lastly, we will compare the available trim levels for the 2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2021 Jeep Gladiator. The Colorado is offered in four unique trims with a bunch of options for special editions, while the Gladiator is only available in six trims and three special editions. Don't let the Gladiator's higher trim number fool you though, the four trims for the Colorado are more than enough to build you the perfect midsize truck, and the special edition options will give your truck the perfect style. 

    Highlights of the Colorado Trims

    The 2021 Chevy Colorado WT is the work truck trim. As the base model, it comes with air conditioning, power accessories, and cloth upholstery. The floors are covered in easy-to-clean vinyl, and two USB ports have been installed for charging. The infotainment system is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, and it operates with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. You can listen to music through the 6-speaker stereo as well. 

    Next is the LT model. It gets a lot of improvements, including keyless entry and a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Two extra USB ports have been added as well as a larger 8-inch touchscreen. The EZ Lift tailgate has a remote locking feature, and cruise control has also been added to the mix. You can also add heated seats, automatic climate control, and a premium Bose sound system with 7 speakers. 

    The mid-level Z71 is the off-roading trim. It adds all-terrain tires, a revised suspension, hill descent control, and a locking rear differential. A wireless charging pad has also been provided. If you want even better off-roading features, you may want to consider the ZR2. This trim comes with a raised suspension, special dampers, larger all-terrain tires, an electronically locking rear differential, and fender flares. A spray-in bedliner is also included. As for add-ons, you can also opt for a navigation system and leather upholstery. 

    Make Your Colorado Special

    If you want to add some extra style to your Colorado, opt for one of the special edition models. Add a touch of darkness with the Z71 Midnight or ZR2 Midnight, or keep a little darkness on the interior with an alternative body color with the ZR2 Dusk. If you are looking for a little extra flair, opt for the Redline edition or make your Work Truck model a Colorado Custom. 

    Highlights of the Gladiator Trims

    Meanwhile, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Sport comes standard with manual windows, locks, and mirrors. It does feature cruise control and an 8-speaker stereo, but the infotainment interface is a lackluster 5-inch monitor. There is also only one USB port on this trim. 

    Next, the Overland adds power accessories and an upgraded infotainment system. Displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, it gets the much-needed smartphone integration technology and an extra USB port. Automatic climate control comes into play here as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

    As for the off-roading trim, the Rubicon features all-terrain tires, locking front/back differentials, shock absorbers, rock rails, and skid plates. The Mohave features a revised suspension, upgraded shock absorbers, and a transfer case. This model is Desert Rated. If you're looking for the most luxury in your Gladiator, however, you'll want to look at the top High Altitude trim.

    Make Your Gladiator Special

    Different from the Colorado, the Gladiator's special editions are listed as trims rather than packaged as add-ons. This doesn't make them any different; it's just how they are presented for sale. If you are a fan of Jeep history, the limited edition Willys Sport, Willys, and 80th Anniversary are the ones you should look at for their unique badging and style options. 

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