The Ultimate Midsize Off-Road Truck Comparison: Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison vs Jeep Gladiator Rubicon (Moab Video)

Man, pitting the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison vs Jeep Gladiator Rubicon was epic! These are two completely follow different philosophies when it comes to building the ultimate (factory-built) off-road, midsize truck. Both trucks are extremely effective, both are very utilitarian and both are extremely expensive. In both cases, you get what you pay for, off-road superiority. Out of the box, no other vehicles can complete.

While the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon has a solid front axle and a disconnecting front sway bar, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison has an independent front suspension. The Jeep has better articulation while the Bison has a better on-road ride. 

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison vs the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon in Moab, Utah. The very best off-road midsize pickup trucks you can currently buy! Photo: TFLtruck

Both trucks have the best towing numbers in their class – when properly equipped. You can read about the Jeep Gladiator’s towing (here). The Chevrolet Colorado’s towing information can be seen (here).

While the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison vs Jeep Gladiator Rubicon’s off-road abilities were remarkably similar, their power-trains weren’t. The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison vs Jeep Gladiator Rubicon comparison saw a small displacement diesel (Chevrolet) vs a gasoline V6 (Jeep). The Gladiator uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and the Bison comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. Only the Gladiator has an optional six-speed manual transmission.

These engines make them feel completely different. The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is almost military-like in its chugging, lumbering nature while the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is nearly playful by comparison. Power and speed favored the Jeep while thumping grunt was what the Bison brought in spades.

That’s Baby Lion’s Back in Moab, Utah. Photo: TFLtruck

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison vs Jeep Gladiator Rubicon’s power on paper is remarkably different (if you opt for the Chevy’s diesel). The Bison has a 181 horsepower, 2.8-liter turbodiesel that makes 369 lbs-feet of torque. The Gladiator has a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Separating our preference for these two was extremely difficult. They both have their pros and cons. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to take both off-road, over some mildly challenging terrain. Just enough to see how they worked without incurring too much damage. 

Check out our video and stay tuned for a ton of additional videos coming to TFLtruck from the 2019 Easter Jeep Safari!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.