Video: Can a Little Turbo Spank the V6 Trucks? We Drag Race a Ranger, Gladiator, and Ridgeline to Find Out!

Which one of these midsize pickup trucks is quickest, and which is the most fuel efficient? We compare a new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, a new 2020 Ford Ranger FX4, and a 2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E is a drag race and on a real-world mph loop.

Thanks to IMI Motorsports park for the use of the track!

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

There is just one engine currently powering the Gladiator right now. It’s a 3.6-liter gas V6 with 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Rubicon you see here is our own long-term project truck “Gobi Glad” that we purchased, and it is equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This truck is the most off-road focused in this group. It has the largest and most aggressive tires, it has the most ground clearance, and it is heavier than most midsize trucks out there.

2020 Honda Ridgeline

Under the hood of the Ridgeline is a familiar 3.5-liter gas V6 with a rating of 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The Ridgeline has used a 6-speed automatic transmission until now. The 2020 RTL-E model you see here is equipped with a 9-speed automatic that is also available in the Honda Pilot SUV. The new transmission is supposed to make the Ridgeline a bit quicker and also more efficient.

2020 Ford Ranger FX4

The Ranger is also offered with just one engine option. It’s a 2.3-liter turbocharged gas I4 with a rating of 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The engine can only be paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The FX4 is the most off-road worthy Ranger we currently get in the United States. It has a slightly more aggressive tire, and a removed front chin spoiler that is replaced by a large skid plate.

Spoiler alert:

There are a few surprises. We expected the Ranger to be very quick, but the Ridgeline gave it a run for the money.

Once we reset our trip meters for a quick real-world mpg comparison, I was surprised by all the great results we saw. The Ridgeline came out on top as we suspected, but the Ranger and the Gladiator also showed good results.

  • Gladiator Rubicon: 20.6 MPG
  • Ford Ranger: 26.7 MPG
  • Honda Ridgeline: 27.5 MPG