Toyota 4Runner: 5 Top Competitors & Alternatives For 2023

Toyota 4Runner Alternatives

The Toyota 4Runner is a much-loved five or seven-passenger SUV. The rugged 4Runner has built a solid reputation for reliability, durability, and quality. The 4Runner can be a family vehicle or an overlander.

The 4Runner really occupies two segments. First, it competes with vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler. Second, it also fills the same roles that the tamer Toyota Highlander does for many owners.

Our 4Runner alternatives will include both serious off-roaders and some crossover SUVs that can fill the family-oriented utility roles and still get your kayaks to the lake.

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What’s New for 2023?

For the 2023 model year, the Toyota 4Runner celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Hench, the automaker has come out with its 40th Anniversary Editon of the 4Runner. This special edition 4Runner includes a set of bronze 17-inch wheels and bronze stitching on the leatherette seats and shift knob. 40th Anniversary insignias are found on the floormats, front headrests, and a couple of interior badges.

Toyota 4Runner Weaknesses

The Takeaway: The 4Runner is a proven SUV with many fans, but it is a narrow product line and has infotainment that could be better.

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Toyota dealers are presently marking up the 4Runner to prices well above MSRP. Used 4Runners are selling near or above new prices.

Those looking for an alternative to the 4Runner have many choices, and most have a better infotainment system than Toyota offers. Toyota also offers just one engine for the 4Runner.

Toyota 4Runner vs. Competitors

ModelApproximate Price RangeSeatsVehicle TypeIncluded Maintenance Years
Toyota 4Runner
$38K - $53K
5 or 7
Body-on Frame SUV 4X4
Jeep Wrangler
$38K - $89K
Body-on Frame SUV 4X4
Ford Bronco
$30K - $65K
Body-on Frame SUV 4X4
Honda Passport
$34K - $47K
Crossover SUV with AWD
Nissan Pathfinder
$35 - $50K
Up to 8
Crossover SUV with AWD
Land Rover Defender
$48 - $90K
5 to 7
Crossover SUV with 4X4

1. Jeep Wrangler

Jeep-Wrangler-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerThe Jeep Wrangler competes well with the Toyota 4Runner for those seeking a five-passenger SUV that can go off-road. Jeep’s line includes both two and four-door models and a wide array of trims and options that Toyota cannot match. The Jeep also features multiple convertible options, doors that come off, and a windshield that drops down.

Jeep also offers three engine choices. In addition to its V6 engine, which matches the standard offering from Toyota, Jeep also offers a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder turbocharged powertrain and a V8-equipped muscle SUV.

Jeep also offers three years of included maintenance compared to Toyota’s two years. Finally, you get to enjoy a friendly wave from legions of fellow Jeep owners as you pass them in traffic.

What’s New for 2023?

For the 2023 mode year, the Jeep Wrangler gets a Freedom Edition model. This special edition vehicle gets a military-themed exterior including a steel front bumper and rock rails on the sides. Other new additions include a new 17-inch wheel design for the Rubicon and two new paint colors called Earl and Reign.

The Takeway: Those seeking outdoor adventure will find the Jeep Wrangler SUV line has everything the 4Runner offers and much more.

Current Jeep Wrangler Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2024JeepWrangler$2,000 7/31/24

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Jeep deals and average prices paid.

2. Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco 4Runner AltThe Wrangler is no longer the only game in town for those that want a truly off-road SUV. Ford has brought back the Bronco and went all-in. The Bronco line is just as expansive and all-encompassing as the Jeep line and has many of the same cool features, such as removable panels.

Like the Wrangler, the Bronco is a two-row SUV with seats for five. It has the locking differentials, a detachable front sway bar, a low range transfer case, and all the other hard-core rock hopping and mud whomping stuff serious off-roaders look for.

Did we just lose you? No worries. Our next couple of 4Runner alternatives are for folks who don’t speak 4X4.

What’s New for 2023?

For 2023, the Ford Bronco goes back in time with the addition of the Bronco Heritage Edition for both two- and four-door models. The Bronco Heritage Edition comes with a 2.3-liter 300-horsepower powertrain with either a seven-speed manual or available 10-speed automatic transmission. Exterior touches include a white grille, white roof, and a set of 1960s-inspired wheels. Above that is the addition of the Heritage Limited Edition with metal Bronco-script fender badging, leather-trimmed plaid seats, and Heritage Limited badging on the center console.

The Takeaway: The Ford Bronco is yet another choice for serious off-roaders.

Current Ford Bronco Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2023FordBronco$1,000 $295/month for 36 months, $4,177 due at signing9/30/24
2024FordBronco$415/month for 36 months, $4,177 due at signing9/30/24

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals and average prices paid.

3. Honda Passport

Honda-Passport-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerHonda wants in on the adventure SUV market, but understands its owners aren’t headed to Moab directly from the dealer lot. To add more off-road chops than any prior Honda, the company adapted much of the Pilot’s basic formula to one that will go farther and be more utilitarian. In the process, it dropped the third row.

The Passport counts among its advantages over the 4Runner, better on-road driving dynamics and better infotainment. Inside, the Passport has a massive cargo area behind the second row. Drop the seats, and you could slide in a small kayak or a pair of fat-tire bikes.

Honda is the brand for practical people who like things neat and square. The Passport fits the bill.  Unless you want serious off-roading for the sake of it, the Passport will likely be more than enough for your weekend adventures in nature.

What’s New For 2023?

The Honda Passport is unchanged for the 2023 model year. The same trim levels and poertrains from the 2022 model are carried over.

The Takeaway: If you are team Honda and want to know which model they produce that might be an alternative to the 4Runner, this is it.

Current Honda Passport Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2024HondaPassport2.90%$429/month for 36 months, $4,899 due at signing9/3/24

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Honda deals and average prices paid.

4. Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan-Pathfinder-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerIf you need an all-road vehicle more than you do an off-road vehicle, a crossover SUV has many advantages. Fuel economy, ride comfort, and space are just a few. Like the Passport, the Nissan Pathfinder is a crossover SUV with all-wheel drive.

Before you shrug off the Pathfinder as a mall-crawler, bear in mind it was recently redesigned and has more power than the 4Runner and can tow 20% more. We also found the infotainment system to be simple and effective.

We recently tested the new Pathfinder and found it to be more rugged than the prior generation, and we're pleased to see a multi-terrain drive selector switch. Even our mid-trim tester had a proper trailer hitch integrated into the rear end. The Pathfinder may not win a king of the mountain match with the 4Runner, but getting to the mountain will not be a problem.

What’s New For 2023?

For the 2023 model year, the Nissan Pathfinder adds a rugged Rock Creek Edition. This off-road-focused trim features a lifted suspension, 18-inch all-terrain tires revised front grille and lower bumper and standard all-wheel drive. Also, the Rock Creek Edition gets a slight power boost of up to 295 horsepower.

The Takeaway: The Pathfinder is a great alternative to the 4Runner for families that need all-road capability and want three rows of seating.

Current Nissan Pathfinder Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2024NissanPathfinder$1,500 0.00%$369/month for 36 months, $3,869 due at signing7/31/24

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Nissan deals and average prices paid.

5. Land Rover Defender

Land-Rover-Defender-Alternatives-to-the-Toyota-4RunnerWhy not stretch the budget a smidge and drive home in something a bit more interesting than the everyman’s 4Runner?

Land Rover’s new Defender is available in a wide range of prices that overlap the 4Runner, has a similar 5 plus 2 seating option available, and looks so much cooler.

The Defender is a half and half vehicle that combines many of the best elements of a crossover SUV with a body-on-frame SUV. It has the ability to go anywhere a 4Runner can and a legacy the 4Runner can only aspire to.

What’s New for 2023?

The Land Rover Defender gets a third row for the 2023 model year. Known as the 130 models. This new variant of the Land Rover Defender joins the 1110 and the 90 models. Also, the 130 model gets a larger 11.4-inch infotainment display.  Also, there is a 30th Anniversary Edition model of the Defender nameplate available with a 296 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.  Finally, Land Rover will offer a special edition Defender with 20-inch aluminum wheels, a fabric sunroof, Grasmere Green paint, and the P400 six-cylinder powertrain.

The Takeaway: The Land Rover Defender is a “think outside the box” alternative that matches up surprisingly well with the the 4Runner.

Current Land Rover Defender Deals & Incentives

You may qualify for deals and incentives, check out this month's Land Rover deals and average prices paid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What 4Runner competitors are there on the market?

If you're considering alternatives to the 4Runner, you have a variety of vehicles to consider. Those seeking a five-passenger off-road SUV could opt for the Jeep Wrangler or the Ford Bronco. If a 5+2 SUV is what you need, the Land Rover Defender might be suitable. For those not requiring a robust off-roader, the Honda Passport, and Nissan Pathfinder present themselves as perfect substitutes with many benefits.

What can I get instead of a 4Runner?

The Toyota 4Runner seems to gain new competitors with each passing year. Those looking for a five-passenger off-road SUV can now choose from the Jeep Wrangler or the Ford Bronco. Those who want a 5+2 SUV should give the Land Rover Defender a look. If you don’t need a serious off-roader, the Honda Passport and Nissan Pathfinder are perfect substitutes with many advantages.

Is the 4Runner outdated?

Heck yes! The 4Runner is outdated and not by accident. Toyota has retained the 4Runner’s classic body-on-frame 4x4 design while also offering a wide range of crossover alternatives.

Are Toyota 4Runners worth the money?

Yes, assuming you pay near MSRP, a Toyota 4Runner is like money in the bank. The vehicle depreciates very differently than most of the industry’s similar vehicles. Like the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota’s Tacoma, a Toyota 4Runner barely depreciates if kept in good conditions and with limited miles.

Which is better, the Toyota 4Runner or the Toyota Tacoma?

Neither is categorically better. One is an SUV (4Runner), and one is a midsize pickup truck (Tacoma). Each has its strengths and numerous worthy competitors. These include the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco SUVs and the Nissan Frontier and Jeep Gladiator pickups.