2020 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2020 Jeep Wrangler

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The 4Runner has standard head airbag curtains for all three seat rows, which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Wrangler doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

The 4Runner has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 4Runner has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Wrangler offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The 4Runner’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 4Runner Limited/Nightshade has standard Parking Assist Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The 4Runner’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 4Runner and the Wrangler have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available four-wheel drive.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Wrangler.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 4Runner’s reliability 48 points higher than the Wrangler.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 59 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Jeep is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 260) than the Wrangler’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota 4Runner is faster than the Jeep Wrangler turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

4Runner

Wrangler

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13 sec

15.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.9 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

82.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota 4Runner uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Wrangler with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The 4Runner has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Wrangler 2-door’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 4Runner has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Wrangler 4-door’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 21.5 gallons).

Transmission

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The Toyota 4Runner comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Wrangler.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 4Runner’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Wrangler:

4Runner

Wrangler

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.9 inches

The 4Runner’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Wrangler are solid, not vented.

The 4Runner stops much shorter than the Wrangler:

4Runner

Wrangler

70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

150 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

163 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The 4Runner’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Wrangler Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The 4Runner Limited/Nightshade’s tires have a lower 60 series profile than the Wrangler Sahara’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4Runner Limited/Nightshade has standard 20-inch wheels. The Wrangler’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Jeep Wrangler only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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The Toyota 4Runner’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Wrangler’s solid front axle, which allows the 4Runner’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the 4Runner has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Wrangler.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road handles at .73 G’s, while the Wrangler Sahara 4-door pulls only .68 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Wrangler Rubicon 4-door (29 seconds @ .57 average G’s vs. 29.9 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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For excellent aerodynamics, the 4Runner has standard flush composite headlights. The Wrangler has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

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The 4Runner offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Wrangler can only carry up to 5.

The 4Runner has 24.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Wrangler (128 vs. 103.7).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 4Runner’s middle row seats recline. The Wrangler’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the Wrangler.

4Runner

Wrangler

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

31.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

72.4 cubic feet

The 4Runner 5-Passenger’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

The 4Runner’s cargo area is larger than the Wrangler’s in every dimension:

4Runner

Wrangler

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

42”/66.3”

37”/65.8”

Max Width

57.7”

42”

Min Width

42.4”

39.5”

Height

39.5”

30”

The 4Runner’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Wrangler 2-door’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

The 4Runner’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Wrangler’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Payload and Towing

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The 4Runner’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Wrangler’s (5000 vs. 2000 pounds).

The 4Runner has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Wrangler (1625 vs. 1233 lbs.).

The 4Runner has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Wrangler (1700 vs. 1351 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The 4Runner uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Wrangler uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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When different drivers share the 4Runner Limited/Nightshade, the memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Wrangler doesn’t offer memory seats.

The 4Runner’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

The 4Runner’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

The 4Runner’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Wrangler’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

If the windows are left open on the 4Runner the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Wrangler can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4Runner’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the 4Runner detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Wrangler doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The 4Runner has standard power remote mirrors. The Wrangler Sport doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The 4Runner’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Jeep only offers heated mirrors on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the 4Runner Limited/Nightshade keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Wrangler doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the 4Runner and the Wrangler offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 4Runner has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Wrangler doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

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The 4Runner is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Wrangler because typical repairs cost less on the 4Runner than the Wrangler, including $76 less for front brake pads and $7 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The Wrangler was 4x4 of the Year in 2012.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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