Jeep Gladiator Rubicon vs Ford Ranger Raptor X Review

By Alexi Falson on 26 Jul 2022
image for Jeep Gladiator Rubicon vs Ford Ranger Raptor X Review Two heavyweights of the industry, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon and the Ford Ranger Raptor X go head-to-head in the world of bold and brash off-road-ready utes.

With similar prices, 4x4 platforms, impressive off-road abilities, and generous entertainment and safety equipment lists, on the surface it can be difficult to know which is the better option; let’s take a closer look to find out.

How Much Do They Cost?

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is the cheaper of the two, with prices kicking off from $79,250, while the Ford Ranger Raptor X dual cab is priced at $85,490.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs. 

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Jeep Gladiator - RUBICON (4x4) Specifications

Series JT MY21 V2
Variant RUBICON (4x4)
Transmission 8 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive 4x4
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 3604
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 24 valves
Engine RPM 6400 / 4100
Cylinders V6
Torque 347
KW 209
Fuel tank size 83.0
Fuel usage specs 12.4 / 0.0
CO2 288
ANCAP security rating 3

For more details and other variants, check Jeep Gladiator car page.

Ford Ranger - RAPTOR X 2.0 (4x4) Specifications

Series PX MKIII MY21.75
Variant RAPTOR X 2.0 (4x4)
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 10 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive 4x4
Engine BTCDI
Engine capacity 1996
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3750 / 1750
Cylinders DTT4
Torque 500
KW 157
Fuel tank size 80.0
Fuel usage specs 8.2 / 0.0
CO2 212
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Ford Ranger car page.

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What Features Do They Have?

The Ford Ranger Raptor X comes riding on 17-inch alloys wrapped in Goodrich K02 all-terrain tyres, as well as Matrix LED headlights, LED tail lights, a steel front bash plate, spray-in bed liner, active exhaust system, an electronic locking front differential, Performance Fox 2.5-inch valve suspension with Watts Link coils, a 12.4-inch digital driver’s display, 10.1-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, and a set of Ford Performance seats. 

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon receives 17-inch alloys wrapped in 32-inch Goodrich all-terrain tyres, Fox shock absorbers, front and rear locking differentials, LED headlights & tail lights, heated leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel, a removable hard top, steel rear bumper, skid plates, and an 8.4-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

What are They Like to Drive?

The Ford Ranger Raptor comes powered by 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine that kicks up 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque, with power sent to the wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission. 

This gives the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon a more powerful engine output thanks to the 3.6-litre petrol V6 that produces 209kW of power and 347Nm of torque, although the torque figure is down on the Ranger; power is put to the ground via an eight-speed automatic. 

The Ford Ranger Raptor glides more effortlessly up to speed thanks to the added torque and the power delivery through the ten-speed automatic, while the Gladiator revs up to speed and outpaces the Ford thanks to its free-revving naturally-aspirated V6 powertrain. 

Both the Ranger and the Gladiator are silky smooth while driving on sealed roads thanks to their sturdy platform and rugged off-road gear that manages to eat up bumps and irregularities on the road without a problem. 

This also translates to effortless highway cruising, although the tight confines of the city can make them a bit cumbersome while parking or making a low-speed manoeuvre. Overall, though, the power steering assist makes both options user-friendly around town and adds to the flexibility of their dual-nature package. 

What is the Better Option for Off-Road Driving?

The Ford Ranger Raptor comes with a wider track over the rest of the Ranger lineup, as well as a reinforced chassis, 2.5-inch shocks from Fox, rear coil suspension over the traditional leaf setup, and recovery hooks. 

This is in addition to the part-time 4x4 system, low-range function and locking rear differential, 33-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres with strengthened sidewalls and a heap of terrain settings to get you up and over pretty much anything you can throw at it. 

Ground clearance is rated at 283mm in the Ford Ranger Raptor, while the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon offers 34mm less at 248mm.  

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, on the other hand, has its 17-inch alloys wrapped in 32-inch Goodrich all-terrain tyres,  and receives fox shock absorbers, locking differentials for both the front and rear axles. 

The Rubicon uses a Rock-Trac on-demand 4x4 system, and is able to disconnect the front sway bar when needed to reach over tough terrain. This translates to an impressive approach angle of 40.7 degrees, departure angle of 25.1 degrees and breakover-angle of 18.4 degrees. 

Overall, the Ford Ranger Raptor features a more rugged design with hardcore off-road focussed hardware that translates to a more dynamic and impressive off-roader that outpaces the Gladiator Rubicon when the going gets tough. 

Which is a Better Workhorse?

We’ll judge this by both the tray sizes and the maximum towing capacities for the Ranger Raptor and Gladiator Rubicon. 

The Ford Ranger Raptor has a tray measuring 1,549mm long and 1,139mm wide between the wheel arches, while the Gladiator Rubicon’s tray is slightly smaller at 1,531mm long by 1,137mm between the arches. 

Payload capacity is capped at 620kg for the Gladiator while the Ranger Raptor is rated up to 748kg, while 3,5000kg braked towing capacity of the Ford trumps that of the Jeep at 2,721kg. 

Finally, gross combined vehicle mass stands at 5,656kg for the Jeep and 6,400kg for the Ford, making it the better all-rounder when it comes to pulling power and workhorse abilities. 

Are They Practical and Spacious?

These cars are quite similar when it comes to interior space and practicality, which is ultimately limited by the dual-cab platform they’re based on.

Both offer a spacious front cabin with a heap of headroom for tall drivers, with both models receiving a handful of special interior touches and luxuries over the standard models. In terms of design, the dashboard and instrument cluster is a little bit more cluttered in the Jeep, but you get a heap of features for your money. 

The rear of the cabin is a great place for kids and growing teenagers, and with both cars offering a decent amount of legroom for adults. There are air vents, storage areas and a set of ISOFIX anchors for child seats in both cars. 

One area that the Ford can’t keep up, though, is the Jeep’s ability to open up the view to the outdoors thanks to its removable body panels and roof, which makes the driving experience undeniably special. 

Are They Safe?

The Ford Ranger Raptor has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, while the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon falls short in terms of safety with its three-star ANCAP safety rating. 

Both receive rear-view cameras with parking sensors and autonomous emergency braking, while the Ranger comes out on top thanks to the addition of rear cross-traffic alerts, active cruise control, front parking sensors and a lane-keep assist feature. 

Are They Fuel Efficient?

Ford’s use of a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine means that it is the more economical of the pair, returning combined cycle figures of 8.2L per 100km. 

Compared to the naturally aspirated V6 of the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon which consumes up to 12.4L per 100km on a combined cycle, the Ford comes out on top when it comes to fuel efficiency. 

The Verdict: Ford Ranger Raptor X vs Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

As a complete package, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is an undeniably impressive dual-purpose off-roader, comfortable cruiser and indeed a capable workhorse, however, it struggles when put under the microscope compared to the Ford Ranger Raptor.

The difference is quite narrow, though, so if you’ve had your eyes on the Gladiator and can’t resist the thought of driving around with the top open, you won’t be disappointed with the package. 

Both the Ranger Raptor and Gladiator Rubicon are impressive members of the dual cab ute market, and meet their design briefs with confidence; the Ranger is just a little bit tougher when it comes to pulling power, and a better ownership prospect when it comes to fuel economy and safety.

On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Ford Ranger Raptor X & Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Competition

Ford Ranger Raptor X & Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

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Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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