Toyota is currently among the most popular SUV brands in the US, and both 4Runner and Sequoia are iconic SUV models from the brand. While both of them are much older than some of the other popular SUVs from Toyota, they are still among the top choices for buyers looking for off-road vehicles.
Toyota 4Runner vs. Sequoia: Which one is better?
Both Toyota 4Runner and Toyota Sequoia are rugged SUVs with great off-roading capabilities. The Toyota Sequoia is much more expensive than the 4Runner, but it is mostly because it is also larger in size. Overall, the Sequoia is a bigger and more powerful SUV, but the 4Runner isn’t really too far behind.
If you need a family hauler, a 4Runner should do just fine. However, if you have to tow more than 5000 lbs. or have a large family, a Sequoia would be a better choice.
As long as the 4Runner serves your needs, you don’t really need to shell out more money to get a Sequoia, unless the latter’s features appeal more to you.
Differences between Toyota 4Runner vs. Sequoia
As pointed out above, both 4Runner and Sequoia can be great choices. The Sequoia has got better features and delivers a more satisfying performance.
Ultimately, it comes down to your requirements and how much you are willing to shell out for the car. We have compared these two Toyota cars based on some standard parameters.
1. Performance and drivability
Let’s start by comparing the performance of the two SUVs. The Toyota Sequoia comes with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that delivers 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft of torque.
The 4Runner, on the other hand, has a 4.0-liter V6 engine. It offers 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft of torque, thus making the Sequoia the more powerful one between the two. Toyota Sequoia also has a higher towing capacity – 7400 lbs. compared to Toyota 4Runner’s 5,000 lb.
As for off-roading, the 4Runner comes with an optional 4-wheel drive and a Rock Crawling feature that enables the car to climb over obstacles. The Sequoia offers multiple 4-wheel drive modes and fox shocks.
While Toyota 4Runner has an electronically locking rear differential, Toyota Sequoia comes with a locking Torsen center differential. Select trims of the 4Runner have a Multi-Terrain Select feature that would allow you to optimize the car’s performance for the exact terrain conditions.
Both SUVs have electronically-controlled automatic transmissions with a sequential shift mode. However, while the 4Runner transmission comes with five speeds, a Sequoia offers six.
This is a very important factor to consider when buying a car, as safety features can be the determining factor between life and death in case of an accident.
Thankfully, Toyota has put a lot of effort into making these cars safe to drive, incorporating several driver-assist technologies in both 4Runner and Sequoia. Both SUVs come with the Toyota Safety Sense P package.
Also, both the cars also offer sonar-based parking assist systems. This is a warning system that alerts the driver in case the car gets too close to other objects while moving at a slow speed.
However, while the program is present in all Toyota Sequoias, only select trims of the 4Runner come with it. Besides this, the Sequoia also offers additional safety features that you won’t find in a 4Runner, such as rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.
The Toyota Sequoia is clearly the winner between the two when it comes to safety features.
Well, this is once again an aspect in which Toyota Sequoia beats the 4Runner. The former comes with a tri-zone climate control system, while the latter has a dual-zone climate control system.
While all trims of the Sequoia come with the smart key feature, a 4Runner needs an upgrade to add this feature to it. The smart key feature basically allows you to unlock your car’s doors, use the tailgate, and start the engine without having to remove the keys from your pocket.
Both SUVs fare equally well in terms of infotainment, with large infotainment systems. However, despite the fact that the 4Runner is the smaller car between the two, it actually beats the Sequoia in some ways when it comes to entertainment.
It has an 8-inch touchscreen, compared to the 7-inch touchscreen available in a Sequoia. The top trims of the Sequoia offer 10 to 14 speakers, while the 4Runner comes with 15.
As we mentioned previously, the Toyota Sequoia is bigger than the Toyota 4Runner. While the 4Runner is 190.2 inches long, the Sequoia has a length of 205.1 inches.
The latter also happens to be about 5 inches taller and 4.1 inches wider than the 4Runner. Now, while a bigger car is usually better in the sense that it offers more space, it’s also harder to park.
While both SUVs are great for family trips, the Sequoia offers significantly more interior space. Firstly, the Sequoia comes with three-row seating, while the third row is much smaller in a 4Runner and available only in select trims.
Secondly, you’d get much more legroom in a Sequoia, which ensures a more comfortable ride. At 41.7 inches, the 4Runner’s front-row legroom is fairly close to the Sequoia’s 42.5 inches.
However, you’d notice major differences when it comes to the other rows. The second and third rows of seats in a 4Runner come with 32.9 inches and 29.3 inches of legroom, respectively.
Besides legroom and comfort, a bigger car generally means more cargo space too.
The 4Runner and the Sequoia offer 88.8 cubic feet and 120.1 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, respectively. If you prefer a bigger car, you should go for the Sequoia.
5. Cost and mileage
The Sequoia is much costlier than the 4Runner, priced at USD 50,000. A Toyota 4Runner would cost you USD 38,105.
However, the price difference is evident as you observe the various perks offered by the Sequoia and the fact that it’s a bigger vehicle. If you are looking for a relatively affordable but powerful SUV with good features, you might want to go for the 4Runner.
Toyota 4Runner also beats the Sequoia in terms of fuel efficiency. It comes with a mileage of 16 to 19 MPG, compared to the 13 to 17 MPG mileage offered by the Sequoia. This makes the 4Runner a more economical option.
Similarities of Toyota 4Runner vs. Sequoia
Both the 4Runner and the Sequoia are great choices for buyers looking for a powerful and versatile SUV.
While the Sequoia does beat the 4Runner in almost every aspect, either one of them could be a good purchase as long as it meets your requirements. The SUVs are quite similar in their build and style, with both of them offering an imposing look and impressive ground clearance.
Toyota has infused both vehicles with sophisticated features to ensure excellent drivability and comfort. Such close similarities are the reason why buyers often find it hard to choose between the 4Runner and the Sequoia.
If the 4Runner meets all your requirements and you do not really need a bigger SUV, you can simply go for the former rather than shelling out more for the Sequoia.
Is 4Runner more comfortable than Sequoia?
While the 4Runner indeed offers a comfortable driving experience and ride, the Sequoia is the winner in this aspect. For instance, both SUVs offer heated and ventilated front seats, but the 4Runner doesn’t offer heating in the second-row seats – a feature available in several of the Sequoia trims. Some features, such as an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a cargo net are available with specific trims of both SUVs.
The 4Runner does beat the Sequoia when it comes to the steering wheels available in the base trims.
Certain Sequoia trims do offer leather or perforated leather upholstery for the steering wheel, but the lower trims have cloth upholstery. In case of the 4Runner, however, you’ll get a leather-trimmed steering wheel with the standard trim itself.
Is the Sequoia and 4Runner the same?
It’s true that Toyota 4Runner and Toyota Sequoia are both SUVs and share a number of similarities. However, they aren’t the same – they are two completely different vehicles.
As you noticed in the comparison above, there are several major differences between the two cars. While both of them are powerful SUVs with decent off-roading capabilities, the Sequoia is much bigger and more powerful.
Is 4Runner and Sequoia same frame?
The 4Runner and the Sequoia do have similar frames. Both of them present a powerful and imposing look, especially due to the high ground clearance.
However, the key difference lies in the fact that the Sequoia is a bigger SUV and therefore has a bulkier frame. The 4Runner, on the other hand, looks more agile due to its smaller size.
Is the Sequoia or 4Runner safer?
Toyota has infused a comprehensive range of safety features in both the 4Runner and the Sequoia. However, the Sequoia is comparatively safer owing to the additional safety integrations.
These include rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe to drive a 4Runner.
As described earlier, the 4Runner shares various top-notch safety features with the Sequoia too, including adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warning, pedestrian detection, etc.
You are now in a better position to make an informed decision, with adequate information on both the 4Runner and the Sequoia. Overall, Toyota Sequoia beats the 4Runner hands down in most aspects.
It is essentially a bigger car, offering more space and better features. However, this is also reflected in its price tag, which is about USD 12,000 higher than a 4Runner.
If you are simply looking for the best overall option between the two Toyota SUVs, go for the Sequoia. Considering the popularity that it continues to hold even after the launch of newer SUVs by Toyota, it’s not going to get outdated anytime soon.