Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler – 2021 Guide

Cory
| Last Updated: March 15, 2021

When it comes to off-roading performance and raw power, few other SUVs can touch the features and amenities of the Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Wrangler.

So if you’re in the market for a new SUV, check out these comparisons between the two vehicles to pick the perfect vehicle for your tastes, wants, and needs.

TL;DR: Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler

Toyota 4Runner

Jeep Wrangler

Pros

Pros

  • Formidable off-roader

  • Excellent towing capacity

  • Some of the top cargo capacity in its class

  • More safety features

  • More legroom and shoulder space for passengers
  • Legendary off-roading performance

  • Three engine options to suit your tastes

  • Above-average fuel economy

  • Comes in both two-door and four-door models

  • Removable top and doors for open-air experience

Cons

Cons

  • Higher trims are expensive

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Interior can lack upscale amenities

  • Lacks towing power found in similar SUVs

Photo credit: scapchryslerjeep.com

Relevant Specs: Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler

Both the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler come with several interior and exterior specs that are highly touted by drivers and critics alike.

Specs

Toyota 4Runner Specs

Jeep Wrangler Specs

Doors

4 + Rear Liftgate

2 for Wrangler
4 for Wrangler Unlimited

Seats

5

4 for Wrangler
5 for Wrangler Unlimited

Curb Weight

4,400 to 4,805 pounds depending on trim

3,948 to 4,449 pounds depending on trim and model

Length

190.2 to 191.3 inches depending on trim

166.8 to 188.4 inches based on trim and model

Width

75.8 inches

73.8 inches

Approach Angle

33 degrees

44 degrees

Departure Angle

26 degrees

37 degrees

Ground Clearance

9 to 9.6 inches depending on trim

10.9 inches

Towing Capacity

5,000 pounds

2,000 to 3,500 pounds depending on trim and engine

MPG

19 mpg highway

16 mpg city

22 to 29 mpg highway
17 to 22 mpg city

Horsepower

270 hp

260 to 285 hp

Torque

278 lb-ft

260 to 442 lb-ft

Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler Similarities and Differences 

To provide you with an in-depth analysis of the Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Wrangler, here we’ll break down the similarities and differences. By having this information handy, you can make a well-informed decision on which model works better for your needs.

Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler Similarities

Despite some major differences, the 4Runner and Wrangler still have comparable features that will sway you one way or the other.

Off-Road Capability

Both the 4Runner and Wrangler are built for the off-road. The Wrangler offers its legendary off-roading prowess thanks to stock oversized wheels, a spirited engine, and a locking differential with a 4-wheel drive. Still, the 4Runner, particularly the TRD models, has a 4-wheel drive and clearance of over 9 inches to get you over even the most difficult terrain.

Seating Capacity

The Wrangler Unlimited and 4Runner both offer seating for up to five people, although the larger interior of the 4Runner offers more shoulder space and legroom. However, the height of the Wrangler provides more headroom.

Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler Differences 

The 4Runner and Wrangler also have some distinct differences that shouldn’t be ignored. Here are a few of these differences and how they might impact your buying decision.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Courtesy of a 4.0-liter V-6, the 4Runner offers 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque to go along with 17 mpg combined. Conversely, the Wrangler has three engine options (3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, 3.6-liter V-6, and 2.0-liter four-cylinder) that provide between 260 and 285 horsepower, as well as up to 442 pound-feet of torque.

Cargo Space

With over 15 cubic feet of space more than the Wrangler, the 4Runner provides more usable space, making it the better choice for moving loads of cargo.

Towing Capacity

Despite having lesser power numbers than the Wrangler, the 4Runner has the edge in overall towing capacity, boasting 5,000 pounds compared to 2,000 to 3,500 pounds for the Wrangler.

Photo credit: rodhatfieldcdj.com

Winners and Losers: Toyota 4Runner vs Jeep Wrangler

Interior Quality:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

Overall, the interior of the 4Runner is nicer and comes with more available options than the wrangler. However, the Wrangler now offers leather seating as an option. Moreover, the Wrangler has drain plugs that allow owners to gently hose out the interior after going off-road.

Customizability:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is well-known for its super-customizable interior and exterior using either OEM or aftermarket parts.

Offroading Capability (stock for stock):  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

Although the Toyota 4Runner is a formidable off-road vehicle, it doesn’t quite have the off-roading capability that has made the Jeep Wrangler famous. That said, the TRD Pro trim of the 4Runner is an excellent choice for off-roading enthusiasts, offering a higher clearance than other trims of the 4Runner.

Gas Mileage:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

With three engine options, the Jeep Wrangler provides better fuel economy across the board. In particular, the Wrangler’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 provides 25 mpg combined, easily beating the 17 mpg combined offered by the 4Runner.

Photo credit: gullotoyota.com

Towing Ability:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

With a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, the Toyota 4Runner beats out the 2,000- to 3,500-pound towing capacity supplied by the Jeep Wrangler. 

Price (TRD Pro and Rubicon):  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

If you’re looking for value, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has the edge, starting at $38,715 for the two-door version and $42,215 for the four-door. The 4Runner TRD Pro comes fully loaded, albeit for $50,570.

Safety:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

Both the Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Wrangler earn a 4 out of 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the 4Runner earns the edge thanks to its Toyota Safety Sense P system, which provides advanced safety features not found on the Wrangler.

Cargo Space:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

The 4Runner is a clear-cut winner in cargo space, offering up to 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space compared to 72 cubic feet of cargo space found in the Jeep Wrangler.

Reliability:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

With legendary Toyota engineering, the 4Runner typically lasts longer than the Jeep Wrangler. The 4Runner has been known to run up to 400,000 miles compared to about 300,000 miles for the Wrangler.

Power/Performance:  Toyota 4Runner | Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler offers a bit more pop than the 4Runner, providing as much as 285 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Nevertheless, the 4Runner still boasts a good amount of power, measuring in at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque.

Photo credit: planetdodge.com

People Also Ask

Both the Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Wrangler provide exciting features that can benefit certain types of preferences or driving styles. So when deciding whether the Toyota 4Runner or Jeep Wrangler is a better choice for your needs, check out these questions that people also ask.

Do All Jeeps Have the Death Wobble?

Yes all Jeeps are capable of experiencing Death Wobble. However, this varies depending on the model and year, as well as any modifications like tires, lift kits, and other suspension modifications.

Is the 4Runner a Good Daily Driver?

The Toyota 4Runner is a great daily driver or commuting car, especially if you regularly require extra space for hauling cargo or people. However, the 4Runner isn’t exactly fuel-efficient, offering up to 19 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the city.

Can You Sleep in a 4Runner?

Due to its off-roading capabilities, the Toyota 4Runner is a popular vehicle for camping enthusiasts or those looking to get off the beaten path. The good news is that the 4Runner is spacious enough to sleep inside if the weather is uncooperative on a camping trip. Several companies also offer conversions in the rear of the 4Runner, allowing you to put a queen mattress in the cargo area.

Photo credit: autoblog.com

How Much is a Jeep Wrangler?

In 2021, the Jeep Wrangler model starts at $28,315 while the fully loaded option is $38,715. However, the 2021 model year offers some limited edition Wranglers that go as high as $49,515 for the High Altitude model.

How Much is a Toyota 4Runner?

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner starts at $36,340 and goes all the way up to $50,570. This includes nine different models with various interior and exterior features and capabilities.

Where is the Jeep Wrangler Made?

Unlike some other American automakers that outsource all or a portion of the manufacturing process overseas, the Jeep Wrangler is still produced at the Toledo Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Where are 4Runners Made?

Although the 4Runner has been historically manufactured and assembled in several cities in Japan, the sole Toyota 4Runner factory is now located in Tahari, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

How Many Miles Can 4Runner Last?

If properly maintained, a Toyota 4Runner can last as long as 300,000 miles. However, most end up lasting about 200,000 to 250,000 miles depending on your driving style and how diligent you are with routine maintenance.

Photo credit: cars.usnews.com

How Many Miles Can a Jeep Wrangler Last?

A Jeep Wrangler typically lasts between 250,000 miles and 400,000 miles if properly maintained according to the guidelines of the owner’s manual.

Other Questions Answered in this Article

  • How Many Miles Can A Jeep Wrangler Last?
  • How Many Miles Can 4Runner Last?
  • What Is The Gas Mileage On A Jeep Wrangler?
  • How Much Can a 4Runner Tow?
  • How Much Can A Jeep Wrangler Tow?
  • How Much Does a Jeep Wrangler Weigh?
  • How Long Is a Jeep Wrangler?
  • How Wide Is a Jeep Wrangler?
  • How Much Does a Toyota 4Runner Weigh?
  • How Long Is a Toyota 4Runner?
  • How Wide Is a 4Runner?
Cory

Cory epitomizes the 'function over form' debate. His XJ Cherokee has taken many a beating due to his lust for climbing the tallest ledges he can find and is armored to the max. Welded on sliders, tube fenders, and no bumpers allow him to achieve some pretty crazy approaches. We regularly tease him that there's more rust than paint on his rig, but that’s his style. Cory's favorite new mod is a larger winch he bought off a buddy after his Smitty cooked itself, trying to yank his buddy out of a ravine.