The Toyota 4runner is undeniably one of the most popular SUVs to ever hit the road. These simple yet highly reliable SUVs quickly became a sensation due to their great off-roading capabilities. Toyota had already earned its place as one of the best manufacturers of trucks and truck-style SUVs. One of the key characteristics that set apart Toyota trucks is that they are highly dependable while maintaining simplicity. The 4runner is no exception either and proved to be a great success.
However, some also find the 4runner overrated and too expensive. Well, we are going to present you with some of the best alternatives to this car. Of course, you can choose from one of the worthy competitors of the Toyota 4runner, if you’d like to get a similar experience.
Why should you consider buying an alternative to the 4runner?
As awesome as the 4runner might be, it has several drawbacks. Firstly, the car is unreasonably expensive as you can easily find a similar SUV at a lower price. Other downsides that often make car buyers look for alternatives are:
- The 4runner has plastic-laden interiors.
- This SUV proves to be fuel-inefficient at 16 miles/gallon.
- One might find a ride in the 4runner to be rather stiff, bumpy, and uncomfortable.
Do not let this convince you that the Toyota 4runner is a bad SUV, because it wouldn’t be so popular if that had been the case. Despite its drawbacks, this car is still a great choice. However, every car buyer has their own preferences and tastes. In case you want better value for money or want to avoid the 4runner’s drawbacks, you should take a look at its rivals.
Cars like a 4runner
Considering the high popularity of SUVs, it comes as no surprise that the Toyota 4runner has several competitors in the market. Explore some of the highly recommended 4runner alternatives here.
1. Ford Explorer
With a fuel efficiency rating of 18 MPG, the Ford Explorer is slightly more efficient than the 4runner. However, its biggest advantage is the comfortable drive it offers, compared to the bumpy and rigid 4runner. The 18.2 cubic feet cargo space available in the Ford Explorer also makes this one of the largest among SUVs.
The Ford Explorer was also the best-selling mid-range SUV in the US in 2020, so stay assured that this car is an excellent pick. The 2021 model is more of a lighter-duty crossover configuration. However, it still boasts almost the same capability as the older Explorers.
2. Jeep Wrangler 2021
If you were considering the Toyota 4runner primarily for its off-roading capabilities, the Jeep Wrangler is a better alternative. This car would perform much better on off-road trails and offers a more comfortable drive. Another major advantage of the Jeep Wrangler over the 4runner is its price. Priced at USD 28,315, the former is much cheaper than a 4runner, which costs USD 36,590.
The Jeep Wrangler also beats the 4runner when it comes to the interiors. While the plastic-laden interior of the 4runner is rather outdated, Jeep redesigned the Wrangler’s cabin completely in 2018 to give it an impressive look and feel.
3. Toyota Sequoia 2022
If the uncomfortable ride offered by the 4runner deters you from buying the SUV, you could go for the 2022 Toyota Sequoia instead. The Sequoia offers a much softer ride, especially due to its 18-inch wheels. This car looks almost exactly like the 4runner, except for the curvy edges on the front. The 5.7-liter V8 engine comes with a six-speed transmission and is quite torque-rich. It outperforms the 4runner in terms of towing, with a higher capacity of 7,400 pounds.
You could also customize the trim based on how you plan to use the car. While the SR5 trim is good enough for regular usage, the TRD Sport and TRD Pro trims make the car suitable for off-roading. However, the 4runner offers better gas mileage than the 2022 Toyota Sequoia.
4. Toyota Highlander
For car enthusiasts who wish to stick to Toyota due to the brand’s great track record with SUVs, the Toyota Highlander is a good choice too. In fact, the Highlander beats the 4runner in multiple aspects, overcoming several of the latter’s drawbacks. Contrary to the 4runner, the Highlander offers an extremely comfortable ride and decent fuel efficiency.
While both SUVs are expensive, Highlander is slightly cheaper than its rival. It also beats the 4runner in terms of acceleration, transmission, and on-road performance. All these factors make the Highlander an amazing alternative that wouldn’t need you to compromise on the reliability that Toyota offers.
5. Mitsubishi Outlander 2022
In case you really liked the Toyota 4runner but simply want better fuel efficiency and performance, check out the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander. These two cars share several common elements, including the engines along with other components. Considering mileage, the Outlander records 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Mitsubishi has integrated this SUV with a couple of highly sophisticated technologies. These include an electrically operated valve timing control (VVT) system and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). These technologies ensure clean emissions without compromising on power and torque. The Outlander is definitely one of the closest but better alternatives to the 4runner.
6. Kia Telluride 2021
With its plastic interiors, the Toyota 4runner isn’t exactly luxurious. You might go for the 2021 Kia Telluride if luxury is your priority. For sure, the Telluride is quite different from the 4runner and it is hard to compare the two. However, the former is much more comfortable and upscale, with amazing interiors, great built quality, and various features that you would love.
With ample legroom and headroom, this three-row SUV offers ample passenger space and is great for family trips. It also comes with 21 cubic feet of cargo space, beating the 4runner. Despite being more luxurious than the Toyota 4runner, the Kia Telluride is cheaper, priced at USD 41,000. You would also save on fuel, thanks to the better fuel economy offered by the Telluride.
7. Toyota Rav4
Yet another SUV from Toyota, the Rav4 is far more fuel-efficient than a 4runner while delivering similar engine power. The gas mileage of Rav4 looks impressive with 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Although the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine may not seem that powerful, it actually performs quite well.
Both SUVs come with a square-jawed look. However, the Rav4 has a more car-based construction and delivers a smoother ride. This car also comes with Limited and TRD Off-Road models that would make the vehicle especially more suitable for off-roading. However, these trims come with various additional equipment that you may or may not need.
8. Mercedes GLE 350
As you would expect, the Mercedes GLE 350 costs significantly more than the Toyota 4runner, priced more than USD 58,000. You should consider getting it only if you are specifically looking for a costlier and more luxurious car from a high-end car brand like Mercedes. This SUV shares certain similarities with the 4runner, such as the cargo space and engine power.
However, the Mercedes GLE 350 is very versatile and performs well on city roads and off-road terrain alike. The turbocharged four-cylinder is quite reliable and offers a standard powertrain. This SUV also comes with slightly better mileage than the Toyota 4runner.
How to choose the right alternative?
While the eight cars listed above are the best alternatives to the Toyota 4runner, they all have their own perks and downsides. Someone who finds the Jeep Wrangler to be the most suitable might not even consider going for the Mercedes GLE 350. As the buyer, you need to decide which car would serve you the best. Based on these parameters, car owners can weigh their options.
- Off-roading capabilities
- Ride comfort
- Engine power, torque, towing capacity
- Cargo space
Prioritize the features that mean the most to you and start narrowing down your options. Consider what you like the most in the Toyota 4runner, and look for cars that are the closest in those aspects.
The Toyota 4runner, like every model, comes with a few drawbacks. People looking for an alternative wouldn’t face any dearth of options. Whether you want a cheaper SUV or one that offers a more comfortable ride, you should be able to find a suitable car. Check out your options and evaluate them carefully to pick the best one.