The Wrangler TJ remains popular – you probably remember that it was produced between 1996 and 2006. But the fourth-generation Wrangler JL also offers plenty of bang for its buck. There’s also the Gladiator, also called the JT and based on the same JL platform that’s been in production since 2017. How can you tell these two off-road powerhouses apart, much less buy the correct aftermarket gear? Whether you need Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Gladiator aftermarket parts, looking at some key features can answer these questions.
The Wrangler Vs. the Gladiator: An Overview
At a distance, these vehicles look somewhat alike. But that’s only if you see them from the front – they both have the distinctive seven-slot grille. They also both use a 3.6-liter V-6 engine and share several features ideally suited for off-roading:
- Low-range gearing capabilities
- Sway bars that disconnect
- Locking differentials
- Knobby tires for improved traction
The major difference is that the Gladiator is a pickup – the first released by Jeep since its now-defunct Comanche model. The Wrangler has a cargo area, usually protected by its recognizable soft top. The Gladiator also has a longer wheelbase and offers a 7,600-pound towing capacity. The Wrangler JL can tow up to 3,500 pounds, but it offers several powertrain options including a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine.
Wrangler Off-Roading Capabilities with Lift Kits
Ground clearance is an important consideration when you’re going off-road. Most 2020 Gladiators boast about 10 inches of clearance. With Wranglers, it can vary a little. The standard Sport edition measures about 9.7 inches, while the Sahara offers 10 inches and the Rubicon ups the ante to 10.8. Check on how to choose a soft top for jeep wranglers an informative article by vletuknow.
With all that said, lift kits do offer some promising benefits. You’ll typically find two types of kits on the market: body lift and suspension lift. What’s the difference? Body lifts push your vehicle up by 2 or 3 inches by placing a nylon spacer between its body and frame. This provides more ground clearance while maintaining your current suspension specs. Suspension lifts can give you greater height, modify your suspension as needed and allow for bigger tires. You’ll find both types when shopping for Wrangler JL and Jeep TJ parts.
How Much Storage Does Each Model Provide?
Wranglers and Gladiators handle cargo storage in different ways. The 2020 Wrangler’s two-door model boasts 13.0 cubic feet of space, with 32.0 when the rear seats are folded down. On the four-door edition, you get 31.0 cubic feet and 72.0 total when you fold down the seats. The Gladiator’s truck bed measures 60.3 inches long and 56.8 inches wide. Add a truck bed cap and you can easily expand the Gladiator’s cargo capacity.
Lift kits, truck bed storage systems, tires and other accessories can add a lot of utility and comfort to your Jeep. Whether you’re shopping for Wrangler, Gladiator, Cherokee, Renegade or CJ5 parts, choosing a reliable dealer is an important part of the process. Look for a retailer with a sound reputation, positive customer feedback and stellar customer service.