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Jeeps Vs Pickup Trucks? 7 Things To Consider (When Choosing)

Anyone who has ever looked around for either a Jeep or a Pickup truck will let you know how hard it can be to choose.

Both types of vehicles offer many features for different drivers. They both have pros and cons, and we will take a look at what features are best in each type of vehicle.

Here’s a quick overview of the features and which vehicle seems to be the better choice.

Factor Winner (Jeeps or Pickups)
Height and Weight Pickup Trucks
Mileage and Power Pickup Trucks
Renovation & Appeal Jeeps
Safety & Technology Both
Comfort & Entertainment Pickup Trucks
Affordability & Reliability Jeeps
Offroading Capability Jeeps

These days, it becomes even harder to choose between the two due to advanced upgrades for both of these. We’ve gone deeper into each of the features to give more information about both Jeeps and pickups.

One thing’s for sure; both owners of these vehicles will swear by their advantage over the other.

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of vehicle.

1. Height and Weight

The weight of a Jeep or a Pickup Truck is a good measure of how big the engine is. Weight also affects the towing capacity of a Jeep or a Pickup Truck. For example, if you are planning to use a travel trailer, the weight your vehicle can handle is a big factor to consider.

Jeeps are typically known to be lightweight, so in effect, they’ll generally weigh less than pickups.

Curb weights for different Jeep models:

Jeep Model Curb Weight (lbs)
2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4,100 pounds
2009 Jeep Commander Limited 5,199 pounds
2006 Jeep Liberty 4,033 pounds
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2WD 4,254 pounds
2011 Jeep Patriot 3,091 pounds
2018 Jeep Gladiator  4,800 pounds

When it comes to weight, pickup trucks typically weigh more than Jeeps.

This is because pickup trucks are generally workhorses that are used to pull heavy loads. Jeeps, on the other hand, don’t weigh all that much.

But don’t let this fool you because the Jeep Gladiator is as much a workhorse as any other pickup truck out there.

The Jeep Gladiator has a weight of about 4,800 lbs and is 75 inches tall. It can tow capacities between 3,000 lbs and 6,000 lbs. Even though these aren’t exceptional numbers, the Gladiator can hold it’s own when put up against competitors.

Full-blown pickup trucks have a lot more weight and towing capacity.

The Ford Ranger comes in at about 71 inches tall and has a max payload of about 7,600 lbs.

To some extent, pickup trucks are considered working vehicles, so they’ll more likely weigh more in order to pull more weight.

2. Mileage and Power

It’s been said before that “Don’t buy a Jeep is you want to save on gas costs”. This holds true for most Jeeps and most Jeep owners know this. So in effect, most Jeeps will be less fuel-efficient than pickup trucks.

One of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks out there seems to be the Ford F150, which comes in at about 20 mpg combined. The Jeep Cherokee is listed with almost the same 20 miles per gallon as the Ford, but this is not always accurate.

If you have a quick browse at any of the Jeep forums online, you’ll find that it’s hard to get 20 miles per gallon out of a Jeep. There are endless complaints about Jeeps being gas guzzlers and pickup trucks typically win when it comes to fuel efficiency.

Now in terms of power, pickups trucks will again take the crown. This is because Jeeps aren’t known to be heavy-lifters. Jeeps are generally light-weight vehicles and you can’t overload a Jeep as much as you can overload a pickup truck.

3. Renovation And Appeal

One thing that keeps the Jeep brand alive is the appeal it has in terms of it’s looks. Not only is it a versatile vehicle, but it can also give the owner a feeling of freedom. When you buy a pickup truck there’s only so much you can do to it in terms of aesthetics.

A Jeep on the hand gives you all the freedom to change and upgrade it however you want.

You can completely transform a Jeep to your custom preferences. Using upgrades and modifications, you can style your Jeep however you want. This also includes performance upgrades and renovations such as parts to elevate the Jeep’s height, engine power or improve offroading capabilities.

A truck can have you settling into the traffic unnoticeable, whereas when driving a Jeep, owners get certain looks of admiration. This is because of the appeal attached to owning a Jeep. You are instantly categorized as dynamic and adventurous. A Jeep driver is seen as someone who likes outdoor, backtrail or camping activities. Even if you’re not a person that takes part in those activities, the Jeep speaks for you.

So in terms of appeal and renovation, Jeeps are a good choice over pickup trucks.

4. Safety And Technology

The Jeep Wrangler has not been a great option when looking for safety in a vehicle.

Although most tests conducted have proven that Jeeps have average protection, they are still not recommended as family cars. Other than for offroading, Jeeps are particularly lightweight and don’t offer as many safety features as you’d find in a family sedan. So looking at the Jeep Wrangler model for example, what are the safety features that are provided.

Here are some safety features that come with the different Wrangler models.

Safety Technologies in Jeeps

Jeep Wrangler Model Air Bags ABS Traction Control Stability Control
CJ Wrangler No No No No
YJ Wrangler No No No  No 
TJ Wrangler Yes Optional No  No 
JK Wrangler Yes Standard Yes  Yes 

The Wrangler is a standard offroading Jeep, so some safety features are bound to be missing.

The vehicle is targeted at the 4×4 community, and because of that, people who buy them aren’t exactly looking for an everyday family car with all the latest safety technologies. Having said that, there is still some demand for more safety features in Jeeps.

The brand has listened to the market and now adds advanced safety features in their latest models.

There are more pickup trucks out there that will outperform Jeeps when it comes to safety. The interesting thing is, Jeeps will outperform most pickup trucks when it comes to safety in outdoor terrains where the Jeep is most comfortable. This is because the Jeep knows how to maneuver rough terrains where other pickup trucks can’t even dare to go.

The other factor is the driver behind the wheels of a Jeep. If the driver happens to be inexperienced when it comes to controlling a Jeep, this could spell disaster. On the other hand, a pickup truck comes with all the standard safety features for normal road driving and more advanced safety features as the price increases.

In this case, it’s safe to say that Jeeps are just as safe as most pickup trucks.

5. Comfort and Entertainment

Jeeps and pickup trucks are generally made for work and outdoor activities, so you’d think they don’t have comfort and entertainment systems. This isn’t accurate because infotainment systems are being installed in both Jeeps and pickup trucks alike.

Modern Jeeps, for example, have preinstalled infotainment systems that include displays, media players and speakers for entertainment on those long drives. Infotainment in most modern Jeeps is just a button away with the Uconnect system that’s preinstalled featuring GPS and media control from the comfort of your seat.

Such technologies are also present in pickup trucks such as the 2018 Ford F-150. The F-150 features Ford’s Sync 3 system which allows connection to popular Android and Apple apps right from the truck’s touchscreen.

So for infotainment systems, you can find both a pickup truck and a Jeep that will be enough for your entertainment needs.

6. Affordability and Reliability

Affordability is another factor that keeps Jeeps as the kings in offroading. Jeeps aren’t known to be very affordable. But affordability, in this case, is trumped by the reliability of the Jeeps. A Jeep can last decades if you look after it well enough. Compared to normal pickup trucks, Jeeps are very reliable and have a high resale value. A pickup truck loses its value almost as fast as a normal car.

As soon as you drive your pickup truck off the lot, it starts losing value significantly, and when you eventually sell it, you don’t get as great a price for it.

A Jeep will only start losing it’s value long after it’s been beaten and battered by offroading.

Any car will last a long time if taken care of, but a Jeep is especially good at holding its value in the long run. This is especially considering that its advanced 4×4 capability, having the ability to drive in hilly and uneven terrain and still be good enough to be sold for a significant amount.

Jeeps are not only reliable, but they are affordable considering that they last a longer time than the average pickup truck.

7. Off-Roading And On-Roading Capability

There is no question about it; Jeeps are the kings of offroading and adventure driving. They are just made with 4×4 offroading in mind. On top of that, the ability to customize your Jeep is also what makes them so appealing for offroading. With a Jeep, you can choose to take out the doors and the tops. This makes for a fun offroading experience.

Jeep enthusiasts even go as far as adding more height to the Jeep, giving it more capability to climb hilly situations.

Even though you can take a regular pickup truck off-road and try some backtrail driving, the experience doesn’t come close to that of a Jeep. There are some trucks out there that can make a mark in the offroading world. The Ford F-150 and the RAM 1500 are just some of the pickups that can fight their way through some rough roads.

These models can also serve as work vehicles because they weigh more than most Jeeps and can be considered workhorses.

But, for rougher offroading and that full 4×4 experience, you definitely want to go for a Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler surpasses all expectations due to its advanced drivetrain and customization. As said before, there are some aftermarket features you can add to Jeep to make it even more capable for offroading. This is where most pickup trucks fail. A factory pickup truck won’t give you much leeway in terms of customization for a dynamic offroading experience such as a Jeep Wrangler for example.

Even the more recent pickup trucks like the RAM 1500 aren’t as customizable.

Sure you can get a factory model with all the nifty extras for offroading, but these will be quite expensive. Whereas, for Jeeps, there’s countless aftermarket fixtures and upgrades available at significantly lower prices.

So when it comes to both offroading and on-roading capability, Jeeps are your best bet. For models like the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, offroading is comfortable and enjoyable. This also means normal with no need for the 4×4 capability will be a breeze in these Jeep models.

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