What’s the difference between Jeeps and trucks?

What’s the difference between Jeeps and trucks?

white box truck and white Jeep Wrangler - trucks and jeeps
They may have similar uses but both are very different.

Trucks and jeeps: is comparing the two a good ol’ case of apples and oranges?

Well, yes. Even though if you happen to see similarly looking jeeps and trucks, these two motor vehicles have very different functions. 

That’s why you can’t hold them against each other. Some people swear by their truck, while other fanatics love their Jeeps to death. 

Nevertheless, one thing is for certain—both of these vehicles have capacities that can satisfy the right driver. 

So, if you’re stuck between choosing trucks and jeeps, we listed some of their differences to help you decide. 

First, let’s be clear about something.

You’re about to read our comparison of two broad categories of vehicles. 

The term truck does not solely refer to the pickup truck. The latter is actually a subtype of the former. Trucks refer to a variety of heavy goods vehicles. 

Meanwhile, the term jeeps also cover other subtypes of vehicles under the brand, Jeep, which is owned by the FCA US LLC, a subsidiary of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

So, when we say “trucks” and “jeeps”, we’re not really referring to two groups, each having one type of vehicle. 

We are comparing two groups, each having different subtypes of vehicles under them. 

So, for your information, here’s a short table of the types of trucks and jeeps. 

Jeeps Trucks
Jeep Grand CherokeeSemi-Trailer Truck
Jeep CompassStraight Truck
Jeep WranglerJumbo Trailer Truck
Jeep PatriotTail Lift Truck
Jeep LibertyTruck Trailer
Jeep CherokeeFlatbed Truck
Jeep CJLowboy Trailer
Jeep ComancheRefrigerated Trailers
And many more…

RELATED: Truck Vs Pickup Truck: What’s the difference? 

What’s the difference between trucks and jeeps?

Main function

a line of red, orange, and yellow jeeps in a deserted mountainous area. - trucks and jeeps
Jeeps are reliable companions in rough terrains and situations.

Jeeps, in general, are designed for rough usage. People drive them if they want to do outdoor activities and explore rough terrains. 

You can undoubtedly drive a Jeep to mountainsides, forests, or the Grand Canyon—areas where the surface is anything but smooth. How about taking a truck anywhere? Well, that’s a bad idea for a number of reasons—which you will know later. 

Trucks are mainly for transporting goods from one location to another. They differ in design according to the objects you want to carry. Unlike Jeeps, they are not suitable for offroad pursuits—except for the pickup, a light-duty truck.

Weight, build, and size

Most trucks are also heavier and bigger than most Jeeps. For example, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado Truck weighs 1038 pounds more than the 2017 Jeep Wrangler 4×4. 

The pickup 2019 Ford F450 Super Duty Crew Cab is a real heavyweight at 8,600 pounds. Meanwhile, the heaviest Jeep, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, still can’t top it even at its gross weight of 6,500. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) already includes the cargo, the people, and additional equipment onboard. 

So, want a heavier vehicle in the city? You can choose from plenty of pickup trucks and box trucks.


traffic congestion in the city at afternoon
Which is more troublesome in traffic congestion?

When it comes to traffic, trucks apparently lose out. Since they are heavier and bigger, truck drivers often have to adjust more since they cause a more damaging impact on the cars around them. Often, they have to be more careful and thorough about their driving. 

Additionally, a study analyzed the impact of trucks on traffic flow. In the study, they observed the behavior of passenger cars in congested traffic when there are trucks that surround them. 

They found that passenger cars are more likely to change lanes and decelerate when they see trucks around them. They also discovered that trucks can also significantly affect traffic congestion. 

Meanwhile, Jeeps are not a bother at all in congested traffic. 


This is a case of availability, size, and space. Since trucks are larger, you’ll have a hard time parking them just anywhere in the US compared to Jeeps—unless you have a pickup truck or a smaller box truck. 

Additionally, there aren’t enough facilities and comfortable parking spaces for truckers in the US. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FWA), 72% of states in the US have truck parking issues. Many factors contribute to this, one of them being the Hours of Service (HOS) regulation. 

In fact, Jason’s Law was created due to an unfortunate incident involving Jason Rivenburg. He was a truck driver who was shot and killed because he was forced to park in a dangerous spot. Jason’s Law instructs each state to measure truck parking and uphold higher parking standards for trucks.

And that’s why you can’t just take a truck anywhere. While the federal government and a handful of organizations are taking action to make a change, the parking problem in the US is still blatant. 

Towing and being towed

a white pickup truck towing a black car in the snow. - trucks and jeeps
A pickup truck can pull another car as long as it’s lighter.

When it comes to towing, both Jeeps and trucks are very capable. The Gladiator models of Jeep, in particular, are equipped with 285-horsepower V6 engines that are great for towing.

However, the competition only comes to a stop based on the weight of the objects they can pull. 

The US Semi-Truck can tow an object that weighs 80,000 pounds. Meanwhile, the 4-door Jeep Wrangler can pull a trailer that weighs 3,500 to 4,000 lbs. The 2-door Jeep Wrangler can only tow 2,000 to 3,000 lbs. 

Now, if you get stuck, you’ll have an easier time getting out if you own a Jeep. Since they’re lighter and more equipped for rough circumstances, you’ll likely get out of the situation faster than if you own a truck. 


The winner is obvious in this one. Because most Jeeps are designed for the wild, the storage space is sacrificed. In a truck, of course, you’ll enjoy plenty of cargo space in the bed or the tailgate. 

However, if you want a storage capacity and ruggedness in a vehicle, you should go for a pickup truck. You can put your camping stuff and food on the tailgate, but you can also drive it offroad. 

So, if you’re a single, outgoing, and light-packing lad or gal, you can consider any Jeep model. On the other hand, if you have an adventurous family, go for a pickup truck. Although, you can also opt for the Jeep’s new pickup series, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Engine power

close up of truck engine - trucks and jeeps
Truck engines are more powerful.

Trucks are obviously more powerful—they are designed to carry heavy products and equipment, after all. 

However, with the release of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, the competition is getting tighter. Of course, bigger trucks can do more heavy-lifting and perform better compared to most Jeep models.

But with the Gladiator series, some truck loyalists might turn the other cheek. The Gladiator models have engines that are powerful enough for any driving situation. 

Still, most of US Semi-Trucks are more powerful than most Jeep variations. But because of their size and power, their appetite for fuel is larger as well. Trucks are not known for being fuel-efficient, so if you want a balance between power and fuel economy, you’re better off with the Gladiators.

Should you get a jeep wrangler or a truck?

Below, we listed the main benefits of owning either of them. These two may be up for heavy-duty tasks but they are very different from each other. As a result, choosing between the two can be simple for you. 

If the other’s benefits don’t entice you one bit, then you can now confidently make your choice! 

Why get a Jeep Wrangler?

a white Jeep Wrangler in a deserted area. - trucks and jeeps
The badass Jeep Wrangler in its zone— the wild.

If you can’t wait to embark on offroad adventures, then set your eyes on Jeep Wrangler models. Usually, they are smaller however rugged SUVs you can take anywhere—it’s the perfect ship for the outdoorsy people. 

You can carry your friends and, at the same time, tow a boat with most of the Jeep Wrangler models. The 2019 Jeep Wrangler, especially, has a pretty commendable performance (4-cylinder turbo with 270 hp). 

Meanwhile, if you like spacious but rugged cars, then you should check out the 2020 Jeep® Wrangler models. Sahara and Rubicon are bigger and badder than the average Jeep Wranglers. Although they differ in price, they are both spacious with their 4-door unlimited body styles. 

Most of the Wranglers are known for being oldies with a modern mix. In fact, because they are known for being reliable with heavy-duty tasks, their upgraded interior designs these days might surprise fiercely loyal Jeep owners. 

Now, Wranglers are not free from drawbacks. The pesky sound and the limited rear seating, especially in older models, may turn off some first-time Jeep owners. However, if you’re a 100% extroverted, fun-loving nature addict, you should start looking for a Jeep Wrangler near you. 

Why get a truck?

white box truck in a wet city street.
If you deliver perishable food products, a refrigerated box truck will serve you well.

The term “truck” is very broad. You can choose from many types of trucks—box truck, refrigerated box trucks, and larger types such as ten-wheeler trucks. It all depends on what you need to transport. 

However, if you really want a powerful engine and huge cargo space, you opt for a truck. All trucks also have more spacious storage beds at the back compared to a Jeep Wrangler. 

Any person that owns a food and product business will especially make good use of a box truck, specifically. You can carry different types of objects—from furniture to seafood to non-perishable food products—as long as you don’t exceed the required Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) limit in the US. 

Trucks are already heavy themselves, so you have to be wary of how much load you’re carrying in your truck. 

Like the Jeep Wrangler, you can also tow trailers, boats, cars, campers, and even large vehicles using your truck. 

And if you’re concerned about safety, you don’t have to worry because a truck has a higher seating height. That means you have better visibility of the road, compared to a Jeep Wrangler. 

Both trucks and Jeep Wranglers have tougher body frames compared to cars. Now, while a truck is bigger and more powerful, it won’t be good for off-road, rugged activities, unlike the Jeep Wrangler. 

A truck is only good for on-road tasks where you’ll be carrying cargo. It’s not suited for fun road trips in the wild. 

Meeting halfway: Should you choose a pickup truck instead?

grey pickup truck on the road.
Can’t choose between trucks and jeeps? Why not opt for a pickup truck? It has the best of both worlds.

Don’t find the Jeep Wrangler and the truck beneficial? The pickup truck might be the right vehicle for you. 

In recent years, more people in the US have been buying pickup trucks. The Honda Ridgeline, which is known for its excellent rust-resistance, leads the way to sales victory. 

People seem to love the pickup’s versatility. It has the Jeep Wrangler’s ruggedness and the functionality of a truck’s cargo space. Like a truck, a pickup will offer you a powerful engine, better road visibility compared to a car, and hauling & towing capabilities. 

Even better, you can also use the pickup truck for fun offroad activities. You can drive it in the city or in rural roads. You can get rough with it! 

Basically, if you want a truck and a Jeep Wrangler in one, you can get a pickup truck. The Jeep® brand, in fact, released a pickup truck series. The 2020 Jeep® Gladiator models—Sport, Sport S, Overland, and Rubicon—are all 4×4 capable or all-wheel drive vehicles. 

However, you have to watch out for certain pickup trucks because they rust easily. Considering you use them for heavy, demanding tasks, you also have to prepare for an intensive preventative care routine.  

Other related questions

Is a truck and a car the same thing?

Not at all—trucks are larger and borders more on logistics use. Cars, on the other hand, have more personal use. In other words, trucks are for objects while cars are for humans. 

Trucks are also designed differently than cars because of their size and for safety purposes. Cars are easily comfier than trucks and they have better mileage too. Basically, they have plenty of differences.

What vehicle type is a jeep?

The jeep is a type of Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Two of its models, the Wrangler and the Cherokee, are considered the most iconic ones. Take note that not all SUVs are jeeps but all jeeps are SUVs. 

On the other hand, some people argue that jeeps are not SUVs at all. However, they are indeed SUVs because historically, the military used them as utility vehicles. That’s how their name came to be—the name “jeep” morphed from their former name, “GP” or “General Purpose”.  

Is a Jeep Cherokee considered a truck?

No, a Jeep Cherokee is a type of SUV. Originally, it was a plain SUV but these days it has become a crossover SUV. That means the Jeep Cherokee has become more comfortable since it has a unibody design. You get the best of both worlds—the high seating and function of an SUV and the comfortability of a car. 

Plenty of people like the comfortable, smooth-sailing ride that the Jeep Cherokee gives them. Interestingly, the Cherokee has an impressive ruggedness to it, which is good for offroad drives and fun.

Final thoughts

Have you decided if you should buy a truck or a jeep? These two are very different, so you should have a contender now, at least. 

They both have advantages and drawbacks, but in the end, you have to choose what’s right for you in the long run. So, think hard about your future business endeavors and then mull over whether a truck or a jeep will serve you better. 

What do you prefer between trucks and jeeps? Don’t forget to share your choice in the comments below!

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