If you plan on buying an SUV in the near future, you might be trying to decide between Toyota 4Runner and Honda Passport. Both cars deliver great performance and various nice features, which make the choice particularly hard.
The price difference between the two cars is almost negligible, which means you should simply go for the better option without worrying about the cost.
If you are having a hard time choosing between the 4Runner and the Passport, this article is going to help you out. Let us explore both options and take an in-depth look at the two SUVs to figure out which one is a better choice for you.
Toyota 4Runner vs. Honda Passport: Which one is better?
Toyota 4Runner and Honda Passport both happen to be extremely capable SUVs with decent power and performance. Although the Honda Passport is around a decade newer than the 4Runner, the latter still puts up a tough competition.
The 4Runner is a more reliable car better capable of handling rough terrains, while the Passport offers better performance and fuel efficiency.
In general, the Honda Passport is a better choice for those looking for an SUV for daily use. On the other hand, Toyota 4Runner is the clear winner when in off-roading performance, with several features dedicated to this purpose. You’d have to make the choice based on how you plan to use the vehicle.
Differences between Toyota 4Runner vs. Honda Passport
While both Toyota 4Runner and Honda Passport are great SUVs, various differences exist between the two. Honda Passport offers a relatively more comfortable ride and delivers better performance on regular terrains, while the 4Runner is a better performer in rugged, off-road terrains. Honda Passport also happens to be more fuel-efficient, which makes it a more economical choice.
The 4Runner offers decent performance with its 4.0-Liter V6 engine, delivering 270 HP of power and 278 lb-ft of torque. Honda Passport is quite close too, with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft delivered by its 3.5-liter V6 engine.
While the Toyota 4Runner’s engine comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission, the Honda Passport offers a 9-speed automatic transmission. Hence, the Passport is a more potent vehicle than the 4Runner, although the former offers more torque.
However, the extra torque offered by the 4Runner, together with its off-roading capabilities, makes it a much better option for driving on rough terrains.
Although both SUVs come with a brawny look, it’s the 4Runner that actually lives up to it. It even comes with a special “rock crawling mode” to tackle obstacles on mountainous terrains.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t drive a Honda Passport on off-road terrains. The Honda Passport trims that offer all-wheel drive also come with Honda’s Intelligent Traction Management system.
This helps optimize the car’s performance on different terrains. However, the 4Runner is a clear winner in terms of off-roading, especially if you choose one of the higher trims.
The Toyota 4Runner also has a much higher towing capacity – 5000 lbs., which is 42% higher than the 3500 lbs. towing capacity offered by a Honda Passport.
A Toyota 4Runner is much more comfortable to drive compared to a Honda Passport. The nine-speed auto transmission offers greater control than the 4Runner’s 5-speed transmission.
Moreover, the Honda Passport also offers a much smoother ride on smooth roads, which makes it a perfect SUV for daily commute. The 4Runner has an old-fashioned, body-on frame, due to which the car offers a somewhat jarring ride even when driving on smooth roads.
The 4Runner’s handling is relatively sloppy too – another reason why the Passport is better in terms of drivability. Hence, except when driving on rough terrains, a Honda Passport will offer a much more comfortable ride than a Toyota 4Runner.
3. Fuel efficiency
Another aspect where the Honda Passport beats the Toyota 4Runner is fuel efficiency. It offers significantly better mileage, which gives you one more reason to opt for a Passport rather than a 4Runner for daily use.
A 4Runner comes with a mileage of 16 MPG on city streets and 19 MPG on highways. On the other hand, a Honda Passport delivers 20 MPG on city streets and 25 MPG on highways.
This is indeed a significant difference, and makes the Honda Passport a much more cost-effective option.
The prices of the SUVs are quite similar, with the 4Runner starting at USD 38,520 and the Passport starting at USD 38,370. Hence, if you are looking for an economical SUV for regular use, it is better to go for a Honda Passport.
4. Cabin space and comfort
Let us now take a look at the interiors of Toyota 4Runner and Honda Passport. While both cars are five-seaters, select trims of the 4Runner have a third row with two additional seats.
This makes the latter a better choice if you have a large family and would prefer a seven-seater SUV. Both the cars have heated and ventilated front seats, while heated rear seats are optionally available in select trims. You may also get a heated steering wheel in a Honda Passport.
The two SUVs differ greatly when it comes to the interiors. While the Honda Passport offers a relatively more modern interior with soft trimmings, some might potentially find the 4Runner’s interior to be outdated. Cloth upholstery is standard in the Honda Passport.
Toyota 4Runner has an edge over its competitor if you compare the infotainment systems. Both cars have eight-inch touch screens that can connect to Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlay.
However, the 4Runner can also connect to Amazon Alexa and its touchscreen is much easier to use. On the other hand, the touchscreen in the Honda Passport isn’t very user-friendly.
Despite the fact that Toyota 4Runner is older and falls behind Honda Passport in several aspects, it happens to be a much more reliable car. In fact, as per Consumer Reports, the 4Runner is currently one of the most reliable SUVs available in the market.
This car is one of the key reasons behind Toyota’s high standing as one of the most reliable car brands in the US, according to Consumer Reports.
On the other hand, Honda Passport has achieved below-average predicted reliability in the Consumer Reports.
This is largely due to driveline vibration issues and problems with the Passport’s transmission. If you prefer to buy an SUV from Honda, you’d be better off purchasing one of their other SUVs with better performance and reliability.
The 4Runner is a clear winner in this aspect, and would potentially save you a lot of trouble. If reliability is one of the biggest determining factors for you, you might want to buy a 4Runner rather than a Honda Passport.
Similarities of Toyota 4Runner vs. Honda Passport
Although these are two completely different cars from different brands, the 4Runner and the Passport do share a few similarities. Firstly, both of them are mid-size SUVs with very similar dimensions, although the 4Runner is a bit longer while the Passport is wider. Both vehicles share several advanced safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, back-up camera, etc.
In case of both Toyota 4Runner and Honda Passport, you’ll get steering wheels with leather upholstery in the standard trims. These aspects, together with the fact that both cars are five-seaters (except select trims of the 4Runner), make them close competitors.
As pointed out previously, the starting prices are quite similar too. This explains why buyers often find it hard to choose between the two SUVs.
Is 4Runner more comfortable than Passport?
Well, both the cars have their own perks and downsides when it comes to comfort. The 4Runner’s biggest advantage in this aspect is that you can get heated rear seats in select models.
Honda Passport, on the other hand, offers heating only for the front seats. As we pointed out earlier, the Passport comes with more sophisticated interiors compared to the 4Runner.
The Toyota 4Runner offers a dual-zone climate control system, while the Honda Passport has tri-zone climate control. In the latter, one can set different climate zones for the driver, the front passenger, and the rear passengers.
This essentially makes the Passport a better pick in this aspect. The climate control system in the Honda Passport can also monitor and adjust the humidity automatically to prevent the windshield from fogging.
A Honda Passport is also more spacious than a Toyota 4Runner, and offers a smoother ride. Hence, although the 4Runner does have several features dedicated to comfort, a Passport is a more comfortable vehicle.
Is the Passport and 4Runner the same?
No, Toyota 4Runner and Honda Passport are two completely different vehicles from two separate brands. Indeed, they both happen to be of the same class, and share numerous similarities, including their price and dimensions. However, they are in no way the same, with several differences setting them apart from each other.
The Passport is more suitable for regular use, with better performance, greater comfort, and higher fuel efficiency. The 4Runner, on the other hand, is a powerful SUV capable of handling rough off-road terrains seamlessly.
Is 4Runner and Passport same frame?
Both the 4Runner and the Passport are body-on frame SUVs. This also reflects in their builds, which look quite similar to each other.
Is the Passport or 4Runner safer?
Although both SUVs come with plenty of safety features, the Honda Passport is safer than a Toyota 4Runner. In 35 MPH frontal collision tests carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda Passport earned five stars for driver safety and four stars for passenger safety. Contrarily, Toyota 4Runner received four stars for driver safety and three stars for passenger safety.
Several of the 4Runner’s safety features are optional and available only in specific trims, but are standard in the Passport. These include rear cross-path warning system and blind-spot detection.
Honda Passport also offers more sophisticated smart airbags that can deploy with varying levels of force or even not deploy at all, depending on the type of collision. This helps protect the passengers much better than the 4Runner’s airbags, which always deploy with full force.
The Toyota 4Runner isn’t exactly unsafe either. It offers features like traction control, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel anti-lock systems, crash mitigating brakes, electronic stability systems that prevent skidding, etc.
However, as you’ll also get all these safety features in a Honda Passport, the Passport is definitely a much safer vehicle to drive.
It is evident that both the 4Runner and Passport have their own advantages over each other, and both can be good options depending on your requirements. The cost shouldn’t be a big factor as the 4Runner, and the Passport have similar prices.
If you are looking for a safe, comfortable, and efficient car for family trips or daily use, go for the Honda Passport. Buyers who are specifically looking for a great off-roading SUV will be better off with a 4Runner.