Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Squares Off with Chevy Colorado Bison
Toughest midsized pickups square off in Moab and unsurprisingly, the Jeep Gladiator is superior.
The folks from The Fast Lane Truck YouTube channel recently had the new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon at the same time that they had the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, so they did what any reasonable truck testers would do. They took them both to Moab, Utah to see which of the off-road leaders in the mid-sized pickup segment is better in America’s toughest off-road park.
The video begins with TFL hosts Roman Mica and Nathan Adlen talking a bit about the new Jeep Gladiator and the Chevy Colorado Bison, the two most off-road-worthy trucks in the mid-sized segment.
Mica explains that the Gladiator is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, with an eight-speed manual transmission, a disconnecting front sway bar, an array of skid plates, Fox dampers and front and rear locking differentials.
Adlen explains that the Bison is powered by a 2.8-liter diesel engine that delivers 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque with help from a six-speed automatic transmission. The Bison also has front and rear lockers, along with Multimatic dampers and boron steel skid plates. The Bison does not have a disconnecting front sway bar, but it does have independent front suspension.
Most significantly, the Gladiator is longer, with more wheelbase, so it has less breakover angle than the Bison and that is one area where Mica is worried about the Jeep that he is testing in Moab.
Finally, each host talks about the payload and towing capacities of the two trucks, but that really doesn’t matter for the off-roading discussion.
The first real obstacle of the video is a series of rocks scattered along the dusty trail, which tests the breakover angle of both trucks. The Jeep goes first and unfortunately, it quickly gets hung up on the undercarriage as the breakover angle proves to be too low for these rocks.
“What makes this truck so great is that it has a big back seat,” said Mica, after the breakover angle proved to be a problem. Realistically, he could have pushed through, with the Rubicon skid plates protecting the key moving parts, but in order to protect the test vehicle, Mica took an easier route.
The Bison, on the other hand, had no problem with this obstacle, but this was the only one in which the Chevy clearly outshined the Jeep.
Approach and Departure
Next, the two trucks go through a series of obstacles that test approach and departure angles, while also testing breakover a bit, although none of these obstacles are severe enough in terms of breakover demand to impact the Jeep.
In the first rocky ditch, the Gladiator has no problem up front, but the trailer hitch scraps on the back end. On the other hand, the Bison scrapes on the front end and on the back end, with Adler blaming the large AEV front bumper on the approach angle issues.
Next, the two crest a small rock hill and head down and once again, the hitch of the Jeep scrapes hard on the rock, leaving a stripe in the rock As for the Bison, it scrapes on breakover and hits the rear end hard on departure.
Finally, after waiting for a broken Wrangler to clear out, the two midsized trucks head down a large rock hill with a dip in the middle. The Jeep one again scrapes the hitch on the rock on departure, but it handles the hill well. The Bison noses-down hard on the first portion of the obstacle while the back end scrapes hard at the end of the challenge.
While the Jeep Gladiator’s trailer hitch scraped all over the place, the Chevy Colorado Bison scraped on the front and rear end on most obstacles, and while Adlen points out that the boron steel skid plates protect things under the truck, there is no question that the Gladiator handles the steep hills better.
During the course of the video, Roman Mica points out some other key advantages of the Gladiator, such as the front and rear trail cameras with an integrated sprayer system and the removable top. Meanwhile, Adlen makes excuses as to why the Bison scraped through every obstacle.
Unfortunately, while the hosts said at the beginning of the video which truck they would buy with their own money at the end of the video, the two simply states the pros and cons of each truck as the video ends. However, they don’t need to state which truck won for it to be clear, as the Jeep Gladiator shined brighter on the big rocks while also being roomier and more capable in terms of on-road work.