Jeeps vs pickup trucks is a debatable topic among lot’s of folks out there. Any one who owns one of the above two vehicle types normally tries to give facts why that relevant vehicle is better than the other.
Thing is we should agree that both of the vehicle types have their own pros and cons in different aspects.
Then how can we decide what is best for us? Actually the answer is inside the question. It’s better to find out what’s best for us according to our needs rather than finding which vehicle is better than the other!
In this guide we’ll look at jeeps vs trucks in different aspects and discuss the pros and cons of both jeeps and pickup trucks under those aspects.
Jeeps vs truck to use as a Daily driver
I took this as the first factor because most of the time we use our pick up truck or jeep on road than off roading.
Some owners rarely do off roading activities with their vehicles and mostly use them for their day today on road purposes.
Rather than for off roading , if we use our vehicle as a daily commuter we should look for the MPG (miles per gallon) of that vehicle.
When talking about jeeps the general opinion regarding jeeps is Jeeps are bad at MPG. That’s true to some extent, because there are stock condition jeep wranglers which only can run 13 miles per gallon/combined (as an average).
But there are new jeep wranglers (eg:2020 jeep wrangler unlimited,3.0L, 6 cylinder) which runs 25mpg/ combined!!
Below is one of such test drive result from auto123.com
On the highway, the manufacturer puts the optimum figure at 8.1L/100 km, or 29 mpg. Here too, we managed to do better with an average of 32.6 mpg, the equivalent of 7.2L/100 km.
What does that mean? That means with new improved engines jeeps also getting better and better in fuel efficiency also. So we can’t just neglect wranglers as a low fuel efficient vehicle any more!
You can read more about jeeps why jeep’s MPG can be bad and how we can improve jeeps fuel efficiency, (through my jeep mpg related guide) by clicking here.
When talking about trucks it’s not a secret most of the pick up trucks report better fuel efficiency. Below are a few numbers to get an idea for you.
- 2020 Ford F-150 – 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – 18 mpg city/22 mpg highway/20 mpg combined
- 2020 Jeep Gladiator – Gladiator’s 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/19 mpg combined
*Above mpg values are related to the 4WD models of those trucks.
When comparing above numbers we can’t just say pick up trucks are better in mpg than jeeps or jeeps are better than pick up trucks in mpg.
Both of the types now have competitive improved engines to get higher fuel efficiencies.
In this aspect we should agree that a pick up truck normally has higher comfortability and ride quality than a jeep.
Because jeeps have tough suspensions to compensate for the harsh off road driving.
Because of that when a jeep drives on paved roads, imperfections on the roads can feel highly inside the cabin.
Normally a pickup truck comes with softer suspension components than a jeep. So they drive on the road more softly than a jeep.
Specially most of the new pickup trucks come with independent suspensions. So they can give smooth comfortable riding.
On road handling is also better in a pick up truck than a jeep. As mentioned earlier new pickup trucks come with independent suspension systems. They can handle very well at high speeds and work best in cornering.
Even the new jeeps also come with solid axles. That’s solely because to get more articulation on off roading trails.
But those solid axles don’t give better handling on roads. cornering is also not better in these solid axle vehicles.
Jeeps are also very famous for death wobble!!
With those facts better on road handling also goes to pick up trucks.
Here we are talking about on road safety. In that aspect also pick up trucks have more safety features than a jeep. But we should mention that wranglers are not an unsafe vehicle though.
So how safe are Jeep Wranglers? From the data available, we can say the Jeep Wrangler is safe in a crash, but not as safe as other SUVs. Some of this is due to the Wrangler’s unique design and construction, which are specialized for extreme off-roading.
There are a lot of new safety features the new jeep wrangler JL comes with.
- Front and side airbags for both the driver and front seat passenger
- Anti-lock braking (ABS)
- Traction control
- Stability control specially designed to reduce the chance of a rollover. Rearview camera, parking sensors
- Tire pressure monitoring
- Seat belt alerts for the front seats
So we can’t just say wrangler is unsafe. It has lots of safety features in new models for on road safety also.
But when compared to a pickup truck, a pick up truck is safer than a jeep wrangler on the road.
Important thing is jeeps give more safety on off roads than a pick up truck!! That’s what jeeps build for.
I had written a separate guide on maintenance costs regarding jeeps. You can read that also for more information.
Normally it’s a common idea that jeeps are expensive to maintain. But that’s not completely true. The maintenance costs of a jeep depends.
If we compare with a stock jeep wrangler which does not use for lot’s of off-roading and a stock pick up truck, there is no significant difference in maintenance costs.
Both of them have the same amount of maintenance costs. I showed what the maintenance costs you have to expect in the above guide.
But if the jeep is modified and/ using that jeep for hard off roading purposes, no doubt that jeep’s maintenance costs goes higher than a pick up truck.
That’s why I mentioned at the start, maintenance costs will be dependent.
You can read my “jeep wrangler as a daily driver” article for more detailed information.
For off roading purposes
When we take the off-roading aspect, no argument that jeeps outperform pick up trucks in most of the aspects.
Fuel costs will be the same for both of the types. Both have to use 4WD and we can’t expect much fuel efficiency from the both vehicles.
Off road comfort – well this can be depends on what are the vehicles we are comparing. As an example if we compare a 2door jeep JL and a jeep gladiator (4door), the gladiator gives more comfort on the terrains because of it’s long wheel base.
Next fact is according to the terrain also this can be varied. If the pick up truck has an independent suspension system, at high speed off roading conditions it can give more comfort inside the cabin.
But if it’s very uneven terrain, a jeep could be able to give a more comfortable ride than an independent suspension pick up truck.
The reason for that is jeeps solid axles can give more articulation on those uneven terrains and improve the stability of the cabin.
Off road handling, no doubt it’s jeeps. On hard extreme terrains a jeep can give better handling than a truck.
Specially pick up trucks have long wheel bases. So it’s a bit hard to get sharp turns on off -roading trails. Jeeps have less turning radius and they can easily maneuver in off road trails.
Another fact is most pick up trucks have higher width than a jeep. With that higher width and long wheel base their undercarriage can easily hit on the trails/ rocks/obstacles.
Jeeps high modifying capability also increase the off roading capabilities into huge levels.
So when it comes to off roading, jeeps doesn’t have a competition with pickup trucks actually. Jeeps are the best off roaders!!
To use for heavy lifting purposes
To transport lots of items, as a heavy lifter pick up trucks are better than jeeps. The reason for that is because pick up trucks have huge space than a jeep.
Even a 4door jeep also has limited space when compared with a pick up truck.
As an example think about a jeep wrangler and a jeep gladiator. Gladiators have more space than a wrangler to load lots of luggage.
There are pickup trucks with larger engines to pull heavy loads than a jeep.
Modifying capability is also higher in jeeps than pick up trucks.
Jeeps can build as you wish!
They can build in unique ways. There are lots and lots of custom parts for jeeps.
If you want performance upgrades it’s highly versatile for that.
If you want to upgrade the look there are different heights of lift kits, different sizes of tires, rims, bumpers, lights, what not.
Literally there’s an upgraded aftermarket part for any stock part of the jeep!!
So that pickup trucks have very limited upgrade ability compared to jeeps.
Another special feature only jeepers can get is the ability to remove tops and doors to get more open air feeling for outdoor adventures. This is so cool and exclusive for jeep owners.
Jeeps are keeping their resale values for years. Main reason for that may be Jeep’s long lasting feature. Jeeps are very durable and last long.
Another reason for this high resale value may jeeps high renovation capability. Even a jeep that old two decades also can renew and use like a new jeep.
In pickup trucks resale value tends to drop with time. They weren’t able to hold their value with the use.
So far I talked on a few main aspects a user may need to be aware when choosing a vehicle between a pick up truck and jeep.
According to your needs, now you can take your decision. I hope this guide may be helpful to expand your thinking area when taking that decision.
Both vehicle types have their own pros and cons in different aspects. Choosing which is better for you depends on what you expect to achieve from the vehicle.
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