We compared these two bakkies to see what South Africa’s top-of-the-line 4x4s have to offer.
Powering the Jeep is a 3.6-litre, V6 petrol engine which outputs 209kW and 347Nm. In cooperation with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, fuel consumption for the bulky bakkie averages out to a listed 12.4l/100km.
The 4×4 has a ground clearance of 249mm, a wading depth of 800mm, and is capable of carrying a 693kg load in the rear box, too.
Towing capacity, meanwhile, is listed at 2,721kg; however, this is with an optional “Max Towing Pack” installed.
Moving to Ford’s halo model, the Raptor runs on a 2.0-litre, bi-turbo diesel engine generating 157kW and 500Nm.
The smaller, turbocharged engine combined with a ten-speed automatic transmission means the Ranger averages a comparatively much better fuel consumption of 8.3l/100km.
Its ground clearance and wading depth are slightly higher than the Gladiator’s at 283mm and 850mm respectively, but its loading bed accommodates a lighter 607kg.
Towing capacity is also lower than the Jeep’s at 2,500kg, but the Ranger does not require an optional package to accomplish this.
Both vehicles also make use of an all-wheel-drive system to handle rugged terrain, which permanently turns all the wheels on the Rubicon whereas it variably switches between the rear and all four tyres on the Raptor.
The Jeep also has an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, a departure angle of 26 degrees, and a breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, beating the Ford’s angles of 32.5 degrees, 24 degrees, and 24 degrees.
The Raptor then boasts a selection of six different driving modes including the model-exclusive Baja, while the Rubicon is able to lock both the front and rear differentials.
As the most expensive bakkie in South Africa, the Gladiator is fitted with no shortage of selling features.
This includes leather upholstery with lumbar support on the front seats, climate control, keyless start, LED head and tail-lights, daytime-running lights, a 7-inch digital driver’s display, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Furthermore, the Gladiator sports exclusive styling characteristics such as contrasting stitching, metal treadplates, vinyl-wrapped doors, and 17-inch alloy wheels which can accommodate up to 35-inch diameter tyres.
In addition, a major selling point for the Jeep is that the roof, windows, and doors can be removed entirely for the full outdoor experience, and this can be accomplished in minutes using a set of tools located in the under-seat storage.
Driver’s aids round out the experience by providing functions like blind-spot monitoring, a rear-view camera with dynamic grid lines, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-path detection, and electronic stability control with roll mitigation.
Looking to the Ford, the Raptor is the top-end model in Ford’s incredibly successful Ranger series.
Differentiating itself from the standard Ranger, the Raptor boasts special styling and branding choices, such as Raptor branded seats and upholstery with red contrast stitching.
Also standard are an 8-inch Ford Sync touchscreen with smartphone pairing, dual-zone climate control, model-exclusive leather upholstery, a rear-view camera, cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, a lane-keep system, and rear parking sensors.
Continuing on the exterior, the Special Edition is fitted with front and rear fog lamps, LED headlights, daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, red tow hooks, and 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 33-inch tyres, as well as black and red decals to help it stand out.
The South African starting price for the new Jeep Gladiator 3.6 Rubicon double cab is R1,259,900.
This includes a 5-year/100,000km warranty and a 3-year/100,000km maintenance plan.
The Ford Ranger 2.0Bi-Turbo double cab 4×4 Raptor has a South African starting price of R951,900.
Each purchase comes with a 4-year/120,000km warranty, a 6-year/90,000km service plan, and 3-year/unlimited-kilometre roadside assistance.