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Toyota Highlander vs 4runner: Which Is Better? 2022

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The Toyota Highlander vs 4Runner is two popular SUVs. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is better? Here’s a comparison of the two vehicles to help you decide. The Toyota Highlander is a great SUV for families. It has plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and it’s comfortable to drive.

The 4Runner is also a great SUV, but it’s more geared toward off-road adventures. It has more ground clearance and can handle rougher terrain. So, if you’re looking for an SUV that’s great for the family or for adventuring, the 4Runner is the better choice.

Toyota Highlander vs 4runner

1. Engine Specs

The engine of Toyota 4Runner Toyota 4Runner has the following specifications:

  • Type of Engine: 4.0-liter V-6
  • Horsepower: 270
  • Torque: 278 lb-ft
  • Economy of fuel (city) 17 mpg in the city
  • Economy of fuel (highway) 22 MPG

According to AutoGravity according to AutoGravity, the Toyota Highlander will be available in 2019. According to AutoGravity, the Toyota Highlander can come with three different engines based on your requirements. The 2.7-liter inline-four model comes with the following specifications:

  • Horsepower: 185
  • Torque: 184 lb-ft
  • Economy of fuel (city) 20 mpg
  • Economy of fuel (highway) 24 mpg

Drivers also have the option of selecting a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It comes with the following:

  • Horsepower: 295
  • Torque: 263 lb-ft
  • Economy of the fuel (city) 21 mpg in the city
  • Economy of fuel (highway) 27 mpg

They can also select or choose the 3.5-liter hybrid V-6, which provides the following:

  • Horsepower: 306
  • Economy of fuel (city) 30 mpg in the city
  • Economy of the fuel (highway) 28 mpg

Toyota Highlander vs 4runner: Price

2. Price

The Toyota Highlander is slightly more economical than the 4Runner. However, it’s nevertheless one of the most expensive SUVs available, with an estimated price of $31,330, as per AutoTrader.

Even though the standard four-cylinder engine seems weak compared to other models, The Highlander’s array of safety features can justify the cost.

If you’re looking for an efficient engine and are willing to pay more than a few thousand dollars, consider an engine with a V-6 model. The most expensive trim of the Highlander costs around $47,010.

The base 4Runner with rear-wheel drive is priced at $34,910 and comes with different trim levels, which include the top-of-the-line Limited trim, which is priced at $47,000.

While the higher-end models of the Toyota SUVs can be quite costly, the 2019 Highlander has a lower price in terms of overall value and comes with various trim levels.

3. Seating

As per U.S. News, the standard 2019 Toyota Highlander comes with three rows of seats accommodating seven guests and up to eight passengers when choosing captain’s chairs for the third row.

The comfort level increases as higher trim levels become more expensive, and it comes with additional features like ventilated heated seating in front, leather upholstery, and one heated seat in the second row seats.

While the rear row of seats is better suited for children than adult passengers, three passengers can comfortably fit on the 3rd row if necessary.

Compared to the Toyota Highlander, the Toyota Highlander, the Toyota 4Runner has a much smaller seating capacity and fewer comfort features. The 4Runner has only two rows of seating. However, you can add a row, which allows seven total passengers.

Like the Highlander, the front seats of the 4Runner offer an uncomfortably small amount of space for adults. However, they are great for children. It is possible to add leather seats and heated, ventilated front seats at an additional fee.

Car Seat Compatibility

4. Car Seat Compatibility

A Toyota Highlander comes equipped with car seats, with the second row having two sets of child-seat LATCH connectors and a Tether that can be used in the center seat. Based on the results of IIHS safety tests, The LATCH system in this Toyota Highlander boasts a Good high rating.

It is worth noting that the Toyota 4Runner’s LATCH connections are lower in IIHS score than the connectors in the Highlander and received a marginal score. The 4Runner also has more miniature LATCH connectors in general, which gives the Highlander an advantage in case you intend to install car seats inside your SUV.

5. Technology

While not all owners of SUVs pick their vehicles based on a refined interior, The Highlander provides better overall technology and a user-friendly information interface. The Highlander has a 6.1-inch touchscreen, various USB ports, voice recognition, and Bluetooth capabilities.

Other options include:
A more prominent 8-inch display.
Automatic temperature control throughout the vehicle’s different zones.
A navigation system.
Advanced audio with 12 speakers.

In comparison, the 4Runner is a primary vehicle, with the Highlander sacrificing the most up-to-date features to give you more off-roading performance. Neither the 4Runner nor Highlander Highlander is compatible with Apple Carplay or Android Audio.

Since many of the latest safety features were unavailable with the latest version of the 4Runner, The Highlander is far more secure in its safety features. Along with the interior features, The 2019 Highlander’s unibody frame structure is far more secure in a crash than 4Runner’s body-on-frame style.

6. Cargo Space

The 2019 Highlander offers more room for passengers. However, the 4Runner is larger for cargo, as per AutoGuide. The Highlander comes with 13.8 cubic feet of storage when the third row seat is used, which increases to 42.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down, and 83.7 cubic feet when both rows are folded down.

In comparison, the 4Runner offers 47.2 cubic feet of space behind its second row, which increases to 89.7 cubic feet once the seats behind the second row fold down. There are also nine cubic feet of space in the middle row should you upgrade to seven seats.

toyota highlander Handling

7. Handling

The Highlander and the 4Runner each have different expectations regarding handling. The 2019 Highlander focuses on the rider’s comfort, while the 4Runner operates like the typical SUV truck. Although the 4Runner’s handling capabilities are adequate, the Highlander provides a smoother experience for everyday usage.

8. Off-Roading

The 2019 Toyota Highlander is the better option for smooth rides, but the 4Runner is the better choice for going off-road. The 4Runner has the most adventurous features, like a substantial 9-inch ground clearance and solid frame-on-body construction.

The optional features such as Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control enhance off-road capabilities further. It is a steal if you’re looking for a car for less than $40k. Toyota 4Runner has exceptional features that stand out from the other models available.

The Highlander’s only a few off-roading features are more suitable for daily driving than the multi-terrain trails that the 4Runner can quickly complete.

Considering a choice between the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota 4Runner, consider the driving you’ll undertake. Drivers who love off-roading with their SUV are a clear winner with the 4Runner, while those who want a comfortable and efficient daily driver choose the Highlander.

9. Safety and Driving Assistance

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner has a primary array of modern driving aid systems (ADAS) called Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P).

It comes with a forward-collision warning (FCW) system that includes an automatic emergency brake (AEB) and pedestrian detector, lane-departure alert (LDW) as well as adaptive cruise control (ACC) as well as automatic high-beam headlights.

It is reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2022 4Runner four stars out of 5 for safety in a general crash. It has a 4-star frontal impact crash rating and a full 5-star for side impact protection.

It is rated three stars for rollover resistance instead of 4 stars for most mid-sized SUVs. In IIHS tests, the 2022 4Runner scored Excellent in all crash tests. However, it is rated as Marginal in the front-offset, small-overlap crash test.

If you’re looking to add more ADAS, then the 2022 Toyota Highlander has you covered. Every Highlander comes with a Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) ADAS package with a more sophisticated FCW system. It can detect cyclists and pedestrians in both low and daylight conditions.

It also features the ability to assist with intersection turns (ITA) to avoid dangerous left turns toward the path of oncoming vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Additional TSS 2.5plus features include lane-keeping aid (LKA) and Evasive Steering Assistance (ESA), which aids in steering to assist you in avoiding an accident.

In 2022, the Toyota Highlander will provide Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance through a traffic jam assistance (JTA) program that integrates ACC with stop-and-go capabilities and lane-centering aid as traffic-sign recognition.

If you’re searching for a blind-spot warning (BSW) system that includes a rear cross-traffic alert, Toyota includes it on all Highlanders apart from the L base model.

All Toyota Highlanders come with a rear seat reminder system. The more expensive trims feature front and rear low-speed automated brakes.

The Highlander is five stars overall NHTSA rating for safety (4 stars for frontal impact performance). The IIHS gives the 2022 Highlander a top safety Pick+, the highest grade the Institute can give for safety.

Advantage: Toyota Highlander

Toyota 4Runner Reliability and Quality

10. Reliability and Quality

Toyota 4Runner ranks second among Midsize SUVs in the J.D. Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). It is not among the best three Midsize SUVs of the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS). This 2022 Toyota 4Runner comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance:

  • Standard warranty Three years, or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Support for roadside issues: Two years of service and unlimited miles

The Toyota Highlander does not rank in the three top Upper Midsize SUVs in the 2022 VDS. It is ranked third among the upper midsize SUVs for 2021 IQS. In 2022, the Toyota Highlander comes with the following guarantee and roadside assistance:

  • Standard warranty Three years, or 36,000 miles
  • Warranty on the powertrain five years, or 60,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty for eight years, or 100,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery Warranty 10 years or 150,000 miles
  • Support for roadside issues: Two years of service and unlimited miles

Advantage: Toyota 4Runner

11. Performance and Efficiency

Its 2022 Toyota 4Runner has a standard 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 278 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only option for a transmission. The powertrain can complete the job, but don’t expect a rapid acceleration. It has only five forward gears. The transmission often searches for the most efficient gear for climbing mountain slopes.

If you plan to tow a small trailer, ensure that an adequately outfitted Toyota 4Runner has a 5,000-pound towing capacity.

Two-wheel drive 4Runners have a limited-slip rear differential and 9 inches of floor clearance. Toyota provides a range of different 4WD models. Most 4Runners come with Part-time 4WD that will require you to change gears to 4WD as required. The system has gears with a low range designed for off-road use at extremely low speeds.

All 4WD 4Runners come with A-TRAC (short for Active Traction Control), which allows you to maintain traction when hiking up slippery dirt hillsides within 4WD Low (also called four-low).

You can take on some serious trails thanks to A-TRAC and 9.6 inches of clearance from the ground. Remember that the 4Runner is a different model than other mid-sized SUVs. It is a formidable vehicle on the dirt. However, it’s not a great driver on the highway.

The TRD Off-Road, Off-Road Premium, and Pro trim levels come with an automatic rear differential that locks, a multi-terrain suspension system, and an offroad cruise control known as Crawl Control. In 2022, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro has a unique off-road suspension, with special springs and shock absorbers, and all-terrain tires.

If you’re looking for a full-time 4WD system that can automatically engage the front wheels whenever needed and want to have the 2022 4Runner Limited is your only choice. The only 4WD SR5 or Limited models feature hill-descent control.

It is estimated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluates the fuel efficiency of the 2022 Toyota 4Runner at 17 mpg when combining highway and city driving, using both 2WD and 4WD. Expect lower gas miles on 4Runner TRD Pro. 4Runner TRD Pro due to its all-terrain tires.

In 2022, the Toyota Highlander will have two available engines. The most popular choice is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is typical. Toyota’s smooth 3.5-liter V6 is simple to enjoy. There is a slight delay when shifting the transmission. However, most drivers are accustomed to it.

Similar to the 4Runner as well, similar to the 4Runner, the V6 Toyota Highlander has a 5500-lb. towing capacity when properly equipped. With only 8 inches of clearance, it’s not recommended to travel too far from paved roads.

Toyota provides two AWD systems with the 2022’s Highlander. The base model comes with the ability to select terrain modes as well as hill-descent controls.

In addition, the XSE, Limited, and Platinum have an upgraded system equipped with torque-vectoring technology, which can distribute engine torque among the rear wheels, thereby increasing the grip.

Consumers looking for a low-cost 3-row midsize SUV should consider the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The hybrid Highlander features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated 175 lbs of torque. It also has an electric-drive motor on the front.

It draws power from a 1.9-kilowatt-hour battery. The total power of the system is 243 horsepower. Highlander Hybrids equipped with AWD include an auxiliary electric motor that powers both rear wheels (the 4-cylinder engine cannot give the torque of the rear wheel); however, the power output total is precisely the same.

The transmission of the hybrid Highlander is an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT). It’s a unique electric motor (different from drive motors) that integrates the power of the SUV’s gasoline as well as electric sources of power.

Fitted with the hybrid powertrain, the Highlander is never slow. The 4-cylinder engine is loud. If you’re considering towing, be aware that a properly fitted 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is limited to 3500 pounds.

The EPA rates the V6 Toyota Highlander at 24 mpg combined in highway and city driving FWD and 23 mpg using AWD. Is Highlander Hybrid significantly more efficient in terms of fuel consumption? It has a fuel efficiency of 36 mpg when combination driving when FWD is used and 35 mpg when using AWD.

The advantage is that neither.

A V6 Toyota Highlander is the most enjoyable choice for daily driving. The hybrid Highlander is excellent fuel efficiency. Toyota 4Runner Toyota 4Runner will please consumers impressed by its off road capability and limitations in fuel economy performance, acceleration, and handling.

Which Toyota Car Is the Winner?

Each Highlanders, along with the 4Runner and all Toyotas, has a track record of quality construction.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that neither Highlander nor the 4Runner are ranked as the most inexpensive of their respective classes in price. But you can get huge savings by buying older models, which are plentiful.

With Shift, you’ll be able to purchase a car from the convenience of your home, being confident that there aren’t any concealed issues of their 150-point inspection.

You’ll be able to get a fair upfront cost for the vehicle as well. Considering these savings, you’ll discover two vehicles, the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota 4Runner, are great buy new or used car. But it’s crucial to remember that each vehicle serves different objectives.

The Toyota Highlander will suit you perfectly if you’re looking for a family-friendly vehicle for day-to-day usage. If you’re searching for an enduring vehicle that can help you when driving on rough roads or for extended camping trips, choose Toyota 4Runner.

This article about how much a second-hand Toyota 4Runner will have additional information. If you want to conduct more research on the vehicle you are considering, read more about the most trustworthy Toyotas to purchase.

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