Posted Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 by North Hollywood Toyota

inding true SUVs for sale at Los Angeles car dealers is becoming more difficult as many automakers are transitioning to the ever-growing crossover SUV market segment. Crossovers are a mixture of sedans with traditional SUVs, so they give the appearance of an elevated sedan with SUV-like qualities and features.

Two SUVs still being manufactured and produced, which have not been altered to fit with the crossover market, are the Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Wrangler. Both have retained their SUV-ness-like qualities and charm.


While these vehicles might seem like a throwback and look a little dated, both models are still rather popular with car buyers looking for a reliable SUV at Jeep or Toyota dealers in North Hollywood or elsewhere.

Given your two choices, which one is better? Let’s take a look at the different features and options found on both the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler to see their strengths and weaknesses

NOTE: While the Jeep Wrangler does come in 2-door and 4-door models, for comparison purposes we will be comparing the 4-door Jeep model with the 4Runner.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2017 Wrangler (Unlimited) as follows:

  • Front Overlap Crash Small: Good
  • Front Overlap Crash Moderate: Good
  • Side Crash: Moderate
  • Headlights: Poor
  • Child Seat Anchors: Moderate

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ratings were slightly less than the IIHS:

  • Overall Front Crash: Three-Star Rating
  • Front Driver Side Crash: Three-Star Rating
  • Front Passenger Side Crash: Three-Star Rating
  • Side Crash: Not Rated
  • Roll Over: Three-Star Rating


The IIHS rated the 2017 4Runner as follows:

  • Front Overlap Crash Small: Moderate
  • Front Overlap Crash Moderate: Good
  • Side Crash: Good
  • Roof Strength: Good
  • Headlights: Poor
  • Child Seat Anchors: Moderate

The NHTSA gave the 4Runner the following ratings:

  • Overall Front Crash: Four-Star Rating
  • Front Driver Side Crash: Four-Star Rating
  • Front Passenger Side Crash: Three-Star Rating
  • Overall Side Crash: Five-Star Rating
  • Roll Over: Three-Star Rating



While both have their flaws in regards to crash test ratings, the 4Runner did score higher overall in tests conducted by the IIHS and NHTSA.


Prices for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited start around $28,000 for a base model and start around $43,000 for a Rubicon Unlimited edition. On the other hand, the prices for a Toyota 4Runner base model start around $34,000 for a base model and also start around $43,000 for either the Limited or TRD Pro models at our Toyota North Hollywood dealership.


Even though the Wrangler base model has a lower initial starting price, it comes with fewer features and options than the 4Runner. If you were to compare an equally equipped Wrangler to the base model 4Runner, prices would be about equal.


Both SUVs have similar fuel efficiency ratings, with the Wrangler averaging 16 mpg in-city with both manual and automatic transmissions. The highway mpg ratings were 20 mpg for automatic and 21 mpg for manual.

The rear-wheel-drive 4Runner was rated 17 mpg in-city and 21 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive 4Runner was rated 17 mpg in-city and 20 mpg on the highway.


With similar fuel efficiency ratings, this one is equal.



Both the 4Runner and Wrangler are fully capable of going off-road and provide decent handling in a variety of conditions from rugged terrain to muddy trails. However, the Wrangler offers skid plates, different types of bumpers, roll bars, and other features that clearly show it was built with off-roading in mind.


The Wrangler does slightly outperform the 4Runner in this area. Not to mention, the Wrangler offers removable tops and doors to enhance off-road experiences, while the 4Runner only offers a removable sunroof.

Payload and Towing Capacities

The 4Runner has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, compared to the Wrangler’s 2,000 maximum. The 4Runner also has a higher payload capacity at 1,700 pounds, compared to only 1,000 pounds in the Wrangler.

Payload and Towing Capacities Winners: Toyota 4Runner

The 4Runner was built for towing and hauling larger capacities, so you can take your camping gear with you whenever you want to go off-roading.


Interior Features

The Wrangler is still using slightly older technologies, with an optional 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is only offered on selected trim packages/models. While the vehicle is rated for five passengers, the rear seat is cramped and can be uncomfortable. There is also only around 70 cubic feet of storage capacity.

The 4Runner is also still using slightly older technologies but does offer better options in the infotainment area. There is a standard 6.1- inch touchscreen display, with GPS navigation and many downloadable apps. In addition, there is an option for third-row seating and the standard rear seat offers more room.

The 4Runner even offers upscale options and features, from heated seats to leather upholstery. The cargo space in the 4Runner is around 89 cubic feet.

Interior Features Winner: Toyota 4Runner

While the technology features can seem dated in either vehicle, they are at least standard on the 4Runner, along with many other features and options. With the Wrangler, many of the standard features and options found on the 4Runner are optional package upgrades.


Engine Power

Both the Wrangler and 4Runner come standard with a V6 engine. The Wrangler’s engine generates 285 horsepower (hp), while the 4Runner’s engine outputs 270 hp. Torque ratings are [email protected],800 on the Wrangler and [email protected],400 on the 4Runner.

However, even though the 4Runner has slightly less engine power output, it does accelerate faster than the Wrangler. The 4Runner can go from 0 to 60 in about 7.5 seconds compared to 8.2 seconds with the Wrangler.

Engine Power Winner: Tie

There really is not much difference between the two in this area. If you were to factor in acceleration, along with towing and cargo capacities, then the 4Runner would be the winner.

Dependability Ratings

J.D. Power & Associates conducts a Vehicle Dependability Study for each model year. The scores range from 2 to 5, with 5 being the highest. The scoring ratings are defined as follows:

  • 2 – The Rest
  • 3 – About Average
  • 4 – Better than Most
  • 5 – Among the Best

The 2017 Toyota 4Runner received the following scores in the different rating factor categories:

  • Overall Dependability: 3
  • Powertrain Dependability: 5
  • Body and Interior Dependability: 4
  • Feature and Accessory Dependability: 2

The 2017 Jeep Wrangler received the following dependability scores:

  • Overall Dependability: 2
  • Powertrain Dependability: 3
  • Body and Interior Dependability: 2
  • Feature and Accessory Dependability: 3

Dependability Ratings Winner: Toyota 4Runner

The Wrangler fell between “The Rest” and “About Average,” while the 4Runner fell between “About Average” and “Better than Most.”


Overall Winner: Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is clearly the overall winner when it comes to categories that concern most people in regards to their needs for everyday features, options, reliability, safety, and comfort. That being said, the Wrangler is clearly the off-road victor, as it was built primarily as an off-road SUV, not an everyday SUV.

If you are looking for a well-rounded SUV at car dealers in Los Angeles that can satisfy your needs and still deliver great off-road 4×4 capabilities, then the 4Runner is the perfect choice.

To check out the 4Runner in person and take one for a test drive, please feel free to stop by your authorized Los Angeles Toyota dealership, North Hollywood Toyota, for a visit today. Do not hesitate to call us at (800) 800-6730 for further information or directions to our showroom!



  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/jeep/wrangler-4-door-suv
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2017/JEEP/WRANGLER%252520UNLIMITED/SUV/4WD#safety-ratings-frontal
  3. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/toyota/4runner-4-door-suv
  4. https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2017/TOYOTA/4RUNNER/SUV/AWD#safety-ratings-frontal
  5. https://www.jeep.com/wrangler-unlimited.html
  6. https://www.toyota.com/4runner/2017
  7. https://www.toyota.com/4runner/2017/compare/summary/45530/44789/43579/44540
  8. http://www.jdpower.com/cars/study/2017-Vehicle-Dependability-Study/1882ENG/Midsize-SUV/1134
  9. http://www.jdpower.com/ratings/study/2017-Vehicle-Dependability-Study/1882ENG/Compact-SUV/1131