Toyota Highlander Vs 4runner: Compare SUV Ratings

toyota highlander vs 4runner

Toyota Highlander Vs 4Runner, both have excellent safety records, but which one has the better performance when it comes to towing and hauling your gear?

They’re both built on the same platform, with similar engines and body styles, so you’ll want to compare their specs closely before deciding which you want to buy.

Let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other in all of these important categories.

Toyota Highlander Vs 4runner: Which is right for you?

Here at the Toyota dealership, we frequently get asked about the differences between the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota 4runner models in our inventory.

Both of these SUVs are great choices, but they do have some distinct differences, such as size, fuel economy, and pricing.

To help you decide which one to choose, we’ve put together this Toyota Highlander vs 4runner comparison chart that breaks down all the key specs on each of these vehicles.

We hope this helps you in deciding which SUV model is right for you!

Toyota Highlander

toyota highlander

The Toyota Highlander and 4Runner are similar in size, with similar passenger and cargo capacity. The Highlander’s style and versatility make it a good choice if safety, comfort, and space are your highest priorities.

It has comfortable seating for seven; its third-row seats fold easily into floor wells to maximize cargo space when not in use.

It also has a longer wheelbase than other mid-size SUVs, which helps deliver a smoother ride. Its base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that gets 270 horsepower, two optional engines get better fuel economy.

The Highlander doesn’t have much ground clearance off-road, but it handles gravel roads well enough if you aren’t tackling very steep inclines or rocky terrain.

Toyota 4Runner

toyota 4runner

Toyota 4Runner was built with comfort and convenience in mind. It has a much smoother ride than many of its competitors, making it very comfortable to drive even over long distances.

The vehicle also comes with some of Toyota’s standard high-end amenities, such as automatic climate control, Bluetooth compatibility, and leather seats. With roomy cargo space and excellent fuel economy, it’s one of the best vehicles for road trips.

The only major downsides are that it does get fairly poor gas mileage, around 20 mpg in city driving, and it tends to be more expensive than other comparable SUVs.

However, neither of these are dealbreakers. If you plan on doing a lot of highway driving or want a luxury SUV, then the 4Runner is an excellent choice.

Read More: 2020 4Runner VS 2020 Jeep Wrangler | Which SUV is the best?

Feature Highlights

While you’re browsing through each car’s features, don’t forget to notice how many of them are exclusive to one or another.

For example, when it comes to entertainment and convenience features, most can be found in both vehicles. But some features might only be included in certain years or trim levels (so double-check).

In particular, check out safety features like lane-departure warning and blind-spot detection, not all Toyota models have these options, and not all Highlander models do either!

If you’re looking for a reliable new vehicle with lots of technology extras at a fair price, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to compare the Toyota highlander vs 4runner comparison before making your decision. And while you’re doing so?

Safety Features

When it comes to safety features, both vehicles have their pros and cons. The Toyota Highlander has received five stars from both NHTSA and IIHS for overall crash protection, but only four stars for rollover protection.

It does not come with a high-speed post-collision braking system that could stop a car before hitting an obstacle or person (which is standard on many luxury SUVs).

It also doesn’t offer advanced safety technologies like lane-departure warning systems, blind-spot monitoring, or collision mitigation systems (all of which are standard on some competitor SUVs).

The 4Runner does not have automatic emergency braking but it offers front assist, which is similar and can help detect an object in front of you when driving at speeds up to 25 mph.


Both of these options can tow up to 5,000 pounds, but you’ll get a smoother ride in a Toyota 4Runner.

The front and rear coil-spring suspension provide better off-road performance than an independent double-wishbone. If that’s not enough to make you consider one of these two vehicles, check out each engine type:

The Toyota Highlander has a V6 engine with 295 horsepower that gets 17/23 mpg city/highway, its powertrain can be paired with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Meanwhile, you won’t want to skip over a Toyota 4Runner with its 270 horsepower V6 engine that gets 15/20 mpg and standard part-time four-wheel drive.


The interior of both models is similar in design with differences in size. The Toyota Highlander, especially in higher trims, is roomier and more comfortable than a comparable 4Runner.

Both have heated leather seats. Both are spacious and offer a nice cabin with good materials but neither compares to other mid-sized SUVs like a Chevy Traverse or an Acura MDX for comfort and space.

However, each vehicle’s dashboard can be personalized with multiple display options on Toyota’s Entune system versus Lexus’ Enform which is basic by comparison.

The Highlander comes with standard navigation while 4Runner buyers need to upgrade to get it, even then, it’s not as fully featured as available options on some competing models such as Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mazda CX-8.

toyota 4runner interior

Why You Should Buy The Toyota Highlander Over The 4Runner

There’s no denying that Toyota has some of the best SUVs on offer today. The Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner are excellent examples of just how reliable a car made by one of Japan’s most reputable brands can be.

However, when it comes to selecting between them, which is better? Each vehicle has its own advantages and disadvantages that could tip your buying decision one way or another.

But, ultimately, which makes for a better choice? To help you decide, we’ve put together an in-depth comparison of both vehicles here to help you decide whether you should choose a Toyota Highlander or Toyota 4Runner.

Comparison Chart

Toyota has a wide range of vehicles available to consumers. When it comes to mid-size SUVs, Toyota offers consumers two distinct options in their vehicle lineup: Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner.

Both vehicles are produced by Toyota, so buyers may wonder what exactly separates these two cars. And there are quite a few things that do!

In an effort to help consumers know which car will be best for them, we’ve decided to create a comparison chart highlighting some of their differences…and similarities!

Pros and Cons of the Toyota Highlander Vs 4runner

The Toyota Highlander and 4runner are both mid-size SUVs that can seat up to five people comfortably, though some models of each offer a third row of seating for an additional two passengers.

The two models also share some of the same core features, including automatic four-wheel drive, stability control, antilock brakes, and airbags.

However, there’s more to these vehicles than meets the eye; this article will provide you with details on the pros and cons of the Toyota Highlander Vs 4runner so you can decide which one is right for you.

Is the Toyota Highlander better than the 4Runner?

Toyota is a brand that has been around for a long time. This can be both good and bad, as they have become quite popular, but it may also create some issues.

If you are thinking about purchasing a Toyota Highlander or a Toyota 4Runner, then you may want to read on.

These two vehicles are very similar in many ways; they are made by Toyota so they share some common parts, but they also differ in other areas.

However, there are also some key differences that set them apart from one another and could determine which one is right for you or your needs. Keep reading to learn more about what each vehicle offers in terms of pros and cons.

So what do you think?

The Toyota Highlander is known as a crossover SUV that’s attractive, luxurious, versatile, reliable, practical, and easy to drive.

While there’s no denying these things are true, it would be remiss to say that there are other vehicles on the market that compare well with it in terms of specs and performance.

The Toyota Highlander has been around for a long time now (since 2003) – but its most recent iteration is, without doubt, its best yet.

It’s tough to know where to start when describing why we love it so much here at Platinum Cars – but one thing we can tell you for sure is that it drives just as good as it looks.

What do you prefer in a vehicle?

A new car is a major purchase, one that many people don’t make too often. That makes choosing a new vehicle somewhat daunting, especially since there are so many variables to consider:

Is it big enough? Does it get good gas mileage? What about safety features? Before you go shopping, decide what you value most in a vehicle.

Focus on those elements when comparing vehicles. Knowing what’s important to you—and why—will help narrow down your choices.

The Toyota Highlander vs 4Runner comparison gives insight into these vehicles’ similarities and differences, so you can compare the pros with cons for each before purchasing your next car.

Which do you prefer?

When it comes to which car you prefer, it is going to be a personal decision that comes down to your individual lifestyle and needs.

That being said, we can help you make an informed decision based on an analysis of each vehicle’s pros and cons. We are comparing two similar vehicles: Toyota Highlander Vs 4runner.

Both models have been popular for their sporty look and family-friendly features. The question is: which one fits your needs better? In order to answer that question, let’s take a closer look at each vehicle’s key specifications.

Would you buy either vehicle today?

My family has owned a Toyota Highlander for 7 years. While it’s been a reliable vehicle overall, there have been several issues that we’ve had to fix over time.

While both my husband and I loved driving it for a while, we’re planning on buying a new one in about 2-3 years.

We’ve considered both cars as replacements, but we can’t agree on which would be better in our situation. Let’s see if we can’t help you make your decision!

Would you switch from your current car to one of these?

If you’re currently driving a different car, there’s a good chance you’d consider switching to one of these two.

I’m going to tell you all about why that would be a good idea and show you why it’d be worth your while by comparing how each stacks up against its competitors in terms of both advantages and disadvantages.

There are plenty of positives but also some concerns worth thinking about before making your decision.

Plus, I’ll tell you about what else to consider when choosing between either model or other cars like them on the market today! If you want to learn more about which model is right for your needs, keep reading.

Is it worth buying new vs used?

One of your first big choices is whether to buy new or used. The answer depends on what type of car you want, how much you can afford, and how quickly you need it.

New cars usually carry more warranty protection (which reduces risk) but cost more upfront.

If your budget is tight, you may want to consider buying a used vehicle, but make sure it’s a good deal before signing on any dotted lines.

While mileage plays a role in determining a vehicle’s resale value, keep in mind that many people trade in their vehicles every few years (even if they still have quite a bit left on their lease) so don’t rely solely on mileage as an indicator of quality.


The Toyota Highlander has its pros and cons, just like every other car on earth. For many, it’s an excellent option for a small family. But if you’re looking for a go-anywhere vehicle with lots of cargo space, look elsewhere.

The Toyota 4Runner is still available but it could be facing tough times as newer SUV models such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Nissan Pathfinder come out with more appealing features at better prices.

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