Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4Runner
Toyota has advanced their model lineup over the years to hit on every type of family need. If you need a capable three-row SUV, for example, the debate likely centers around the Toyota Highlander vs. Toyota 4Runner. As you’ll see, each of these models delivers space, customizability, and steady performance.
When a local driver near the Worcester, Auburn, and Shrewsbury areas comes into Harr Toyota looking for a family-friendly SUV, they usually end up comparing the Highlander and 4Runner. So we thought we’d do the comparison for you. The following is a side-by-side look at two reliable, large Toyota SUVs!
Toyota 4Runner vs Highlander: Performance
Both the Highlander and 4Runner feature a V6 motor for the 2021 model year. The Highlander actually lets you choose between two engines, one of which is a hybrid, while the 4Runner only offers a single powerplant.
The hybrid 2.5L for the Highlander makes 243 system net horsepower, while the 3.5L V6 makes 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. To maintain high levels of fuel economy, the V6 comes with Stop and Start Engine technology. When you come to a stop, the motor shuts off completely and stays off until you release your foot from the brake!
The 4.0L V6 of the Toyota 4Runner is able to produce a hearty 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. And when both models are properly equipped, they can reach a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds!
Available cabin space is one of the main reasons folks will consider the Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner. Depending on the seating arrangement you choose, the 4Runner can seat either five or seven passengers while the Highlander can seat either seven or eight.
Both SUVs offer generous legroom, too. For the 4Runner, you have 41.7 inches of front legroom, 32.9 inches in the middle, and 29.3 inches in the rear. The Highlander provides 42 inches up front, 41 inches in the middle, and 27.7 inches of rear legroom.
For cargo room, the 4Runner can fit 9 cubic feet of goods behind the third row, 46.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 88.8 cubic feet behind the third row. For the Highlander, the numbers are similar with 16 cubic feet behind the third row, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second, and 84.3 cubic feet behind the first!
Picking Your Trim Level
One of the most exciting parts of car shopping is picking the exact trim you want for your 2021 4Runnner or Highlander. Each has a lineup of unique and compelling options.
The Highlander lineup is generally divided between hybrid and non-hybrid trims. So there’s the standard L, the LE or Hybrid LE, the XLE and Hybrid XLE, XSE, and then the Limited and Hybrid Limited, or the fully-loaded Platinum and Hybrid Platinum.
The 4Runner has no shortage of choices, either. The standard SR5 is followed by the Trail Special Edition, SR5 Premium, and TRD Off-Road. The rest of the trim lineup includes:
- TRD Off-Road Premium
- Venture Special Edition
- Nightshade Special Edition
- TRD Pro
Your Call to Make: 2021 Toyota 4Runner vs Highlander
The similarities and strengths of the Toyota Highlander and Toyota 4Runner overlap. If you want a hybrid motor, the Highlander makes sense. Need more off-roading ability around Auburn, Shrewsbury, and Worcester? Then go for the 4Runner. With either SUV, you can arrange a test drive at Harr Toyota!