What's the Difference: Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner


Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner near Houston, TX

Ask any off-road enthusiast and they'll likely have an opinion about the Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner rivalry.

Since each of these midsize SUVs is specifically designed to head off the beaten path with ease, they are among the most capable vehicles built. Jeep's heritage goes back over 80 years, and the Wrangler remains one of the only vehicles with a removable roof to let the splendor of a gorgeous Texas summer day into the cabin. Unlike the 4Runner which offers one body style and one engine/transmission combo, there is a dizzying array of trim levels and body styles available on the Jeep Wrangler. Jeep even offers the Wrangler in a classic two-door configuration. From taking the whole family to an Astros game to heading out to Brazos Bend State Park, the Jeep Wrangler is up to any challenge.

Let's take a deeper look at the differences and similarities between the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner.

Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner

Features Jeep Wrangler Toyota 4Runner
Fuel Economy 17 MPG City - 25 MPG Highway 16 MPG City - 19 MPG Highway
Engine V6 VVT, 3.6 Liter V6, 4.0 Liter
Drivetrain 4WD 4WD
Cargo Space 72.40 cu ft 89.70 cu ft
Minimum Ground Clearance 9.7 inches 9.6 inches

What's the Difference: Jeep Wrangler vs Toyota 4Runner
Reliability and Quality

The last thing you want to deal with is an unreliable vehicle when you're out on the trail and each of these SUVs offers exceptional reliability for all types of usage. Jeep earns better than average reliability ratings according to J.D. Power and bests the Toyota 4Runner's reliability scores. Even though the 4Runner is well known for its consistent reliability, Jeep has definitely made big strides to increase its overall reliability in recent years.

On top of the overall reliability, both the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner offer truck-based, body-on-frame chassis with durable components that are designed to withstand abuse off-road. Since the 4Runner hasn't been redesigned in over a decade, it has a less refined interior space that doesn't have the flair and style of the legendary Jeep Wrangler. Build quality is exceptional on both models.

Both Jeep and Toyota offer a three year / 36,000 miles basic warranty and a five year / 60,000 miles powertrain warranty.

Off-Road Capability

Where the rubber meets the mud is where the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner really shine.

Thanks to an array of powertrains, including everything from a V-6 engine with 270 horsepower all the way up to a 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, there is plenty of grunt across the Wrangler lineup. Drivers can even go electric if they want, thanks to the 4xe plug-in hybrid that combines a 270-horsepower turbo engine with powerful electric motors. The 4xe offers up to 49 miles of all-electric driving range and 49 mpg in combined usage,** which is a first for an off-road SUV. Depending on the drivetrain, the Wrangler offers a stellar eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. Whether you're looking for fuel-efficiency or outright power, the Jeep Wrangler has the most powertrain choices by a long shot.

Depending on which model you choose, one of three world-class four-wheel drive systems comes standard on the Jeep Wrangler. Keep in mind that these are not part-time all-wheel drive systems like you find on a standard SUV, but fully selectable 4WD systems that put complete control in the driver's hands. Features like Front and rear Tru-Lok® electronic locking differentials, an incredibly low 4:1 crawl ratio, and a best-in-class 100:1 crawl ratio (when equipped with manual transmission) set the Jeep Wrangler apart from the 4Runner. There's even an Off-Road+ mode on hardcore Rubicon models that automatically sets the throttle and brakes to work better in challenging off-road scenarios.

Off-road capabilities are a high point of the 4Runner as well. Power comes from one engine, a 4.0-liter V-6 that cranks out 270 horsepower. Transmission choice is also relegated to one option, an old-school 5-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the 4Runner, but most people choose to equip their 4Runner with a part-time or full-time all-wheel drive system (Limited trim only). The Kintetic Dynamic Suspention System (KDSS) brings some serious capabilities to the trial by automatically decoupling the 4Runner's sway bars as needed. Crawl control offers five different speed settings and gives drivers the ability to work their way down seriously steep inclines while an Electronic Locking Rear Differential provides grip to the rear wheel with less grip.

Drivers looking for the most capable version of each vehicle will want to check out the Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road, 4runner TRD Pro, or the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Safety and Driving Assistance

Along with its off-road mission, Jeep offers several advanced safety and driving assistance features on the Jeep Wrangler.

In addition to six standard airbags, Jeep's full suite of electronic driving aids is optional on the Wrangler to help keep everyone safe. This includes Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection, Forward Collision Warning with automatic emergency braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go functionality. To help get the Wrangler into tight spaces, an available ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System makes it easy, while a forward-facing off-road camera helps navigate the toughest scenarios without a spotter.

Toyota also equips the 4Runner with eight standard airbags along with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) as standard equipment. In addition, every 4Runner comes with the Star Safety System™. This includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Smart Stop Technology® (SST). Much like the Wrangler, there's even an available Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) that puts a 360 view right on the 8-inch touchscreen.

Infotainment and Technology

Jeep's Uconnect® infotainment system is one of the best in business, thanks to its speedy operation, customizable design, and ease of use.

Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility are available on both the 7-inch and 8.4-inch Uconnect® systems, along with built-in navigation, Bluetooth®* for phone and audio, in-vehicle Wi-Fi (subscription required), and more. Jeep even has an app that can do everything from send a navigation location to your car to find it in a crowded parking lot or start it remotely.

Toyota offers an 8-inch touchscreen in every 4Runner, complete with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. Dual Zone climate control is also available, along with push-button start and a JBL sound system with 15 speakers. Overall, there is far more advanced technology available on the Jeep Wrangler.

Shop Jeep Wrangler near Houston, TX

Off-road enthusiasts looking for the best SUVs near Houston, Pearland, Pasadena, Alvin, and Bellaire will want to make AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Houston their first stop. We carry one of the largest selections of both new vehicles and pre-owned Jeep vehicles in the Houston area, including the best used Jeep Wranglers.

Once you strap into the mighty Wrangler and experience the capability and power during a test drive, we know you'll be dreaming of hitting the trail. To help make it happen, our in-house finance center works with local and national banks to secure you the best possible rates. If you have a trade-in, we'll give you a competitive price and work it right into the deal.

Looking to outfit your Wrangler with new all-terrain tires or a soft top? Stop into our accessories department for the ultimate selection of trail-ready goods. AutoNation Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Houston is your Jeep Wrangler dealership destination.

*Bluetooth® is a registered mark Bluetooth SIG, INC.

**Based on 2022 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.