Toyota Highlander vs 4runner - Detailed Comparison

Toyota Highlander vs 4runner - Detailed Comparison

When it comes to midsize SUVs, the Toyota Highlander comes with impressive fuel efficiency and 4Runner stand out as top choice for different reasons. The Highlander is known for its family-friendly features and modern design, while the 4Runner is celebrated for its rugged off-road capabilities. This comparison aims to help potential buyers decide which model best suits their needs by examining various aspects such as trim levels, design, performance, and more.


Feature Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Starting Price $48,579 - $58,479 $54,819 - $69,989
Engine Options 2.4L Turbo, 2.5L Hybrid 4.0L V6
Horsepower 243 - 265 hp 270 hp
Towing Capacity Up to 5,000 lbs (3,500 lbs hybrid) Up to 5,000 lbs
Cargo Space 453 - 2,387 liters 1,337 - 2,540 liters
Seating Capacity Up to 8 Up to 7
Ground Clearance 203 mm 244 mm
Infotainment Screen 8-inch standard, 12.3-inch optional 8-inch standard
Safety Features Advanced safety tech Off-road safety features


Toyota Highlander vs 4runner


Trim Levels and Pricing


Both the Highlander and the 4Runner offer a variety of trims to cater to different preferences and budgets, making them competitive Toyota SUVs.


Toyota Highlander Trims:

  1. Highlander LE: Starting at $48,579
  2. Highlander XLE: Starting at $51,279
  3. Highlander XSE: Starting at $53,579
  4. Highlander Limited: Starting at $56,819
  5. Highlander Platinum: Starting at $58,479


Toyota 4Runner Trims:

  1. 4Runner SR5 7-passenger: Starting at $54,819
  2. 4Runner TRD Sport: Starting at $58,039
  3. 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition: Starting at $58,149
  4. 4Runner TRD Off Road: Starting at $59,229
  5. 4Runner Limited 7-passenger: Starting at $62,269
  6. 4Runner TRD Pro: Starting at $69,989


Model Trim Level Starting Price
Highlander LE $48,579
Highlander XLE $51,279
Highlander XSE $53,579
Highlander Limited $56,819
Highlander Platinum $58,479
4Runner SR5 7-passenger $54,819
4Runner TRD Sport $58,039
4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition $58,149
4Runner TRD Off Road $59,229
4Runner Limited 7-passenger $62,269
4Runner TRD Pro $69,989


Key Differences:


  • The Highlander offers a more extensive range of luxury trims focused on comfort and family features.
  • The 4Runner trims emphasize off-road capabilities, with specialized models like the TRD Pro for extreme terrain.



Also Read: Toyota Camry vs Corolla


Exterior & Interior Design


Exterior Design:


  • Highlander: Sleek, modern design with a more elongated and slender shape, making it ideal for urban and suburban settings. The Grand Highlander offers additional space and features compared to the 4Runner.
  • 4Runner: Rugged, boxy design tailored for off-road adventures, featuring higher ground clearance and protective elements like skid plates and off-road tires. The 2024 Toyota 4Runner also boasts a resilient powertrain for tough terrains.


Interior Design:


  • Highlander: Offers seating for up to 8 passengers with a spacious, user-friendly layout. Interior materials focus on comfort with options like leather upholstery and advanced climate control.
  • 4Runner: Provides seating for up to 7 passengers. The interior is designed for functionality and durability, with options for waterproof materials and a utilitarian layout.


Cargo Capacity:


  • Highlander: Offers between 453 to 2,387 liters of cargo space.
  • 4Runner: Provides between 1,337 to 2,540 liters depending on the configuration.


Aspect Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Exterior Style Sleek, modern Rugged, boxy
Ground Clearance 203 mm 244 mm
Seating Capacity Up to 8 Up to 7
Cargo Space 453 - 2,387 liters 1,337 - 2,540 liters





  • Length: 4,950 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,850 mm
  • Width: 1,930 mm
  • Height: 1,730 mm



  • Length: 4,830 mm (5,015 mm for XSE)
  • Wheelbase: 2,790 mm
  • Width: 1,925 mm
  • Height: 1,816 mm (1,828 mm for TRD Pro)


Dimension Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Length 4,950 mm 4,830 mm (5,015 mm for XSE)
Wheelbase 2,850 mm 2,790 mm
Width 1,930 mm 1,925 mm
Height 1,730 mm 1,816 mm (1,828 mm for TRD Pro)


Visual & Practical Implications:


  • The Highlander is slightly longer and wider, providing a roomier interior.
  • The 4Runner's higher ground clearance makes it better suited for off-road driving.


Performance and Powertrains



  • 2.4L 4-cylinder turbo engine: 265 horsepower, 310 lb-ft torque
  • 2.5L hybrid engine: 243 horsepower, 263 lb-ft torque
  • Better fuel efficiency, especially with the hybrid option, improving the overall fuel economy.



  • 4.0L V6 engine: 270 horsepower, 278 lb-ft torque
  • Superior off-road performance with part-time or full-time 4WD systems.


Aspect Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Engine Options 2.4L Turbo, 2.5L Hybrid 4.0L V6
Horsepower 243 - 265 hp 270 hp
Torque 263 - 310 lb-ft 278 lb-ft
Fuel Efficiency Better with hybrid (6.4 L/100 km) Higher consumption due to off-road capabilities
Off-road Capability Moderate Superior


Towing Capacity and Cargo Space


  • Highlander: Towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds (3,500 pounds for hybrid).
  • 4Runner: Towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
  • Highlander offers more overall cargo space, while the 4Runner provides better off-road cargo flexibility.


Aspect Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Towing Capacity Up to 5,000 lbs (3,500 lbs hybrid) Up to 5,000 lbs
Cargo Space 453 - 2,387 liters 1,337 - 2,540 liters


Technology and Safety Features




  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and optional 12.3-inch screen.
  • Advanced safety features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are standard in the 2024 Toyota Highlander.




  • Similar infotainment options with a focus on rugged reliability.
  • Off-road safety features like multi-terrain ABS and downhill assist.


Aspect Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Infotainment Screen 8-inch standard, 12.3-inch optional 8-inch standard
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Yes Yes
Advanced Safety Features Lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, third row seating Multi-terrain ABS, downhill assist


Comfort and Technologies


Common Features:


  • 8-way power driver’s seat, enhancing fuel economy
  • Heated front seats
  • Optional leather upholstery




  • Highlander offers more luxury options like ventilated seats and a larger infotainment screen.
  • 4Runner focuses on off-road functionalities and durable materials.


Aspect Toyota Highlander Toyota 4Runner
Power Driver’s Seat 8-way 8-way
Heated Front Seats Yes Yes
Ventilated Seats Available Not available
Upholstery Options SofTex, leather Waterproof materials available





Choosing between the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota 4Runner ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.


The Toyota Highlander shines as a family-friendly SUV, offering a sleek, modern design, advanced technology, and superior fuel efficiency, especially with its hybrid option. It's ideal for urban and suburban environments where comfort, space, and cutting-edge features are prioritized. The Highlander provides a smooth and quiet ride, ample cargo space, and a variety of trims to suit different luxury and budget levels. The 2024 Toyota Highlander offers even more refined features.


On the other hand, the Toyota 4Runner is the go-to choice for adventure enthusiasts and off-road lovers. Its rugged, durable design and superior off-road capabilities make it perfect for those who frequently venture off the beaten path. The 4Runner offers robust performance, higher ground clearance, and specialized trims that cater specifically to off-road driving. It's a reliable workhorse that can handle rough terrain and heavy loads with ease, making it a formidable competitor in the Toyota Highlander vs Toyota 4runner debate.



Frequently Asked Questions


1. Is a Toyota 4Runner bigger than a Highlander?

The 4Runner is taller and offers a higher ground clearance, while the Highlander is longer and wider.


2. How reliable are Toyota Highlanders?

Toyota Highlanders are known for their reliability, often lasting well over 200,000 miles with proper maintenance.


3. Are Toyota Highlanders good in snow?

Yes, with its AWD system and advanced safety features, the Highlander performs well in snowy conditions.


4. Is Highlander expensive to maintain?

Maintenance costs for the Highlander are generally reasonable and comparable to other vehicles in its class.


5. Do Toyota Highlanders last long?

Yes, Highlanders are built to last, often remaining in good condition for many years and miles.


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