Gladiator vs Toyota 4Runner Review (Car and Driver)


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Oct 9, 2020
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Land Cruisers are heavy, built like a tank. I had two 80 series. The prado's are nice, but importing them with a LH steering is expensive and it usually has high milage.

$runner has a low belly as well, compared to others. So no, it is not as high as a JLU with 2" lift and 35". The thing is, you have to lift just to put 33" and the stock jeep you can stick 35".

As far as IFS, they are ok. But I prefer a solid front axle. Not a lot of manufacturers have solid front axles anymore, mostly 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. Mostly because of ride/comfort. It is a weak point and needs a ton of upgrades and it will never be as strong as a solid front and will never have the articulation of a solid front. It will take a lot of expensive modifications at a high cost.

I am not knocking Toyota. I am a huge fan of them and used them a lot in the past. Jeep has come a long way in the last few years as far as reliability and comfort. Best thing is, it is nice now. Kind of a knock on Jeep because they are known for their ruggedness and capability. Toyota is the same way. To much comfort and they go rid of the solid front axle and only offer a locker in the rear. They offer no deep low range transfer case- Jeep does.

If Toyota wanted to make a difference, they should bring their diesel version. They would crush the Jeep diesel.

So far what I know have has grown on me. I like it. I didn't really care for the $runner. That's just me. Jeep has improved their reliability, it makes a difference.
if youre not on 40’s you havent been anywhere a prado chassis will get you on 33’s or 35’s. The ifs with kdss articulates plenty.

the toyota diesels are nice and reliable because they dont sell them in places where you need strict emission controls for the most part. The 4cyl is ho hum. The i6turbo is nice but not without issues.

that said, im with you on the solid axle. i got the gladiator because its the closest thing i could get to a LC or Defender quad cab here, and jeeps quality improvement has gone a long way. What jeep fucks up and almost had me in a tacoma or 4runner (hell even looked at the new Defender) despite it all is lack of payload. Iirc, the payload on a 4 runner is like 1500lb. Im not even sure the bottom bin Gladiator has that much.