S2k Chris

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Jeep Grand Cherokee would be a fair comparison to 4Runner IMO.
And FJ Cruiser was a great alternative to Wrangler. Too bad Toyota discontinued it.
The FJ Cruiser was just a shortened, stylized 4Runner for all intents and purposes.

I looked at both the 4Runner and Wrangler. Were i to buy, put lots of miles on it, and keep it long term, I would’ve gone 4Runner. But I don’t drive a ton, wanted the doors/top off experience, and decided to lease 2 JLs back to back. But the 4Runner is certainly a viable option, and when my 4xe lease is up in 2024 I plan to look at the next Gen 4Runner that should be out by then. Whether or not I buy it who knows, but I’ll certainly consider it.
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john adams

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When the 4runner gets updated with a hybrid/PHEV, I will take a long look at it, especially given its better reliability and brand service rep.

The current 4runner is a great vehicle but dated.
 

MrKnowitall

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That Toyota is SERIOUSLY UGLY. They are not comparable, other than having four wheels, what's the point of "comparing" these 2 very different form and function vehicles ??
While the two specific vehicles are at different ends of the spectrum, together w/ the Bronco, they comprise the entire BoF midsize SUV segment in America. And as stated- MANY people cross-shop them. A Sport S with a few options costs the same as a 4R TRD-OR.
 
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T Town

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Let’s be honest: What the whole off-roading world wants to see is a JLU Rubi XR compared to a 4-door Bronco Badlands Sasquatch.

It seems nobody has been able to get them both on the same trail at the same time yet, so we get these kinds of almost-there comparisons instead.
Here is a Bronco crawling with some Jeeps that I posted in another thread. Not the 35vs35 but it’s entertaining.
 

vegasblue

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I always get a kick out of the comparison between the 4Runner and Wrangler. I've owned a couple of each. I think what gets missed is when you modify these things. The 4Runner is great for what it is but as soon as you modify it, the ride goes to pot and the lack of power and gears becomes glaringly apparent. Keep in mind a 4Runner can only run a 33" tire unless you heavily modify and cut, cut, cut. A Jeep you can exceed that easily with very little investment. I can only see two reasons the 4Runner would be better and that is space inside and reliability. If the next generation 4Runner is built in the US and not in Japan, you will see reliability suffer. Yup, that is a personal opinion based on owning several Toyotas build here and abroad.

Guys who say the two are not comparable are correct. If you are leaving it stock, want a mush ride, don't mind nose dive, don't mind not having power, feeling like a gear or two is missing, don't mind an underwhelming interior, don't care about gas mileage, don't plan on taking it in the rocks, and are only interested in reliability, the 4Runner is for you.
If for a second, you are thinking about modifying, want to do harder trails, want a bit more pep, might want more gears, want a more up to date interior, you would be cheating yourself by not being in a Wrangler.
All that said, maybe the next gen 4Runner will address most of this, but I do hope it's not built here based on my experience.
 

AcesandEights

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I cross-shopped them. I tried to buy a 4Runner immediately before reserving a Ford Bronco. In fact, I tried repeatedly to order a 4Runner and got the runaround from the local Toyota dealer. For weeks I tried to order the 4Runner and finally gave up right before the Bronco reservations were accepted. I got an early Bronco reservation and finally cancelled it after almost a year of waiting. That's when I put in my order for a Rubicon.

The TFL review is pretty spot-on, and applicable because they are direct competitors, depending on what you're comparing. If it's roof off, there no comparison. If it's drivability on 95% of the dirt roads and trails, then it's the best comparison out there (considering the Bronco isn't "out there" yet).

For those unfamiliar with the 4Runner, it is one of the best off road vehicles you can buy for the price. If utility is your driving factor, the 4Runner will go anywhere a similarly priced Jeep will go, for $40k. The real difference in go-anywhere capability comes when you need to go that last 5%, and you start spending money on the four-door JLUR. However, that 95%, the 4Runner will do it with more comfort and quieter interior. It rides nicer on pavement, and off. Where the limits come into play, the IFS and lack of breakover angle, is where the real difference is.

The 4Runner with A-Trac, Crawl Control and a rear locker will go almost anywhere you point it. They really shine when you start to push it to the limits, that's when you'll really understand how good they are.

I daily drive a 4Runner and a Jeep Rubicon two-door. I drive both vehicles every day. I've owned a highly-modified TJ, mildly-modified XJ and stock JL. I'd pick a 4Runner over a Jeep if I didn't run tight/narrow trails and didn't care about IFS/SFA, or if I didn't think I'd go with a taller tire someday. If I (or most of us) are being really honest, the 4Runner will go anywhere we take our Jeeps, and it'll do it with more comfort, just less character.

Edited to add: as a response to some other posts, the 4Runner will allow a 33" tire, which may be a big difference to some people, but again, if we're all being really honest, most people don't "need" a 35" tire, we want a "look" when we buy 35" tires.
 

Hennessey17

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Including me. when I bought, I wanted a Jeep (first time owner) but also looked at the 4Runner TRD thing. I view them as “similar“ for many of the uses that many consumers would look to buy them for.

When I started looking, I was cross shopping the Wrangler and Mustang convertible even though I consider myself an import buyer.

Everyone sees these vehicles for different purposes.
 

aldo98229

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I always get a kick out of the comparison between the 4Runner and Wrangler. I've owned a couple of each. I think what gets missed is when you modify these things. The 4Runner is great for what it is but as soon as you modify it, the ride goes to pot and the lack of power and gears becomes glaringly apparent. Keep in mind a 4Runner can only run a 33" tire unless you heavily modify and cut, cut, cut. A Jeep you can exceed that easily with very little investment. I can only see two reasons the 4Runner would be better and that is space inside and reliability. If the next generation 4Runner is built in the US and not in Japan, you will see reliability suffer. Yup, that is a personal opinion based on owning several Toyotas build here and abroad.

Guys who say the two are not comparable are correct. If you are leaving it stock, want a mush ride, don't mind nose dive, don't mind not having power, feeling like a gear or two is missing, don't mind an underwhelming interior, don't care about gas mileage, don't plan on taking it in the rocks, and are only interested in reliability, the 4Runner is for you.
If for a second, you are thinking about modifying, want to do harder trails, want a bit more pep, might want more gears, want a more up to date interior, you would be cheating yourself by not being in a Wrangler.
All that said, maybe the next gen 4Runner will address most of this, but I do hope it's not built here based on my experience.
The next 4Runner will be sharing platform with 2022 Land Cruiser, 2022 Tundra, 2023 Tacoma and Sequoia, so Toyota should be able to build them anywhere it wants.

I think the demise of the 4.0 will have a lot of Toyota fans getting the outgoing 4Runner before it loses the V6 forever.
 

AcesandEights

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I might buy a 2022 4Runner if they announce a twin-turbo for the next-gen. The 4.0L may not be a hp-monster, but it's dead-nuts reliable and the transmission "only" offers five speeds, but I think a 10-speed is more about marketing than functionality.
 

JayCeeX2

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I currently have both and bought them for different reasons. One big reason I choose both the Jeep and the 4Runner was because they both hold their value much better than most vehicles.

I bought the 4Runner Limited with no intention of off roading. I liked the looks, it drives really nice, and had most of the options I wanted. Yeah, the infotainment system is not great but the JBL system sounds great. Lacks some other tech, I wasn't keen on the 5 speed trans. either. But i've had it seven years now and you can still put it next to a 2020 and you can hardly tell the difference. ;) It's been a great vehicle, still in like new condition, and Im holding on to it.

The Jeep JLU I bought just something for fun. Top down, 4 wheeling fun. I specifically bought the Sport S because I wasn't looking for a lot of tech or nice interior. And I could mod at my own pace. (If had to do all over again tho, I'd probably get a sparsely equipped Rubi vs a Sport S)

If I'm running to the store, traveling etc, I take the 4Runner.

If I'm heading to a local diner, hang out at the beach or maybe head to friends house, I take the Jeep.

Best of both worlds works for me.

As far as 4x4 capability, hard to beat the Jeep.
 

stylett9

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Not much new on that video.

The abruptness Tommy describes in 4Runner’s 5-speed automatic reminds me of the 6-speed automatic in my 2019 Tacoma: it’s all-or-nothing; you get nothing or you get the engine screaming; there’s no in-between.

IMO it has less to do with the number of gears and more due to how Toyota calibrates —or mis-calibrates— these transmissions. Toyota doesn’t want the transmission to downshift to save gas; it will only downshift when you stomp on the gas all the way down to the floor.

It made for very unnerving driving, especially when trying to pass another vehicle on two-lane roads.

Automatic transmissions weren’t this bad even in the 1970s!
I think something people often overlook, I suspect much of this tuning has to deal with emissions compliance too.

The reason why so many toyota drivers swear OV TUNE is how their tacoma's and 4 runners should have left the factory, is because Toyota had to calibrate their vehicles to certain restrictive standards knowing they will be selling millions of units.
Just my speculation.
 
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